Time in 2018 is winding down, hopes for 2019 are building and being in the midst of the most festive time of the year, the fourth quarter clock is long forgotten because we have already wrote this year off as a win or a lost. I encourage you, no matter how you feel about where you stand with the clock like I wrote in my last blog entry, He is the God of the fourth quarter and a lot can still be done! The last time out I encouraged you in a nutshell that we still have quite a bit of time left to close out the year strong but, this time around I want to give you some steps to closing out this year successfully and opening 2019 with your best foot forward.
I’m aware of the new year new me mindset but there are so many reasons why new year resolutions are not completed. It is not because they are not effective but rather the strategies employed in getting them done are fruitless. After all, resolutions just boils down to goal setting. There are arguments on both sides on if they work or not, when the real question here is, are you working to get them done? A plan is only as effective as the person’s hand it’s in. As believers we have the best source of principle based knowledge that is proven time and time again once applied.
Here are four end of year productivity solutions:
Consecrate & Concentrate
One of the things that has helped me tremendously over the last two years was this principle of taking time and meditating on what it is that God is requiring of me in the upcoming season of the new year. When it comes to major transitions in our lives, sometimes even though we call Jesus our Lord we still forget to consult Him on lives that we do not even own. Isaiah 55:8-9 says “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
With that being said I would prefer a higher way of thinking and expectation for my new year. The best thing we can do as the year winds down is set aside time periodically and be prayerful about gaining direction and instruction. Before we write all of our wonderful plans and how we want to conquer the world let’s just pause and go to a higher ground. That way the outcome is sure to be blessed.
Fix Your Focus
This is something that I would definitely be noting to self all year long. If you're anything like me sometimes with new opportunities, you can become very ambitious and excited and try to take on the world of things. As I study the lives of successful persons more and more one of the things they all have mastered in the beginning phases of major success was the ability to focus on a few things and master them. The same goes for major companies as well. They get extremely good at very few services or products before they move on to expansion. Amazon mastered ecommerce, Starbucks mastered branded coffee, Apple mastered technology and the list goes on. We hear the myth all the time that if we want to be successful we must expand when the truth of the matter is sometimes we must pull everything in, fix our focus and channel our efforts. The best example of this is Jesus. In thirty-three and a half years of existence He has the greatest impact of any individual in the history of human kind while only conducting public service for three and a half years. Jesus had a fixed focus on earth. In John 9:4, He says that He must do the will of His father. Jesus fixed focus really hit home to me though while reading John 7:4-9. Jesus’ agenda was never rattled or detoured, He lived a focused life despite of the hype surrounding Him. This coming year, there are going to be opportunities to do a lot of things that may seem really good but stick to the plan!
Haul Your Habits
If there is one thing that need to change, it’s not the year it’s your habits. Your habits are what is going to make or break your success. Sometimes we just need to send our whole routine into a drastic shock. I know there is this whole thing about easing into new habits and kind of petting our way into new routines but when we need new results we also need new patterns. It’s too late getting a bad report from the doctor to then decide about changing our eating and exercise habits, it’s a bit too late after the relationship has failed to realize we should pay attention to our significant other more, or receiving a bad report card and decide that we should start studying harder. I know we all make mistakes and I am not excluding our human flaws but many bad results can be avoided if we pay close attention to our daily habits. Some things can be a fall of one bad decision which is a mistake but others that are a result of many poor decisions are a destination. What destinations have you arrived to over the last year? As I studied and research scripture on habits there is nothing specific I found in depth about the topic but as I looked closer I realize that the Bible itself is a book on habits. Giving direction on things you should constantly do and things you should constantly avoid.
Exert Your Energy
As much as I feel that I have went after my purpose, my calling and cultivating my gifts there is still a big part of me that feels like I am still yet to devote my all to it. Whatever it is that God has called you to do, you have to be sold out to it! That’s the only way it is going to get to the level that you envision. Jesus lived out this principle. In Philippians 2:8, Paul outlines that Jesus humbled Himself to death and even to the cross. That’s being sold out and going all the way! Lack of faith in God will cause us to pump the breaks on the things that we know we should be doing in our heart of hearts. Colossians 2:23 encourages us to do things with all our might as we do it unto the Lord. After we have gotten the plan and direction from God, we eliminate all of the extra curriculum focuses and align our habits, the only thing left to do is to exert our energy.
In conclusion, I want to see you do well in 2019. I believe God has so much in store for you and through alignment it can be unlocked. I encourage you to take care of business and sacrifice some time for production in this season so that you can get the most from your fourth quarter.
This study and blog series has been fun sharing with you. I most certainly enjoyed creating this content. Before I go I want to leave you with a few action steps that you can do over the next 30 days.
- Plan a three day fast to receive instruction from the Lord concerning 2019.
- Dedicate 30 mins a day to construct your game plan for 2019.
- Discern three things in your life that’s taking up unnecessary time and space and eliminate them.
- Commit to a year of living completely by faith by exerting your energy in what God has called you to do.
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Shaquille " Young Rev" Hanna
An entrepreneur, youth leader, speaker, blogger, and music artist. Young Rev is a media enthusiast resourcing every medium to Change the Culture for the kingdom. Check out his Soundcloud, Instagram, and Facebook page to stay in touch with him.