Category Archives for "resolutions"

How I Plan To Hit My Targets This Year


I have big plans for 2016.

I have a lot on my list of things to do, and it seems like my schedule is packed.

How will I get it all done?

I had the privilege of meeting with a coach last week, and we talked about the challenge of trying to fit it all into the time I have this year.

We all have the same amount of time.  We have 24 hours in a day.  We have 168 hours in a week.  We have 52 weeks in a year.  And this is the same for everyone.  President Obama has this amount of time.  Bill Gates has this amount of time.  You have this amount of time.  And I have this amount of time.

With this time we have choices to make.  How will we use the time?  What will stay in our schedules?  What will we remove from our schedules?

Reaching your targets for 2016 requires you to make choices.

And this is true for me.

As I said before, I have big plans for 2016, and this means I have some choices to make.

For most of last year, I posted here 5 days a week.  I felt like I needed to be consistent by posting every day Monday through Friday.  This was good, but I only have a limited amount of time to write (and to do other things).  Writing has become an important part of my life.  I have some specific goals related to my writing that I want to achieve this year, but I won’t be able to meet these targets without making some changes.

With this in mind, you may see some changes to my posting patterns over the next few months.  I will still post here regularly, but I will also be using some of my writing time to go after some other things (more on that to follow).

I’m learning that sometimes less is required for more.  And maybe this is what you need to come to terms with this year.

What changes do you need to make to your schedule and your current commitments in order to reach your goals this year?

STRETCH into the new year!

STRETCH into the new year!

Posted by Jon Stolpe on Friday, January 1, 2016

How To Set Right-Sized Goals


If your goals don’t scare you, you aren’t thinking big enough.

Michael Hyatt

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

H. Jackson Brown

The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them.

Jim Rohn

Like many of you, I have been doing a lot of thinking about my goals for 2016 and my dreams for the future.  I’m thinking about where I want to be this time next year.  I’m thinking about various aspects of my life where I want to focus – family, finances, faith, fitness, career, etc.  And I’m taking time to write things down.  Sometimes I wonder if my goals and dreams are the right size.

Are your dreams big enough?

Are you setting goals that will stretch you to become a better person and accomplish more in 2016?

I think many of us fall into the trap of being too safe.  We are too timid with the plans we make for ourselves.  We must learn to be courageous dreamers.

I’m all about setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive), but I think we too often underestimate what is attainable and realistic.

As you ponder your goals and dreams for the future, I challenge you to look at these two verses:

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of prayer in laying out your plans.  Without God, our plans will ultimately fail.

The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.  Proverbs 16:9

How do you know your goals and dreams are the right size?

For excellent reading on goal-setting, check out these articles:

Are You Fully Committed To Achieving Your Goals?

all in

I go to the gym on a daily basis.  I’m there for an hour, and my workout routine typically includes 40 minutes of cardiovascular training and 20 minutes of strength training in the wellness center.

When my workout is done, I sometimes stop to look into the basketball gym before heading out for the rest of my day.  There is always a group of guys playing basketball.  I used to play with these guys.  In fact, I was one of the original two founding members of the early morning basketball games.  I’m pretty sure my friend, Joe, and I started playing over ten years ago.  We would usually play once a week.  Eventually, other guys started coming into the gym to play with us.  Before we knew it, we had enough guys for a full court game.  Then we added more and split into two games going on simultaneously.

I stopped playing several years ago when I sprained my ankle one too many times and my lower back “complained” too much about the pain caused by playing.  It was a hard decision as I have always loved the game of basketball, but I needed to modify my workout routine to keep me healthy for running and for life.

Yesterday as I was leaving the gym, I looked through the window into the basketball gym just a little too long.  The guys waved me in as they needed one more guy to even up the teams.  Before I knew it, I was running full-court four-on-four basketball.  Despite my running shoes and my rustiness, I was able to keep up and contribute to the game.  After fifteen minutes of playing, it was time to head home so I could get ready for work.

When I arrived home to shower before work, I was floating.  I’m pretty sure I was smiling ear to ear when I told Leanne I had done something crazy at the gym that morning.

If you look back to the first Ice Breaker of the year, you may remember I set a fitness goal for 2015.  The goal was to dunk a basketball by the end of 2015.  Since writing that post on in early January, I have discovered that achieving this goal is going to take a much bigger effort than I could have ever imagined.  Besides adding a few pounds over the past few years, I have lost a lot of my explosive leg lifting strength as a result of focusing on running for so long.  My first efforts to dunk earlier this year were embarrassing and enlightening.  Dunking used to be pretty easy, but now it was next to impossible.

In March, I started adding consistent strength training to my morning workout routine.  Once I started working on my legs, I could see how much work I had ahead of me.  I am noticing improvement, but I still have a lot of leg strength to rebuild before my goal will be achieved.

As I ran back and forth on the basketball court yesterday, I tried to be careful not to turn my ankles as running shoes are not ideal for playing basketball.  When I left the gym, I started to consider the possibility of purchasing a pair of basketball shoes.  This would be an investment for sure.

Achieving our goals requires investment and sacrifice especially if they are stretch goals.  Making the necessary investment into achieving your goal will help you cross the line from casual pursuit to all-out commitment.  I’m guessing basketball shoes will cost $100.  If I make this purchase, I will be making a statement.  I will be telling myself and the rest of the world (for those who care) that I am serious about dunking a basketball again.

We can talk the talk, but it doesn’t mean anything unless we walk the talk.

Looking back on the goals you set at the beginning of the year, how are you doing?  What investment have you made to take your goal pursuit to the next level?

