The one reason nothing comes of those resolutions (and a solution.)

So, did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? I stopped some years back once I figured out I rarely kept them. I don’t think that New Year’s resolutions are bad. They are value neutral. Resolutions, goals, dreams, and aspirations on their own aren’t good nor bad. Their value is more dependant on what you do about them.

“Do you have anything you want to achieve this year?”

So, I don’t make resolutions on New Year’s Eve anymore. But, I do make plans. I don’t always think in calendar years, but there are some things I would like to accomplish between now and the end of the year 2018. Do you have anything you want to achieve this year? I hope so. Maybe you just wish to make it through 2018. Well, even that is going to take some planning.

I believe it was a consultant who once said, “Anything worth doing is worth creating a GANTT chart, timeline, and a clear list of achievable objectives.” That doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker.

But seriously, if I don’t know where I am going, where will I end up?

Many of us are more prone to action than to planning. But planning is often one of the most difficult and rewarding things we can do. Then again, some of us love planning but never get around to hitting the play button.


The One Thing

What do you want to accomplish in 2018? What do you want to be different next New Year’s Eve? Answering that question is an excellent first step. But you won’t get there if you don’t figure out your next move.

Not knowing your next step – that is the one reason nothing comes of those resolutions

I wouldn’t mind losing ten pounds this year. Now that I am in my mid-forties, that isn’t something that is likely to happen just by thinking about it. The second step is getting out of my chair, and I am not feeling up to that right now.

“Deciding is an essential first step. But what is the second step? If you don’t know, you likely won’t take it.”

The Fatal Flaw

I published a piece in December about making communications resolutions for churches. In writing this post, I realized there was a fatal flaw in that piece that could keep anyone from actually doing any of the five things I recommended. I wrote what I thought churches should do but I didn’t give the next step. You could read that piece and decide that your congregation is going to cut the communications clutter, update your website, add online giving, upgrade your email system, or start live streaming your worship services. Deciding is an essential first step. But what is the second step? If you don’t know, you likely won’t take it.

Let’s look at updating a church’s website. There are some readers of this blog who could just sit down at their computer and do that. Most readers have some more steps in front of them. I know that is true because I talk to church people every day that want to update their site but find out it is not that simple. I have helped countless churches deal with the fact that no one knows how to log onto the website to make changes. Sometimes decisions need to made about whether to stick with an old, dysfunctional site or start fresh with a new provider. Then, someone has to figure out what will go on the updated website. Then, there is the hunt for the actual information. And what if you want pictures? Who is going to take them? Do we have photo releases? Do we seriously not have a photo of the church somewhere?

If you wanted to get that website updated this year, it would be worth your time to make a plan. Figure out all the steps to get that done. Think about how long it will take to complete each phase. Write all this down. You now have a plan. You can count that as step two.

My New Goal

So now I have a new goal. I am going to revisit those five communications resolutions and offer some second, third, and maybe forth steps.

So, if you are thinking of cutting the communications clutter at your church, updating your website, adding online giving, upgrading your email system, or live streaming your worship services, stay tuned. Some next steps are on the way.

In the meantime, what resolution or goal do you have for 2018? Share it in the comments. Who knows? Someone might be able to help you figure out the next step.




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