Goal Achieving is a Better Plan Than Goal Setting

Too Often Once the Goals Are Planned…We Forget the Achieving Part

This is like having plans to build a building and once you get the blueprint drawn…you stop. You have a picture you can hang on the wall, but the building never gets built.

Having a plan before you start is good, but it’s not enough. If you don’t dig some dirt and drive some nails, nothing is accomplished.

Accomplishing anything requires action and action requires decisions.

This book gives us Seven Decisions shared with David Ponder while on his travels bout how we should live our lives. I review and contemplate these decisions daily.

We’re nearing the end of another year. The closer we get, the more we beat ourselves up because of the things we didn’t get done. It’s easy to get caught up in the things that we didn’t accomplish and overlook the things that we did. We all have visions of what our dream life will look like. This can be frustrating and depressing when things don’t turn out like we planned.

We need to remember that we can’t change the past, only the future. The key is to not give up.

Giving up is like dying while you’re still alive. Don’t give up!

Last week I wrote about how we can use urgency to accomplish more. Urgent things become a higher priority. This moves them up higher on the list. As an example of how this works, let me tell you a story that happened just this morning.

As Katie (my awesome assistant) and I were working on some website things, I realized that I couldn’t log in to the Solution Building site because I had waited too long in setting up my two-factor authentication. This is something that Stacey (my amazing IT person) told me to do a month ago.

This meant that I wasn’t going to be able to publish this week’s solution until I got this taken care of.

As it is with busy people…I kept putting it off to do other things. The level of urgency ramped up though when I couldn’t get into the website. I had to decide what I was going to do. At that point, it became the highest priority.

We all deal with these kinds of choices. The key to accomplishing more is to decide early on what is important and what isn’t. No matter how clear we are on our life and business plans, things are going to happen. Some are within our control, and some aren’t.

The more answers we have to big life question, the easier the smaller questions are to deal with.

Ultimately achieving goals comes down to decisions and deciding is up to us.

As I think about life and decisions, once again, I’m brought back to Andy Andrew’s book, The Traveler’s Gift. I know, I refer to this book a lot. As I was thinking about goals and decisions, I was reminded about the profound impact this book had on my life as I recovered from my concussion.

  • The Responsible Decision

I accept responsibility for my past. I control my thoughts. I control my emotions. I am responsible for my success.


“If decisions are choices…and our thinking dictates our decisions – then we are where we are because of our thinking.”

President Harry S. Truman

  • The Guided Decision

I will be a servant to others. I will listen to the council of wise men. I will choose my friends with care.


“God moves mountains to create the opportunity of His choosing. It is up to you to be ready to move yourself.”

King Solomon

  • The Active Decision

I am courageous. I am a leader. I seize this moment. I choose now.


“My future is immediate. I will grasp it with both hands and carry it with running feet. When I am faced with the choice of doing nothing or doing something, I will always choose to act!”

Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

  • The Certain Decision

I will not wait. I am passionate about my vision for the future. My course has been charted. My destiny is assured.


“Truth is truth. If a thousand people believe something foolish, it is still foolish! Truth is never dependent upon consensus of opinion. I have found that is better to be alone and acting upon the truth in my heart than to follow a gaggle of silly geese doomed to mediocrity.”

Christopher Columbus

  • The Joyful Decision

I will greet each day with laughter. I will smile at every person I meet. I am the possessor of a grateful spirit.


“Our very lives are fashioned by our choices. First we make choices. Then our choices make us.”

Anne Frank

  • The Compassionate Decision

I will forgive even those who do not ask for forgiveness. I will forgive those who criticize me unjustly. I will forgive myself.


“Forgiveness is a secret that is hidden in plain sight. It costs nothing and is worth millions. It is available to everyone and used by few. If you harness the power of forgiveness, you will be sought after and regarded highly. And not coincidentally, you will also be forgiven by others!”

Abraham Lincoln

  • The Persistent Decision

I will continue despite exhaustion. I focus on results. I am a person of great faith.


“Great leaders – great achievers – are rarely realistic by other people’s standards. Somehow, these successful people, often considered strange, pick their way through life ignoring or not hearing negative expectations and emotions. Consequently, they accomplish one great thing after another, never having heard that something cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing!”

Archangel Gabriel

Achieving our goals comes down to decisions.