Take Time To Avoid Derailing From The Right Track


We are nearly one-quarter of the way through the year.

Did you set goals at the beginning of the year?

Are you still on target to meet your goals?  Or have you begun to fall off the tracks?

If you are like most people, your goals are most likely in jeopardy of falling by the wayside if you don’t do something now to refocus.

I can say this, because I feel this way about my goals right now.  I started off with the best of intentions, and I’ve been able to stay on track for the most part with what I started out to accomplish this year.  However, I can feel the pressure of work and family demands.  My energy level is starting to dwindle as I cope with longer hours at work and busy evenings.

I want to stay on track, but there is also a rising tendency to just let things go.

It can become easy to let yourself get distracted at times like this.  I’m facing this even as I prepare today’s post.

There are times when it may be a good thing to let go of some of your man-made goals, but I also believe that many of the targets we set at the beginning of the year are still worth pursuing.

We must fight to stay on track!

We must regain the excitement of going after the goals we set in late December or early January.  This applies to our fitness targets, our financial targets, our family targets, and our faith targets.

Take time today to review your 2015 goals.  What needs to go?  And what is worth keeping?  Now get back on track and keep your eyes focused on the prize ahead.

OnTrack3dCover04132014If you are looking for encouragement on your journey to stay on track, check out my book, On Track: Life Lessons from the Track & Field.  The book is available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle.

In regards to your 2015 goals, how are you doing?  What step can you take today to get back on track?

Goals – Reflect and Revision


What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

Henry David Thoreau

This is one of my favorite times of the year.

Besides taking several days off between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, I get to spend more time with my family.  We’ll be traveling out to Western PA to celebrate with my wife’s family.  I also like this time, because it gives me time to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the year ahead.

I’m a big goal setting person.  It helps me to stay on task with stretching towards things that keep me growing and learning.

For example, my 2014 goal list included exercising 250 days, running 1500 miles, and writing a book about track and field.  Today, I will hit my 250th day of exercise.  I am just 10 miles shy of my mileage goal, so I should surpass that later this week.  And I wrote and self-published my first book, On Track: Life Lessons from the Track & Field in April.

There were a few goals I didn’t reach, and I’m okay with this.

I’ll be reviewing my list, and making new ones in the next week and a half.

I think it’s good to have goals, but it’s also good to frame them from the right mindset.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.  Proverbs 16:9

I want my goals to be in-line with bringing glory to God.  I think he wants us to stretch and grow personally, and I think he wants to draw us closer to Him.

As we approach the year ahead, this is a great time to sit down, reflect, and revision the year ahead.

Be intentional about the year ahead.  Live your life on purpose.  Set goals, and go after them!

Are you planning to set goals for 2015?  What is one of your goals for the year ahead?  How did you do on your goals for 2014?

Go To Guatemala With Me In 2014!

Guatemala 2013 615

This is a time when people are setting goals and planning vacations for the new year.  I’m looking forward to new goals and new beginnings in 2014.  I want to challenge you to consider a goal/vacation trip.  Why not go to Guatemala with our family in 2014?

Our family is starting to plan a return to Guatemala.

Here are the rough details:

End of July or Beginning of August 2014

Fly into and Guatemala City from your city

Serve in and around Xenacoj (this could be a mix of feeding children, visiting widows, construction, or other forms of serving).  I can’t tell you exactly what we’ll be doing yet, but I’m sure it will be life changing for you and for those in Guatemala.

Approximate cost is $1,300 to $1,500 per person.  This includes your airfare, expenses in Guatemala (food, transportation, shelter), and travel insurance.  You’ll need a passport (which could add to the cost if you don’t have a current passport).

If you’re interested in hearing more, leave a comment.  I’ll touch base with you with more information.

Here are two highlight videos to wet your appetite.  The first video highlights our family’s trip in 2013.  The second video highlights my first trip to Guatemala in 2012.

Ice Breaker – Resolutions

Okay, here it is!  The last ice breaker question of 2011!  I started these ice breaker questions a couple of months ago, and I’ve been amazed at the popularity and response.  The Ice Breaker question a few weeks ago about Christmas movies is one of the top posts all-time on The Stretched Blog.  For those of you who are new or who forgot, ice breaker questions are used to help people get to know each other – to “break the ice” so to speak.  I love hearing what other people have to say and how they think.  So for today, I’m excited to throw out another simple New Year’s themed ice breaker question.  I’ll answer it first, then it’s your turn.  Answer the question by leaving a comment for us all to enjoy.  Thanks!

Question:  Do you make New Year’s resolutions?  If so, what’s one of your New Year’s resolutions? If not, why?

My Answer:  Here you go….

If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have noticed or you may have heard me share that I’m a goal oriented person.  I love to set goals and to see where they take me.  So…it shouldn’t be a surprise that I like the opportunity to set new goals for the year ahead.  I usually set personal fitness goals, spiritual growth goals, leadership goals, church goals, marriage goals, family goals, financial goals, and personal growth goals.  I’ll share a goal from my personal growth area.  I’d like to read at least one book per month in 2012.  For the avid readers out there, this doesn’t sound very challenging.  But I’m not the average avid reader, I’m pretty slow and deliberate with my reading.  So reading one book per month will be a decent challenge.  I am currently reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, and I think I may finish this before the new year, so this doesn’t count.  I’m looking to focus my reading in a few areas:  small groups, leadership, and spiritual growth.  I couple books that I’m looking forward to reading this year are:  Community Is Messy (a soon to be released book by Heather Zempel), Community:  Taking Your Small Group Off Of Life Support by Brad House, and EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey.

So there you have it, my answer to the question.  Now it’s your turn….I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got to say!