Josh Christophersen

Reign In Life

Three Keys to Keep You From Feeling Like a Failure at the End of the Day

A lot of people go to bed at night feeling like a failure. Either they don’t get done what they wanted to do or what they did get done felt insignificant and unsatisfying.

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Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson (Creative Commons)

Most people have hopes and desires of being successful, but for many, the problem is their definition of a successful day is undefined, vague, or unrealistic.

So let’s fix that.

Click HERE to continue reading and you’ll be taken to the blog of writer, author, and speaker Jeff Goins, where I had the privilege and honor of writing today. Be sure to snoop around when you’re there.

4 Questions To Change Your Life

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We’re nearing the end of the year, which is a great time to set goals, evaluate what you are doing, and see if things can be done better. The following are four questions I’m using to do just that.

1) What Do You Do?

What do you spend your time doing?

Make a list. Be thorough, but not so thorough that you paralyze yourself.

Here’s some examples:

Sleep, eat, exercise, seek God, read books, work a job, marriage, parenting, dating, writing, church, pastoring, friendship, house work, entertainment, consume social media, watch TV/movies, surf internet, shop, play sports, create, play an instrument, live in community, counseling, etc.

For some, just answering the first question and being able to physically see a list of what you spend your time on, can be life changing.

2) What Do You Do Well?

Read through your answer to the first question and pick out the things that you do well.

Be honest.

Some of you, if you’re honest, may answer, “Nothing.” This question on it’s own can be life altering, because in our busyness we are becoming a culture of people that do many things, but nothing well.

Others of you may find that the things that you do well are not the things you want to do well, or that the things you are currently doing well are keeping you from doing some other things well that you’d like to be doing – which brings us to our next question.

3) What Do You Want To Do Well That You’re Not?

Go through your original list from the first question again. Don’t just look at all the things in this list that you don’t do well. Some things are not done well because they’re not important and time is limited. That’s fine.

What are the few things that you’re not doing well that you’d like to?

Don’t pick too many. Take into consideration what you are already doing well. You may be awesome, but realistically, you can only do a few things well.

4) What Are You Going To Do Less Of So You Can Do What You Want To Do Well?

Look at your original list again. Time to do some pruning.

In order to realistically do a few things well, you’ve got to eliminate certain things that drain the resources necessary to do them.

Don’t be distracted by the good. There are a lot of people that do a good job at a lot of things, but if you want to make a significant impact in a particular area of life, you must do a great job at a few things.

Good is the greatest enemy of the great.

What things are you going to spend less time doing good or poorly so that you can focus more time doing a few things well?

(Image Credit: Photographic Collections)

How To Legally Get Healthcare Paid For As A Christian Without Insurance

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My family and I have been members of Samaritan Ministries since 2009. Samaritan Ministries is more than 200,000* Christian members sharing more than $20 million* per month directly, one household to another, to meet each other’s health care needs. It’s based on the bible’s command in Galatians 6:2 to “bear one another’s burdens.”

It’s not insurance. It’s health sharing.

Read More

A Simple Travel Packing List So You Won’t Forget Anything

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This is a packing list I’ve been using and tweaking for about twenty years. I love it because when I use it I don’t forget anything and it takes away the need to rack my brain trying to figure out if I’m missing anything. If I follow the list I can leave confident that I have everything I need.

Clothes

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Shirts
  • Pants & Shorts
  • Dress Clothes
  • Swimming Suits
  • Pajamas
  • Jackets
  • Sweatshirts
  • Hats
  • Belts
  • Shoes
  • Sandals/Crocs

Toiletries

  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shaving Cream
  • Shaver
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Glasses
  • Contacts
  • Extra Contacts
  • Contact Solution
  • Face Cleaner
  • Chapstick
  • Powder
  • Makeup
  • Ibuprofen/Tylenol
  • Medication
  • Hand Wipes
  • Birth Control
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Insect Repellant
  • Towels
  • Wash Cloths

To Do List

  • Get Cash
  • Buy Snacks/Beverages
  • Hold Mail
  • Check Fluids
  • Get Gas
  • Empty Garbages
  • Water Plants
  • Buy/Organize Music
  • Check Fridge
  • Get Ice
  • Turn Down Heat/AC

Miscellaneous

  • Bible
  • Books
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Maps
  • Hotel Info
  • Wallets
  • Money
  • Toll Money
  • Extra Car Key
  • Sunglasses
  • Watch
  • Jewelry
  • Pocket Knife
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Laundry Bag
  • Fan
  • Jumper Cables
  • Umbrella

