7 Highlights of 2013

Lots of things have happened in 2013.  I feel very lucky to have experienced so many wonderful things.  Here are seven highlights of 2013.

1.  Chaplain of the Upstate NY Synod’s Candidacy Committee

November of 2012 I was invited to join the Upstate NY Synod’s candidacy committee.  It was a great honor for me to be a part of this group that met and talked with individuals who were interested in pursuing seminary education.  My first few meetings were long, hard but rewarding.  We were not only evaluating candidates as they went through the process but we were getting to know them as people, we were creating relationships with them and that was special.

This year I was asked if I had interest in serving as the chaplain of the committee.  I thought long and hard about this because I enjoyed being a part of the committee.  But in the end, I know that I have a pastoral heart, I love creating meaningful worship experiences for people and I felt that I could serve well in this position.  So in December I attended my first candidacy retreat as chaplain and I know I made the right decision.

2.  Started a Plant- Based Diet

I have struggled with my weight for most of my life.  There have been times when I have been conscious about what I am eating and I have made an effort to get intentional exercise.  However, I have never gotten to the point where I have been at an ideal weight.

In March of 2013 I decided to get some blood work done and I went to my doctor to get the results.  I heard nothing but bad news.  Not only was I much heavier than I should be but my insides were suffering.  My doctor told me that she was not sure she could continue to be my doctor unless I did something about this.  I was devastated.

I thought and prayed about what I could do, and I knew that I needed outside, professional help.  I remember a friend on Facebook who was a trainer and someone who could be compassionate but also kick my butt when needed.  So I reached out to her and she welcomed me with open arms.  There was one catch — I needed to drastically change my relationship with food and I needed to start a plant-based diet.  I was not sure if I could handle that change, but I knew I was running out of options so I agreed.

What has transpired has been amazing.  I am feeling better, I have lost weight and within the first 90 days my blood work changed drastically.  I am so thankful for this change and I am learning more about what it means to be on a plant-based diet and everyday I take steps to eating cleaner and getting healthier.

3.  Attended the Festival of Homiletics

Thinking about my continuing education for 2013 I knew that I wanted to do something life changing.  I asked for inspiration and ideas about continuing education from friends and colleagues.  The one event that was recommended to me over and over again was the Festival of Homiletics.  So I signed up.

During my time there I was inspired, captivated and it totally changed the way I view preaching.  I feel I have become a better preacher because of my time there and I am thankful for the opportunity to go.

4.  Went on My First Mission Trip

During my time as youth director in various churches I never took my youth on a week long mission trip.  So in 2013 along side my youth director and some faithful

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My 3 Words for 2014

Since 2011 I have participated with picking 3 words to help guide my year.  This idea has come from Chris Brogan and it has helped keep me focus on my goals throughout the year.

Chris wrote last year about this process:

If there were a hierarchy to planning out your year, it would look like this:

The big story.
Vision.
Goals.
Plans and Milestones.
The daily calendar.
You could argue which goes first, a vision or a big story. I’d accept either. But to me, a vision is a story told in goals, so I put it below the big story. The big story is that which we want to believe about our life and our goals and our plan. The vision is how you lay that out into something you can do. Goals are a way of knowing that you’re headed in the direction of your vision and your story. Plans and milestones are what make up goals, and if this doesn’t land on the calendar, you don’t have anything.

The three words are a shorthand representation of your bigger story. It’s kind of like how an icon isn’t the software program. It’s just a way for you to mentally access all the work you’re doing. Make sense?

I really believe in creating a vision for ourselves and to be intentional about what we do and how we do it.

Some of my past goals have been

2011 –  Acceleration, Mindfulness, and Learning

2012 – Simplify, Share and Balance

2013-  Transform, Practice, and Completion

My words for 2014

1.  Create — This is the year for creation.  I will be launching a new project tomorrow that I am very excited about.  I am also in the process of writing two ebooks and I have some other ideas for some projects that I am very excited about.  I want to create content that is not only important to me but important to the communities that I participate in.  So this year is about content creation.

2.  Compete — Those who know me well know that I love competition.  I have not been actively competing in anything for a awhile.  I miss that. So when my family sits down for a friendly board game, things can get out of control.  The type of competition I have participated in the past has been in team sports, especially football.  I have shared before my love for anything football – especially the New England Patriots.  But now I am moving towards individual competition.  This is a different mindset for me and has taken some time for me to see how that fits with me.  This year I am planning on participating in a triathlon (more details to come soon) as well as at least two 5ks.  I am very excited about this and I am starting to train now!

3.  Complete – So as you may realize, this word is very similar to one of last years words.  I was pretty good about completing some projects.  However, I still have some work to do on finishing all my projects.  For example, I want to complete my series on the ABC’s of Faith, and a few other blogging projects.  But I also have other areas of my life that I need to complete — other projects or processes that need completion.  Some of these areas I will share on this blog, others are more personal.

As in past years, I will expand upon these more in the next month or so.

But for now, I would like to invite you to add your words to this list.  What are you working on?  What would you like to accomplish in the next year?

There is a site called list.ly to share your three words this year. I invite you to do so.

View more lists from Nick Kellet

Goal Setting

I have worked hard over the last year to change how I view the world and how I make decisions about my life.  I have changed so much this past year that I want to share three ways that you can make positive changes in your life as well.

