Friday, January 08, 2010

Who's Special?

Our son just went back to college today. We miss him already.

The other night, while having one of our last meals together before he went back to school, he got
the "Special Plate."

Yes, we have a "Special Plate" that is different from all the others. We put it out at one of the settings on the dinner table at our home to let someone know they're special! It's a blue Churchill Willow plate.

So, I said to my son: "Wow! You're the special one tonight!"

I remarked about how it was humorous when sat down to eat at our friend's house because they use the same Willow plates at every place setting. Their family also has a special plate they use and we know other other families that do too.

As a matter of fact, my wife makes it a point of using our fine china for everyone at the table when we celebrate a birthday, so that everyone is special!

I was thinking the other night about applying this "Special Treatment" to two areas of life that are special to me: my efforts to follow Jesus Christ and in my career as a project manager.

As a Christ follower, I want to take the time to treat people special. John 3:16 says that God loves the whole world. I want to keep asking myself: am I showing God's love to others? I've been working at trying to be "in the moment" and to spend time with the people I'm with, while I'm with them, to make them feel special.

As a Project Manager, I want to think about the people on my team. Am I complementing them and helping them to know how valued they are? Am I giving them the positive and specific feedback they need in order to feel appreciated?

So, who's special to you?

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year! Goals and Planning

Talking with some of our friends the other day, we were talking about setting goals and planning for the new year.

I try to set goals at the beginning of the year. I try to keep them S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely).

When I was younger, I didn't like to set goals because I wanted God to be able to direct me. I figured he should set my goals.

Now, I realize, I need something to work toward. Some of our friends don'set goals, they like to be open to the Lord's leading. I can see that. I think it depends on your personality. For me, I need the structure and the goals.

I was just reading about goal setting the other day and my take away is that they need to be measurable. For example, I need to set a goal for my weight (something I'm currently working on) with a target date. As a Project Manager Professional (PMP) this fits right in with my regular practice: setting dates with measurable goals!

If you're the type to set goals, I'll provide you with some ideas here of the areas I set goals in:

1. Spiritual: What are the goals in my spiritual walk. In 2010, my goal is to "walk with the Lord" just as Enoch walked with the Lord. I want to continually be walking with God. For me, this also includes praying constantly and reading through the Bible.

2. Emotional: Goals for relationships and for my own emotional health. This includes what I want to do for those around me (family, friends, work colleagues) and for my own health.

3. Physical: This is were exercise and diet come into play.

4. Financial: How can we make better use of the funds that God has sent our way? What do we want to contribute to? What and how will we save? Spend? I also work with my wife to take a financial snapshot and do some financial planning.

5. Development/Career: What will I do to learn more about my career? What learning? What books? Courses?

6. House and Home Goals: What do I plan to accomplish in the house this year?

Keep in mind, that I still want God to set my goals. He is far better to direct my paths. So, I ask him for his leading, guidance, and wisdom. I am flexible and open to his leading. If he wants to re-arrange my goals, I listen for him to lead me.

There is a church nearby that is doing 3 sessions on Completing a Personal Life Development Plan. They will be covering our gifts, setting 1 and 5 year plans, as well as much of the areas I outlined above. I'm hoping to attend and maybe I'll post more.