Decide How It Goes

With 2023 just a couple of hours away, consider this thought:  You get to decide how the new year goes for you.  That’s a pretty empowering statement!

Yes, we all know that things will occur that we did not choose, that will adversely impact us.  That’s just part of the deal for waking up with a pulse. 

However, we do get the privilege of choosing:

  • Our attitude
  • The speech we use
  • The thoughts we think
  • The actions we take
  • What we want to achieve this year
  • Who we spend our time with
  • What we learn and how we apply it
  • The kind of person we want to be during the next 12 months

So, remember throughout 2023, that we’re not just buckled into an uncontrollable year-long rollercoaster ride.  Rather, we are in the driver seat of our lives, and can steer it any direction we want in the coming year.

Let’s make choices in 2023 that put us in position on 12/31/2023 to look back and say, “That was a great year!”


Make the Call

On Thursday evening, my wife and I were scheduled to go to one of those painting classes where the instructor has a picture on display and walks everyone through how to paint it.  We’ve been to a similar class together and really enjoyed it!  We were looking forward to that being the start to our Christmas time off.  However, Thursday evening was when the threats of freezing rain were to come to fruition in our area.  

About 90 minutes before we were to go, I was out checking the street and sidewalks to see how much ice had already built up.  They were starting to get slick, and only forecast to get worse, but it felt like we would be able to make it.  For several minutes I went back and forth on whether or not we just go, or stay off the worsening roads.  About an hour before the class, we made the call to stay home.

Although we were disappointed not to be going, I’m glad we made the choice to stay off the roads.  It was the right choice, but that doesn’t mean it was pleasant to make. 

We often have choices that we know we need to make, but we delay, either because we don’t want to make the call, or we’re feeling pressured to make a choice contrary to the one we know we should make.  In those situations, it’s good to pause, ask ourselves what that wise choice is, and make the call. 

Are there any calls you need to make?


As the end of the year rolls around, many of us start thinking about goals for the upcoming year.  While I believe goas are important (and I like having goals) my greater focus is on what kind of person I want to become in the years ahead.

As someone who plays electric bass, I want to become a musician who has a strong grasp of bass playing fundamentals and music theory, and can easily apply them to songs I play.  If this is what I want to become, then there are certain behaviors I need to engage in to cause me to become this type of musician.   

For example, I need to:

  • Constantly practice the bass playing fundamentals
  • Study music theory
  • Listen to other bass players and analyze what they’re doing in their playing
  • Attend concerts to expose myself to other bass playing styles
  • Apply what I’m learning to my own playing

As a follower of Jesus, I want to become a person whose life reflects what it looks like to be a true follower of Jesus.  In order to become this type of person, I’ll need to:

  • Read my Bible on a daily basis to I can be familiar with Jesus’s teaching
  • Put into practice what I learn
  • Make prayer a significant event throughout every day
  • Spend time in quiet self-reflection  
  • Be attentive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in my life, and respond accordingly.

For me, the focus on “becoming” is directed toward ensuring my behaviors each day are consistent with what it is I want to become.  It’s a great barometer for making sure I’m spending my days wisely, and that they’ll take me where I want to go.

So, what kind of person do you want to become?  Now the important question:  what do you need to do today to become that person?

Thinking With Others  

 “None of us is as smart as all of us.”  ~Ken Blanchard

I’m working on a data visualization project at work with another person who also has a background in data.  After I first meeting, I knew I was going to like working with this person.

For starters, they had ideas about what they wanted to see in the visualization, and the questions they were hoping the visualization would answer.  What really impressed me about this person was that they were also willing to have their ideas built upon.

They’d throw and idea out, then I’d come back with and idea to build the idea they had proposed, and vice versa.  The end result of this “idea tennis match” was that we came up with some great visuals that will be useful for the folks in our organization that will ultimately consume this data.  In addition, it was fun to challenge each other with new thoughts.

I think it’s important to keep Ken Blanchard’s quote in mind, as well as keeping ourselves open to having our ideas stretched by other people.  Doing so exposes our ideas to the potential of becoming great ideas.

Bridging Gaps

When my wife and I both started working from home a couple of years ago, we thought it would be fun once in a while, to take a quick break during the workday and run down to the local coffee shop to pick up a drink together.   We finally did that last Thursday.  It was a quick fun trip, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why it took us so long to finally make it happen.

The gap between intention and reality is interesting to me, because the easiest way I’ve found to bridge a gap like that is to just take action and cause something to happen.  This can range from simply saying to your spouse, “Hey, do you want to run down to the coffee shop and get a drink”.  For larger intentions, it may be taking the first step of many, to put yourself on course to bridge whatever gap you face.  The important thing seems to be to just take action.

Be on the lookout for areas in your life, whether big or small, where you’re facing a gap between what you’d like and what’s actually happening.  When you notice a gap, consider what action you could take to help you bridge that gap. 

Then, take that step.