Forget New Year’s Resolutions

Forget New Year’s Resolutions

It seems so natural – and American- to come up with New Year’s resolutions, but I encourage you this year to forget resolutions, instead focus on a few solutions to achieve your personal and professional goals.

Maybe you are happily manic over the coming new year. Or possibly you’re overwhelmed, worried, burdened or burned-out. Wherever you are (or aren’t) there’s HOPE and help.

Consider:

– What are the top ‘priorities’ or ‘issues’ on your plate this week?

– Where do you want to ‘go’ this month? Where do you sense God’s leading?

– Better yet, what just ONE THING that’s on your mind, your ‘to do’ list, or prayer requests continually. . . what’s really bugging you?

Got it? Good.

Like a fresh coat of vivid-colored paint you might use to spruce up an old wall in your home so you can enjoy that space, your next mind-storm session may be just the catalyst you need to get going again, to regain your pace after over-indulgence of distractions or apathy.

Now, it’s time to log-off the computer and roll-up your sleeves to get to work. Grab a pen, clean paper or your journal, and your Bible. Head away from distractions and find a quiet place.

Mind-storming is when you write down as many ideas, answers, and possible actions you can think of to any “problem” you have posed as a question. A mind-storm is best done by yourself, and really effective when you make it part of a time of prayer and meditation.

Later, after you have more clarity, plan to meet with and brainstorm with others.

‘Mind-storm’ sessions involve:

* Your Mind- brainpower, psyche, wits, intellect

* Your Storm- outburst, downpour, rant and rave

* Focused Thinking- imagining, believing, supposing,considering, reasoning, pondering

* Your Emptying-Out the possibilities- revealing, making known, exposing, viewing, making ready, making obtainable

Take some time in the next day or two and mind-storm for possible solutions and approaches to the priorities on your success journey. Name the priority and consider everything that comes to mind. Then write the first steps you might take.

Just remember to first take some time to with God to test your heart, thoughts and ways, and apply that magnificent piece of machinery (the brain) and enjoy the inspiration that only He can give. Start with counting your blessings- What’s going RIGHT? What is POSITIVE?

According to the experts in neuroscience and positive psychology, when we focus on activities like listing things we are grateful for, or consider our progress, we actually turn-on the part of the brain that helps us feel more connected, more optimistic, hopeful, joyful, and energetic. This helps us take the next step.

These modern studies confirm our ‘Divine Design’ and reveal how we can take responsibility for managing our thoughts – our will- and then achieve personal transformation. Coincidentally, the scriptures have provided such knowledge for thousands of years:

“From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things” Proverbs 13:2,

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus,” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18,

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things,” Philippians 4:8.
Also, when you are ‘mind-storming,’ you might find it helpful to check the Manual (the Bible) and stay in close communication with the Designer and Engineer of your life for calibration and on-going adjustment.

Even though it’s simple, how often do we pause for prayer, confession, and meditation on God’s Word to face the things that seem to be ‘in need’ of attention, or to consider what we can learn from leaders of the past, . . . or more importantly, to quiet our minds and present possible solutions to God, asking Him to give us discernment?

“Test me, O Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind.” Psalm 26:2

“In his heart a man plans his course,
but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

If you are not familiar or comfortable with reading scriptures, then at a minimum, share your struggles and possible solutions with a wise ‘Board of Encouragement -”BOE” – a group of professional peers or mentors who have achieved the goals you desire. OR set an appointment with Sandy to clarify and explore the timeless principles that apply to your situation.

The key is to be open to new insights, experience and wisdom . . . welcome fresh eyes to test and confirm your plans.

Once you have met with your BOE (or coach) and have considered possible solutions in light of your budget, time, resources, and your ultimate destination and mission, you’ll be more prepared to take that next step on your success journey.

Even better, you will feel more footloose and free – or at least will have found comfort in seeing the hands reaching out to help you get moving again.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7

Happy New Year!

JOY and Blessings –

Sandy Lawrence

December 31, 2008 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

Fall “Treats”

Working in a garden or spending time outdoors regularly, you get a real appreciation for the seasons – especially fall.

Living in Atlanta, summer seems to brutally hang on.  Then, like the flip of a switch, temperatures pleasantly drop and a cool breeze wafts in and pushes the humidity out.

Fall Colors
Yes, I linger and take in the intoxicating landscapes of color – warm earthy hues of mums bursting in wine-colored blooms while the leaves of the hardwood trees quickly change to yellow, orange and deep red.  All that bright beauty is punctuated by crisp air, plush green grass, evergreens, and an azure blue sky.

