The Three R's

No, not those three R's---Reading, 'Riting and 'Rymetic, but rather Reflection, Refocus and Recommit.

I have always loved the New Year; it always has made me feel like I get a fresh new start, which I seem to always need. It reminds me that I’m not a quitter and that I never give up.  That as long as I have breath, there is always hope.

At this time of the year I spend some time reflecting on the past year. How did it go over all? Am I in a better place today than I was at the beginning of last year? Have I grown? What have I learned? What can I take and build on from the previous year that will help me going forward.

These are all good things to think about and ponder. It’s important to stop and evaluate where you are in relationship to where you desire to go. It only makes sense since we are all on a journey, and most of us hope to achieve or grow in various areas. Most of us want to grow and change and do better. The motivators behind those things can be varied, but in the end, they all seem to be worthy of our focus and attention.

The second thing I do is set some goals. I create a list of things I am trying to do and get done. I have some leftovers from last year, so I start with them. Did I make any progress at all? If so, where am I  in the process and what do I need to do to complete these things this year? I simply list them along with a timetable; I list the things I will need to do to accomplish these things and then move forward.  I know that goal setting can be much more sophisticated than this, but I’m a K.I.S.S. person:  Keep It Simple Stupid. I don’t need more complexities in my life; less is more in my book. I think sometimes people get so caught up in the process of setting goals that when they have finished with that task, they feel like they have actually accomplished something. Well, I guess they have, but not much more than having written a plan. It’s the stuff in that plan that is important, not how complicated or pretty the plan is.

When I planted a church in Santa Maria, CA. in February of 1984, it was during the time in the Vineyard Movement when everyone was doing the 5-year plans. Guys were filling notebooks two inches thick with all their goals and plans. My first year plan didn’t take a half a page. My plan for Santa Maria Vineyard was simple---gather people, build, relationships, transfer values.  That was it, baby!  Now I did put a little meat to it by answering the 5 W’s and H, but there was no sense in cutting down another tree so I could fill a notebook and impress my friends.

The last R for me is Recommit. I spend time listing the things I need to continue with and the new things I want to go after this year. For instance, I am and have been a non-recovering diabetic for some time now, and with the exception of my meds, have pretty much lived in denial these past several years.  In December, with some serious help from friends, I began to prepare a plan for the new year.  The plan includes the things that a person with my disease needs to be doing.  I have recommitted myself to the task at hand, changing the way I live my life. It’s a big one, but it’s one that has consequences that are catastrophic if ignored. Why didn’t I do this earlier? The easy answer is I am an idiot.   Up until now, I was unable to get past the immediate to think seriously about the long term.

Recommitting is a good thing; it means you are still in the game, and you haven’t given up. It also means you have failed in your previous commitments as well, but don’t waste any energy on that as it gets you nowhere. Be proud of yourself for recognizing the need to re commit and the willingness to do it.

These are not the traditional 3 Rs but they will serve you well just the same.