Starting by deciding what our priorities are.

Deciding to be responsible. Deciding to be wise. Deciding to take action. Deciding to believe in ourselves. Deciding to be happy. Deciding to forgive. Deciding to persist.

How Do I Find Focus When Dealing with Unplanned Chaos?

The Unplanned Part Is What I Struggle with the Most

I like having a well-planned and organized life. Our level of control in a world with so many moving parts is minimal.

Last week I wrote about how when life happens it’s up to us to decide what we’re going to do. The importance of being flexibly rigid when the unplanned happens.

The focus of last week’s post was what I’m going to do about repairing or replacing my truck after being rear ended. When processing this situation last week, I felt confident that we would repair.

In that post I had a list of things that would affect my decision.

The answer to one of those questions has changed everything.

I expected two options from the insurance company. One to pay me and take the truck…I would buy another truck.

Second was pay me, I keep the truck and repair it. This was my preference and my plan…until I got their offer.

The price difference was staggering. I still haven’t figured out how they arrived at these amounts.

  • $18,449.00 – they take the truck
  • $8,832.17 – I keep the truck and repair it

That’s almost a $10,000 difference. It seems clear what the best choice is.

The problem now…the unplanned chaos.

With me being a planner and liking things organized…this is a problem. Before hearing from the insurance company yesterday, I had a clear plan of how I was going to move forward.

Everything changed after that call.

Since that call, I’ve struggled to stay focused on the things that I normally would and should be focused on.

For example, this morning it took me twice as long to do my daily Bible reading. My mind kept wondering…what am I going to do about a truck. This afternoon I was taking an escrow payment to the title company and walked several buildings past theirs…I was thinking about trucks. I get sidetracked when starting a new task, because…I’m off in truck land.

Then there is the time needed to search for a truck. As particular as I am about my vehicles this isn’t a simple process.

Of course, with the way things are currently, used truck prices are crazy….am I going to be able to afford it? Not to mention that good clean used trucks are hard to find.

One of the things on my list today was to write this week’s solution. I started working on it yesterday afternoon, but was having trouble focusing (I kept thinking about the truck). This morning I kicked around some other ideas, but I was having trouble focusing (I kept getting sidetracked thinking about a truck).

That’s when I decided to just write about it.

My hope is to accomplish a couple of things with this. First, that it will help me work through this problem toward a solution. Second, I will at least get this weekly solution written.

In addition, maybe it will help you if you’re working through a similar situation.

Life is going to give us times of chaos. It’s up to you to work through it however works best for you.

You have control over your thoughts and actions. Take control!

I will keep you posted on the truck situation as it unfolds.

It’s Up to You to Decide Where You’ll Live


This Is A Tale of Two Cities




Are you happy with where you live? It matters less whether it’s in the country or in town, whether it’s a huge mansion or a one room apartment.


What does matter is whether it’s the City of God or the city of man.

Just like the famous first line of Charles Dicken’s, A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” life can be good, or life can be hard. We often are faced with difficult circumstances, the important thing for us is to not suffer through it alone.

The city of man drives us apart, the City of God brings us together.

Many of us don’t know anything about our neighbors, even when living in close proximity. While technology has in some ways made us more connected, in many ways it has caused us to be more separated. This is not how it is in God’s City.

While living in the city of man we often think we have all the answers. Expecting humanity to save itself is an unrealistic expectation. Just like in the poem The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, we think we shouldn’t have to work so hard. If we use what limited knowledge we have, we can find a short cut. Just like in the story, we need to do our part and leave the “magic power” to the Master.


Beautiful as the physical City of God is, as described in Revelations 21:10-14, 22-23, the real beauty is the spiritual aspect. This sense of community and the way people treat each other is the amazing thing. We can have a small portion of God’s City here and now, it’s up to us to choose.


Being a citizen of the City of God, comes with a work visa to the city of man.

This is the only way to have a dual citizenship. Pick which city you’re going to call home.

Every Minute of Every Day We Make One Decision After Another


It’s Like Playing A Non-Stop Game of Would You Rather

Most everyone is familiar with the game “Would You Rather.” This is a game in which the players are asked questions that compare two different scenarios and are asked to choose which of the two they would rather do. These questions can vary from simple to the complicated.