Ah, fall. How can you not appreciate the season? And, how can you not be tempted to take a break and visit a fall festival?  Tantalizing scents of apples hugged by caramel coating, hand-spun cotton candy and other seasonal fare.

Pondering the decadence of such treats, I had a fleeting thought about personal character. Uh . . . yes, really.  Possibly it was an urge to address “fall cleaning” on the inside – the kind that requires a little extra time with God to regain personal clarity and to forgive those who have disappointed me.

In a quirky way, I realize someone’s character can resemble either one of those ‘treats.’

Cotton Candy
Larger than life, so sweet it almost makes your teeth hurt, all puffed-up and putting on a good show, yet in reality, it’s quite hollow in substance. It tends to stain the flesh it touches, even a huge bite disappointedly melts in a split second, and it’s greatly lacking in nutritional value. (No surprise here – 100% man-made.)

Candied Apple
Sweet, pliable and flavorful outer coating, yet still sweet and aromatic, juicy on the inside and so much more substance underneath and real substance remains even when a big bite is taken out of it.  And of course, apples are much more satiating and nutritious. (No surprise – this treat is a gift from God, yes the humble and versatile apple.)

Now take a minute to consider the state of your own character.  If you are a believer, then tell God and thank Him as you receive His discernment, grace, comfort and peace as you take responsibility to walk out your faith.

Remain thankful for the many blessings in your life and how He uniquely created you and has invited you to participate in all the seasons of life.  Be encouraged and restored.

For the almost devoured candied apple:
“Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly you are wasting away, yet inwardly you are being renewed day by day.”  2 Corinthians 4:16

For the temporary case of cotton candy-itis:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourself. Look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:3-4

November 5, 2008 at 10:02 pm 1 comment

Leadership & Integrity- Election 2008

By Boyd Bailey, Wisdom Hunters

Leaders of Integrity… “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” Exodus 18:21

Leaders of integrity are a rare breed within a group of citizens whose utmost concern is, “What is in it for me?” A selfish society does not always select a leader for their integrity, but for their ability to manipulate a quick fix for chronic problems. It is this short sightedness that can set back a generation, because of their leaders’ greed and corruption. However, men and women of integrity understand the big picture of principled leadership, and they value a fear of God, trustworthiness and honest economics.

A leader of integrity looks out over the long term, and discovers what is best for the culture, its citizens, churches and families. There is a resolve to do the right things, with the right people, for the right reasons. Leaders of integrity integrate integrity by their influence.

Therefore, select capable men and women who hold Christ and His commands in high esteem, who you can trust to do and say the right things, implemented in the right way. Leaders of integrity surround themselves with other leaders of integrity.

—-

This was too powerful not to post.  Something to think about as we lead and as we select (and vote) for leaders both on the local and national level.

Read more on Wisdom Hunters http://wisdomhunters.com/and sign up for daily devotions by Boyd.

November 4, 2008 at 7:43 pm Leave a comment

Reach Higher . . . But with a Sure Footing

Reach Higher . . . But with a Sure Footing
Copyright 2008 Sandy Lawrence

It was nearly a decade ago, and rock climbing was all the rave.  I found myself with a harness wrapped around my torso and legs with a line running up the rock wall above me and another running behind me to someone who ‘had my back’ and who was there to help with my novice descent back down.

As I faced the wall and looked up, my knees suddenly didn’t feel so strong, and my stomach was fluttering, but I took my first step and found a footing.  The wisdom of the instructor ran through my mind (maybe I even muttered it on my lips) as I looked up to the ledge above and plotted my next step . . .

“Make sure you have a good footing and PUSH UP with your legs from there.  Don’t pull-up with your arms – the weaker part of the body, or you’ll tire quickly.”

I spotted another foothold, lifted my leg, placed my foot firmly and pushed.  I used my arms to keep me steady, but I focused on using my legs, with an eye to where I was planting my foot next above.

I did this again and again, and yet another time . . . and another.  Suddenly, “WHOO HOO!!!” I’d made it up three stories to the top of the wall . . . inside the sporting goods store (!)

I’d done it – something I never thought I could.  I had climbed a wall.  (No big deal to some of you, but to the little girl inside of me who failed every single fitness test in elementary school, this was a small victory.)

Thinking back on that day years ago I realize THIS IS A LOT LIKE THE LIFE OF A BELIEVER.

As a believer, Christ is my sure footing and certainly my strength, but more so I am struck by the lesson that I must KEEP LOOKING UP (to GOD) to face the next challenge that will indeed take me higher if HE is my source of stability.