Food & Water

  • Snacks
  • Soda
  • Water
  • Water Bottles
  • Ice Packs
  • Coolers
  • Vitamins

Recreation

  • Golf Discs
  • Golf Clubs
  • Beach Stuff
  • Beach Towels
  • Floatation Devices
  • Life Jackets
  • Fishing Poles
  • Games

Kids Stuff

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Extra Nuks
  • Pack N’ Play
  • Blankets
  • Eating Chairs
  • Bottles
  • Nursing Pump
  • Books & Toys
  • Stroller
  • Bug Net
  • Hair Stuff
  • Monitor
  • Bassinet
  • Swing
  • Night Light
  • Bibs
  • Walker

Electronics

  • Camera
  • Camera USB
  • Camera Charger
  • iPod
  • iPod Charger
  • Headphones
  • Hands Free Headset
  • Headset USB
  • Headset Charger
  • Computer/Tablet
  • Computer/Tablet Power Cord
  • Computer Mouse
  • Cell Phone
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Cell Phone USB
  • Cell Phone Bluetooth
  • Car Outlet Adapter
  • Flashlights
  • Travel Alarm
  • DVDs
  • Portable DVD Player

What am I missing?

(Image Credit: National Archief)

How To Make Moving Suck Less

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(Image Credit: TheMuuj)

I’ve moved many people over the years. Some of those moves went great. Some were a nightmare.

I remember being on a missions trip in Charlotte, NC where a group of us volunteered to move a family that none of us knew. I’ll never forget that image of the family smiling and waving at us from the breakfast table when we walked in that Saturday morning.

Not one thing was packed and there wasn’t a box to be seen anywhere. The whole family was sitting at the breakfast table eating breakfast. It pretty much went downhill from there.

Here’s some practical tips to make your move run smooth and to make things as easy and enjoyable for those who will be helping you:

Before The Move

  • Rent a truck (make sure you rent it in advance as some weekends don’t have trucks available)
  • Don’t skimp on the truck size. It’s worth the extra money to make sure you have enough space to make it in one trip.
  • Ask people to help and confirm who will be there to help you move. Don’t assume; you know what that does.
  • Ask a lot of people “Many hands make light work
  • Give people early notice and remind them when it gets closer for the best possible turnout
  • Plan to move everything over in one trip (movers lose motivation when they have to come back for multiple trips)
  • Pick a good time to move (after people are done working on a weekday or a Saturday morning – Saturday mornings usually work best)
  • Start early but not too early (give people some sleep but don’t blow their whole day if you don’t have to)
  • Pack everything you can (it’s very demotivating to arrive at a move and to see a bunch of stuff that should be packed sitting there unpacked)
  • Don’t use big boxes for heavy items (like books). This makes the boxes too heavy to carry.
  • Use enough tape on boxes so they don’t break open, and if you’re using garbage bags, make sure they are strong enough
  • Mark on your boxes what room the box will be going in at the new house
  • Label each room in the new house so movers know where the boxes go without having to overwhelm the person moving with unnecessary questions about where things go
  • Make sure kids are being watched at a different location so they are not in the way of the movers and so that no one gets hurt
  • Promote incentives to prospective movers when you ask them to help you (donuts, lunch, one trip, everything’s packed, lots of people will be helping, etc.)
  • Don’t forget to have all the utilities set up beforehand (water, electric, gas, internet, cable, etc.)
  • Check the new house to see if your dryer cord matches the outlet and plan to get a new cord or outlet if needed (3 or 4 prong)
  • When taking things apart, put the hardware in a baggie so nothing gets lost

During The Move

  • Have donuts ready for movers as they arrive and use the presence of these donuts to motivate movers to show up (donuts are very motivational)
  • Pick a good Tetris player to stay in the truck and pack the items for maximum use of space and so that you only need to do one trip
  • Wear a weight belt for proper back support (you look like a dork but at least you can walk at 40)
  • Lift with your legs, not your back
  • Leave your ego at home when lifting heavy objects (get help)
  • When loading, finish whole rooms when possible to get a sense of accomplishment
  • Have lunch ready for movers at the new house (it’s usually better to eat lunch after everything is unloaded, but sometimes it’s nice to have a break)
  • If you’re the person moving, don’t unload; direct traffic for the movers. Stay by the truck and let them know where everything goes. This makes things go much faster.
  • Have someone cleaning the old house while you are unloading into the new one
  • Load some fragile stuff into cars so they don’t break in the truck
  • Have basic tools available for the load and the unload

After The Move

  • See if people will help setup beds (you’re going to be exhausted at the end of the day and setting up your beds is the last thing you are going to want to do then)
  • Utilize heavy lifters for rearranging of any heavy furniture before they leave

What did I miss?

