nancy williams

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Archive for January, 2008

Steps to Help You Stay the Course

Congratulations! You made it past January 21st, deemed by some as the most depressing day of the year. ‘May sound strange, just a few weeks after the holiday season, but think about it a moment. No more gatherings with family and friends. Cold weather and less sunlight. Barren trees and plants struggling to hold on. Bills from holiday spending filling our mailboxes. And those resolutions we made on New Years Day are beginning to slip through our hands as we fall back into old patterns. Why, that’s enough to make any of us depressed if we’re not mindful!

So, what’s a person to do? Well, we can’t do much about the weather except bundle up and pray for an early spring. If we’ll take care of those tender plants, we’ll have new blooms before we know it. As for time with family and friends, we do have Super Bowl approaching and you don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy the evening. Now, about those bills. I know a good accountant and financial planner if you need one.

That leaves us with those resolutions. They sounded good when we made them while celebrating the dawn of a new year. Commitments to do more of some things, less of others. Our intentions were well meaning and our momentum strong as January began, but can we go the distance, all the way to the finish line at the end of this year? Let me share four tips that will help you STAY the course and turn those intentions into end-of-the-year successes.

S – First, SET A COURSE OF DIRECTION and SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS. Ask yourself: (1) what do you want to “be”? What do you want your life to reflect? (2) Now what do you want to “do” with your life that will help you be that reflection? SPEND TIME asking the Lord to show you his desires for your life, then sharpen your focus in the direction you want to head this year.

T – TAKE TIME to set goals that will move you forward along the path you’ve chosen. There are many good things to choose from but it is up to each of us to carefully, and prayerfully, choose only those actions that will help us live our best lives and honor God’s unique desires for each of us. That means we need to TAKE TIME to seek His guidance. He tells us he knows the plans He has for us. He also encourages us to seek Him with all our heart.

A – Once you set those goals, look ahead on your calendar and mark time periodically (every one to three months is a good pace) to ASSESS where you are with your goals. Some are great and need to continue. Others made need to be adjusted or set aside and replaced with new goals more in line with the shifts that occur in life. Taking time to assess where you are versus where you want to be and what you want to do is a critical, yet often overlooked step. Not doing so may result in drifting off course and not making it to the finish line.

Y – The final letter in our key word stands for YOU. If you want to reach your goals this year, and if you want to enjoy the journey along the way, you must take care of yourself. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. Spiritually. In your relationships. In all aspects of your life. Demands pull us in different directions, draining our energy and resources. If we’re not careful, we’ll get caught in the web of life’s stresses and pressures, and loose ourselves in the process. Make sure that in the busyness of life, you set aside time to care for yourself so you can fully live the life God designed for you.

It’s a new year. While we don’t know all that lies ahead, we do know that God promises to walk along side us, if we invite him, and to provide us with all we need for the journey. As we draw close to him, we’ll not only find what we need to get by, we’ll also find joy along the journey. Make it a great year!

Steps To Help Stay The Course

Congratulations! You made it past Jan. 21, deemed by some as the most depressing day of the year. May sound strange, just a few weeks after the holiday season, but think about it a moment. No more gatherings with family and friends. Cold weather and less sunlight. Barren trees and plants struggling to hold on. Bills from holiday spending filling our mailboxes. And those resolutions we made on New Year’s Day are beginning to slip through our hands as we fall back into old patterns. Why, that’s enough to make any of us depressed if we’re not mindful!


So, what’s a person to do? Well, we can’t do much about the weather except bundle up and pray for an early spring. If we’ll take care of those tender plants, we’ll have new blooms before we know it. As for time with family and friends, we do have Super Bowl approaching and you don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy the evening. Now, about those bills. I know a good accountant and financial planner if you need one.


That leaves us with those resolutions. They sounded good when we made them while celebrating the dawn of a new year. Commitments to do more of some things, less of others. Our intentions were well-meaning and our momentum strong as January began, but can we go the distance, all the way to the finish line at the end of this year? Let me share four tips that will help you STAY the course and turn those intentions into end-of-the-year successes.


S – First, SET A COURSE OF DIRECTION and SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS. Ask yourself: (1) what do you want to “be”? What do you want your life to reflect? (2) Now what do you want to “do” with your life that will help you be that reflection? SPEND TIME asking the Lord to show you his desires for your life, then sharpen your focus in the direction you want to head this year.


T – TAKE TIME to set goals that will move you forward along the path you’ve chosen. There are many good things to choose from but it is up to each of us to carefully, and prayerfully, choose only those actions that will help us live our best lives and honor God’s unique desires for each of us. That means we need to TAKE TIME to seek his guidance. He tells us he knows the plans he has for us. He also encourages us to seek him with all our heart.


A – Once you set those goals, look ahead on your calendar and mark time periodically (every one to three months is a good pace) to ASSESS where you are with your goals. Some are great and need to continue. Others may need to be adjusted or set aside and replaced with new goals more in line with the shifts that occur in life. Taking time to assess where you are versus where you want to be and what you want to do is a critical, yet often overlooked step. Not doing so may result in drifting off course and not making it to the finish line.


Y – The final letter in our key word stands for YOU. If you want to reach your goals this year, and if you want to enjoy the journey along the way, you must take care of yourself. Physically. Emotionally. Financially. Spiritually. In your relationships. In all aspects of your life. Demands pull us in different directions, draining our energy and resources. If we’re not careful, we’ll get caught in the web of life’s stresses and pressures, and lose ourselves in the process. Make sure that in the busyness of life, you set aside time to care for yourself so you can fully live the life God designed for you.


It’s a new year. While we don’t know all that lies ahead, we do know that God promises to walk alongside us, if we invite him, and to provide us with all we need for the journey. As we draw close to him, we’ll not only find what we need to get by, we’ll also find joy along the journey. Make it a great year!