1.  You have the power within to make changes.  So often we live a reactionary lifestyle, that means the main way we make decisions is based on what is happening to us.  This means we don’t have control over what we are doing!!  If you have decided that you want YOUR future to be everything you have imagined and if you want to live to your full potential then you have to believe that you have the power to create your own path.  This does not mean that everything will happen just the way you want them too — you still will have set backs, but as you take each situation as it comes, you can be confident that your live overall will improve and that the setbacks you experience are only temporary.

Each of us can take personal accountability and then we are ready to look the world in the eye and say,  “These are my decisions and I stand by them. I am ready to take the consequences for my actions and decisions.”

2.  Decide where you want to be. Now that you know your current reality you can decide your personal goals.  With these goals you can create a powerful vision that includes specifics about your future.  It will help you you create a picture that encapsulates your vision.  Then you can break down your vision into smaller obtainable goals with a time line.  These smaller goals are not to veer you off of your larger goal but they are designed to support your larger goal and to keep you motivated towards the future. Focus on what you want, and shut out the distractions that cause you to lose your focus. If your purpose is just, achievement is within your grasp.

3.  Change your internal dialogue.  Keep your self-talk, your internal dialogue positive.  Your self-talk will keep the pictures you have for yourself and your future clear in your mind.  It is easy to form a cloud around them but the more you can convince yourself that what you are doing is important and that you are making good progress, your ability to stay on task and to keep your future front and center in your mind.

Once you have a handle on your own goals and vision, you can help others create theirs.  This is the most powerful way to accomplish what you want to accomplish in your life and to keep upbeat and positive no matter what else is happening around you.

Changes

How do we make positive changes in our lives?  I have asked myself this question over and over again recently.  Like most people there are a number of things I would like to change in my life.  I want to read more, spend more time with my family, get more work done, lose weight, have a great looking yard, paint a few rooms in my house….the list could go on and on.  However, how things are currently set up in my life I do benefit quite a bit.  In order to make changes I need to figure out what the benefits are decide which ones I am going to give up on to let change happen.

So what is the process?

Below there are five things we all can do to start the process of change.

  1. Is my life headed in the right direction? Are you happy with the direction your life is headed?  Do you have any idea the direction your life is headed?  I think we all need a direction in our lives — even if it is a short route we need to know where we are going.  Once we have an idea then we can decided if it is the right direction.
  2. How am I benefiting from the way things currently are? If we did not benefit from the way our life is set up then we would change.  However, we do benefit in some way from how our life is structured and we have to name and claim that.  Then we can move to number three. Be honest.
  3. Am I willing to make changes? Another way to phrase this is what am I willing to give up?  To make changes you have to give something up.  Are you ready to do that?  You can’t move on until you are.  Then once you are ready don’t try to change too much at one time.  Change the way you handle your finances, health, relationships, or the church.  Whatever you decide you have to commit.
  4. How am I going to make the changes? You need to have a plan.  It has to be simple or you are not going to stick with it.  Perhaps you need to get up earlier to go walking.  Perhaps you need to take some time for yourself each day.  Perhaps you need to pack your lunch everyday to save some money.  Make a plan and stick with it.  W
  5. Find a support network. Find some people (who don’t live with you) to keep you accountable to your changes.  Divulge everything with them, be honest with them and hear what they have to say.  Don’t blame them if you fail because this falls on you, but empower them to help you make the changes that you need.

It takes times to work through each of these steps.  Change can happen but you need to want it to happen and make the choices and sometimes sacrifice that is needed to do it.

2012 Year in Review

As most people in the blgosphere, I will be reviewing my life over the past year. As some of you remember I did have some goals this year — I broke them down into three words:

1.  Simplify –  For a long time this word was actually focus.  Basically I have “too much” in my life.  Too much paper, too many responsibilities, too many committees, too much clutter in my head, and in my heart.  I feel the daily pressure upon my life to get everything done.  Some of this is self-inflicted and other of it comes from external sources. So one goal is to simplify every aspect of my life.

2.  Share — There are many ways I want to execute on this word.  First I want to control what I share and how I share it.  I am very involved in social media, and I feel like I don’t have any control over it.  I am a very early adapter in new social media sites — but I don’t have a plan when it comes to social media.  I want to define FOR ME how to use social media most effectively and consistently.  I want to use what is out there in managing my social media and help others do the same.

3.  Balance –  I probably can make this a word almost every year!  Somewhat connected with simplify, I need to find balance in my life.  Balance between scripture I read for work vs scripture I read for devotion.  Balance between work, fun and family.  Balance in my health, my finances, my time spent in the world of the internet and the world of life.  Throughout the year I am going to challenge myself to take a look at my life in a deep and critical way and make some choices.

Here are the top five events in my life for 2012:

1.  We moved!!!  We moved from the outskirts of Baldwinsville right into the heart of the village.  In the process of moving we got rid of a lot of “stuff.”  Before the actual move we talked with a garbage company and got a u Haul and filled it completely with junk.  We also sold a number of items before we moved.  Then after we moved we had a garage sale.  In the process of packing and selling and organizing, that we have kept every item of clothing from the birth of our first child eight years ago as well as our daughter 5 years ago.  So we had a garage sale and then gave the rest away.  It feels good to be free from that stuff, but there is a part of me that misses it.

2.  First online Bible Study — In the spring time of 2012 I gathered a few friends together and we completed an online Bible Study of the Book of Acts.  It was a great success and I hope to do another one soon.

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