10 Tips For Effective Goal Setting

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(Image Credit: Nationaal Archief)

Here are 10 tips for effective goal setting and my 25 goals for 2013 as an example.

  1. Success motivates, failure demotivates.

    Start yourself off with some goals with a high probability for success.  A lot of people set themselves up for failure by starting off too big.  The small wins will motivate you for the bigger.

  2. Goal setting without faith is goal setting without heart.

    Your heart wasn’t meant to live for the possible.  Do it a favor and give it something to shoot for that’s impossible without God.  That will keep your heart in it.

  3. Set faith goals, not foolish ones.

    There’s a difference between faith and foolishness.  Set goals proportionate to the measure of faith you’ve been given. (Rom 12:3)

  4. Do a few things and a few things well. 

    One thing I’ve noticed is that every year my list of goals gets shorter.  Year by year I’m learning how to set goals proportionate to my faith reality.

  5. Get your goals for the year by the 31st of January, not the 1st.

    I know conventional wisdom says to start the year off running on January 1st with your New Year’s resolutions, but I think January is a much more conducive month for goal-setting than December.   The hustle and bustle of the holidays, and the unreality of time off and partying, don’t lend themselves to effective goal setting.  Let the cold of January and the reality of returning to your job, smack you in the face with a little goal-setting sobriety.

  6. “A goal without a plan is a wish.”  Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Setting goals is step one.  A plan is step two.

  7. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

    Take some time each year to evaluate how you did, so you can tweak things accordingly.

  8. If you notice that the same goal is not being met year after year

    You should probably change the goal, the plan, or the amount of goals

  9. Focus on what you got done, not on what you didn’t.

    It’s not necessarily about the percentage of goals you meet, but about what you got done by having goals that you wouldn’t have gotten done had you not set goals.  If you only meet 25% of your goals, that’s still 25% more you got done than if you had not set any goals at all.

  10. Set goals every year.

    I started setting goals for the year in 2009.  I continued in 2010 and 2011.  I never got around to setting goals in 2012 and I definitely noticed a difference.  Keep at it.

Here’s an example of a list of goals.  These are my goals for 2013.

Category Goal
1 Spirit Set aside time to read and/or pray everyday
2 Spirit Fast weekly
3 Study Study mission
4 Study Read a book a month
5 Marriage Drastically decrease responding in frustration
6 Marriage Pray with my wife everyday
7 Marriage Date my wife weekly
8 Marriage Lessen my wife’s workload by taking some of it on myself
9 Children Regularily teach kids the Bible
10 Children Take kids on regular dates
11 Children Develop my son as a man
12 Children Create a board game with the kids
13 Church Make corporate prayer a greater priority
14 Church Remodel building for prayer and worship
15 Church Win souls
16 Church Build people
17 Blog Guest post on other blogs
18 Blog Do more video
19 Blog Post at least three times a week
20 Blog Write an ebook
21 Job Learn latest web development technology
22 Possessions Cement backyard
23 Body Work out regularily
24 Body Develop and follow a regular diet plan
25 Body Lose my gut

How To Read 24 Books In A Year

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Image courtesy of “George Eastman House” | Flickr.com

For some, 24 books is nothing.  For me and my busy schedule, it feels like a lot.

At first glance, thinking of reading that many books seems impossible.  The thought of the goal, and the inevitable failure to reach it, pretty much used to demotivate me from even starting.  So how do you overcome the first hurdle?

Simplify the goal.

24 books seems daunting.  But if it’s broken up by month, it’s only two books per month.  That doesn’t seem as difficult.  But if you’re like me, it still sounds unrealistic with a busy schedule.

So let’s break it down one more level.

How much would you have to read to accomplish the goal of reading 24 books in a year?  Let’s say that the average book is about 10-12 chapters, give or take a few.  If you read one chapter per day, you’ll finish 30 chapters in a month, which is about 2-3 books, depending on the size. Two books per month times 12 months in a year equals 24 books.

I don’t know about you, but the goal of reading one chapter a day seems pretty doable (especially if you utilize toilet time), ;).  And then if you read more than one chapter, you exceeded your goal.

This has helped me reach my book reading goals in years past.  What do you think? Could it work for you?