I should not rely on my weaker self (flesh and self-sufficiency) to get off the ledge and up to the next level.  When I do, I tire quickly; I make poor decisions and get discouraged.

Instead, I need to PUSH UP by faith with my feet firmly planted on the ROCK of CHRIST, considering all HE has done and has promised to do in and through me.  That’s a firm foundation I can count on.

And what about that person with a hand on that rope – that one who ‘has my back’ as I vertically crawl up, and who is there to help me come down off the mountain (or the rock walls of daily challenges)?

Well, maybe that’s the brother or sister in Christ who has the gift of intercession, or teaching, or discernment and similar gifts of the Spirit.  Or possibly, it’s my husband, my spiritual mentors, my small group and faithful prayer partners who remain connected to me AND God with the tethers of empathetic prayers.

Or maybe it’s the Holy Spirit who prays on my behalf when I don’t know what I need.

Thank you, God for the confidence of Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and for those faithful fellow climbers and guides you send my way!  Keep me humble and open to their faithful instruction, and keep me focused on YOU, my sure foothold.

1 Peter 2:6-8
“For in Scripture it says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion,
a chosen and precious cornerstone,
and the one who trusts in him
will never be put to shame.”
Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe,
“The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone,” and,
“A stone that causes men to stumble
and a rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.”

1 Cor. 10:4
“For they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”

October 2, 2008 at 4:05 am

not with wise and persuasive words

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”  1 Corinthians 2:2-5 NIV

Paul pours out his heart in a letter to the communities of the early church . . . and even reading those words thousands of years later I am convicted at the power of his demonstration of HUMILITY and SUBMISSION to God.

What are we doing?!  Why are we really optimizing our websites, and spending hours on self-promotion, flexing our knowledge on social websites, or working on other business development efforts if it’s not IN DEPENDENCE of and FOR THE GLORY of GOD?

I confess my flesh forgets this. I have been guilty of elevating ‘me’ rather than asking God to lift me up if/when necessary to do the work HE has prepared in advance for me.  God help us all walk by faith and not by site. “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:25

September 9, 2008 at 2:38 pm

Is it ‘biblical’ to participate in coaching?

Is Coaching inherently a Judeo-Christian practice? Is it ‘biblical’ to participate in coaching?

Absolutely!  In addition to many of the more commonly quoted scriptures, here are more verses to consider:

“But let all things be done properly and in an orderly manner” (1 Corinthians 14:40)

“For God is not a God of confusion” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

“Prepare plans by consultation” (Proverbs 20:18)

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5)

“Any enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of the facts” (Proverbs 24:3-4, TLB)


Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:13)

Your wisdom matters!

Tell me what  verses you believe support the scriptural basis for coaching

– What characters in the bible come to mind when you think of the ‘first leaders’ of coaching?

“living for the line and not the dot”

JOY & Blessings-

Sandy

August 29, 2008 at 2:51 am Leave a comment

Collaboration – Celebration – The Power of the Body of Christ

“Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

First and foremost, as a Christian coach I feel called to Believe in God and His incredible gifts for those who do choose to believe!

But ‘belief’ is a funny thing. It’s moderated by the mind. Therefore, as a coach who does believe in God our Father, Christ, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit my mission is to

1. Help others test what they entertain in their minds against His Truth so they can walk in peace, patience, kindness, joy, goodness and self-control (see Gal. 5:22) and more easily ‘love God’ and ‘love others’ at work or at home

2. Disciple others in biblical truths and principles in a practical and non- preachy way that brings about personal growth and business transformation

3. Show others how to ‘be self-controlled’ – how to continually exercise free will for the benefit of their mind, body, soul and spirit. I do this by sharing revealing studies from modern science and academic research, and of course, share the wisdom from the worlds’ top selling publication of all time.

Am I not ‘p.c?’ I gear my messages to be inclusive and appropriate for each audience, and pray before each engagement for the ‘right’ words to come through me. In fact, I mostly work with secular groups with diverse personalities and cultures. Many times I have been blessed to to receive several engagements a year from the same organization which allows me to build on God’s life-giving principles, the foundation for my content.

And on that note – diversity. God invented the concept of diverse people working together and all ‘needing’ what the other has to offer. That is what Christians recognize as the Body of Christ. And as a coach and consultant who has been blessed to work with hundreds of clients in recent years, I’ve learned that it takes many different parts of the Body to do the work of helping each of us walk out the calling on our life.

In that spirit, I’m curious to hear from other experienced coaches and how you ‘collaborate’ to offer the best level of discipleship and mentorship and wisdom to those who invest to coach with you.

JOY & Blessings,

Sandy

August 28, 2008 at 10:49 pm Leave a comment