Would you rather…

  • Spend a day in the Sahara Desert or Spend a day at the North Pole


  • Have the ability to fly or Be invisible
  • End hunger or End hatred


This game isn’t any different than everyday life. We are faced with choices every minute of every day. Some of these choices are small and simple, some are important and carry major consequences.

Would I rather…

  • Eat this or Eat that
  • Wear this or Wear that
  • Drive this route or Drive that route
  • Go in debt to buy a new car or Save my money and drive something older
  • Take this job that pays well but requires me to sacrifice my morals or Take that job that pays considerably less but allows me to be true to my principles

This past week an either-or situation was in the forefront of my decision making and was a part of multiple conversations.

I was faced with a situation of needing to keep a construction project moving forward or doing proposals that customers were eagerly waiting for. Not to mention all the other everyday business responsibilities of running a company.

The construction project was behind schedule due to weather delays and next week’s forecast showed the possibility of more rain. The subcontractor was behind on other projects of his own due to the weather. The sub said he could get there but was going to be shorthanded.


The “would you rather” question arose for me when he jokingly suggested I come on site and help. I could dust off my tool belt and go spend a couple of days swinging a hammer or I could work on the things I had already scheduled to do.

The sub was surprised when I showed up with my tool belt on.

Was it the right decision? I think so, other than being a little sore after framing for a couple of days, we moved the project forward and this was important.


Every day we are confronted with hundreds of these choices some big and some small. It’s easy for some of us to spend more time than we should when making decisions, we want to make the best ones. Sometimes when spending too much time trying to make the right one, we have inadvertently made the wrong one.

Little decisions shouldn’t require too much contemplation. Bigger more important ones are a different story. The important thing is to know yourself. Know what you need to make the best decision possible and have those tools in place when you make that next big decision.

One of the best toolboxes I have found for being prepared to make decisions is Andy Andrews’ book “The Traveler’s Gift. In this book Andy gives seven life principles that successful people throughout history implemented at times when they were making crucial decisions.

Would you rather…
Know how to make better decisions? or Guess at making decisions and take a chance?


We Can Choose to Be Thankful





But It’s Up to Us to Decide

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving holiday for US. This brings the topic of giving thanks to the forefront of our thoughts. These discussions are every where and for a variety of reasons. Some are as simple as to remind us to be thankful. Some are using this as a marketing plan.

I received a lot of different Thanksgiving themed emails over the last week. Many had fantastic thanks giving messages. One was from one of my favorite authors, Andy Andrews. It was his weekly podcast titled, “A Thanksgiving State of Mind”. In this podcast Andy shares a story about finding thankfulness when you’ve lost your grateful spirit.

My fondness for Andy started with the reading of his book, “The Traveler’s Gift”. This book is about how one man’s choices made the difference between success and failure. I read it a little under six years ago while recovering from a concussion. I attribute much of my increased level of giving thanks to the connection I found with this story and my injury. It gave me a new appreciation for the gift of life that we have been given. Much of this improved awareness I can attribute to the “Seven Decisions” in the “Traveler’s Gift”.



Being THANKFUL is a CHOICE we make. We can DECIDE how we are going to live.



The Thanksgiving holiday in the United States started being officially celebrated in 1789, as proclaimed by George Washington. It was to commemorate the Pilgrims giving thanks for the harvest in 1621. We all have things to be thankful for. We just need to slow down long enough to think about it and to remember.


Why is it important to give thanks? – If we are giving thanks, we are acknowledging that there is someone to give thanks to. This acknowledgement is critical to our living a well-focused life. This is the understanding that everything we have and everything that we are comes from God.


Kenneth Copeland lists 5 benefits of thanks giving as:

  1. Thanksgiving brings God on the scene – Entering into thanksgiving you invite God’s presence into your life.
  2. Thanksgiving puts challenges in perspective – It reminds us of how powerful God is.
  3. Thanksgiving focuses your mind on the right subject – It helps us refocus our attention on the One who is greater than every challenge.
  4. Thanksgiving strengthens your faith – It reminds us of all that God has done and all that He will do.
  5. Thanksgiving is a weapon against the enemy’s maneuvers – When giving God praise our enemies will be turned back.

We have the “super-power” of choice at our discretion. We can choose to be THANKFUL or not. By choosing to GIVE THANKS we unleash God’s benefits in our lives and to all of those we connect with.

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that you will remember to give thanks all year long.