Letter from my dad, 1989

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dadquote1989I’m feeling a little sentimental as I write this tonight, so instead of issuing some goal-setting challenge as we prepare for the new year or bragging about how I actually lost weight over the Thanksgiving weekend (trust me, it had been going the other way for several weeks, so I was due for some good news), I thought I’d share something incredibly special to me.

letterfromdad1989_pg1

letterfromdad1989_pg2Here’s what I wrote a few minutes ago in a “get organized”-type private Facebook group I’m a part of:

“This is what happens when you start mining through the detritus of your life. You find diamonds under all that dirt.

Thing 1: I found this letter today while clearing out old file boxes. My dad wrote it in 1989, around the time I graduated from college and was preparing to spend 2 months as a summer missionary in Guatemala. He didn’t finish the letter before I graduated, and he wrote on it some more while I was in Guatemala. We found the letter – still attached to the legal pad – after he died (Dec. 23, 1997), and then it was lost again in a bunch of file boxes. Until today.

Thing 2: A few days ago in a short burst of decluttering, I found a poem Dad wrote me for my birthday many years ago. I may post it tomorrow (my birthday) on my blog or my social media (we’ll see).

Thing 3 (but really it is the MAIN thing): God is GOOD, and he’s good ALL THE TIME. This has been a stressful year for my family, with accidents, illness, financial hardship and [other things]. My dad wrote a TON of stuff (I got my love of reading and writing from him), but these two gems were written specially for me. They give me such a feeling of being loved – by my earthly dad and my heavenly dad. If you’ve kept reading this far 🙂 thank you, and I hope it has inspired you to #bebrave and keep digging!”

So … normally I’d try to end this with some type of life lesson or challenge, but I’m going to let you come up with your own take-away. We all know we should embrace our loved ones more often and tell them how we feel. And, as we’ve just come off of Thanksgiving, we’ve read all the “I’m grateful for” posts – and that’s wonderful. (I even have a “gratitude partner,” and we email each other a list every day.)

But tonight I’m letting you enjoy the rest of your weekend guilt-free and full of my gratitude that you’re a reader here, whether regularly or sporadically. Until next time …

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Finish strong this year and get a head start on 2017

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nietzsche-claireequote2016 has been a year of challenges for my family.

Without boring you with the details, I’ll just say that, if Nietzsche and Ms. Clairee were right, I should be able to bench-press a couple of tons by now.

It’s been a tough few months.

A year ago, I set out to make 2016 my best year ever. Did I?

I’m still working on it. (I have a few weeks to go, though. Don’t write me off just yet!)

The good news? I can make a fresh start any time I want. I got off track on some of the goals I set, but I’ve decided that I’m not going to waste the last few weeks of the year in disappointment and regret. I’m using the next 40 days to:

  • Review where I am right now (the good and the not so good, the wins and the losses).
  • Refresh my commitment to those areas where I drifted off course.
  • Focus on what’s truly important.
  • Set myself up for a phenomenal 2017.
  • Finish the year STRONG!

When I set my 2016 goals a year ago (personal, professional, physical, financial and spiritual), I had significant help. I’ve been following Michael Hyatt for about a year and a half, ever since a friend from church recommended him. Since then, I’ve been somewhat of a Michael Hyatt evangelist.

Why? Because every piece of his content I’ve consumed (blog posts, podcast episodes, online courses, his Platform University and his books – most recently Living Forward) is topnotch. He embodies quality, integrity and commitment – values that draw me to him as a person and a brand. He helps me see the positive side of … well, just about everything. And he has given me some of the most meaningful phrases I use to motivate myself. (My favorite? Remember Your Why.)

So, how did Michael Hyatt help me set goals for 2016?

Among other things, it was his course called “5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.” The course included a workbook and video instruction from Michael. He helps you lay out a plan for visualizing where you want to be and how to get there.

I’ll tell you more about that later, because the 2017 version of “Best Year Ever” is coming soon. But first I want to let you know about a FREE ebook that is available to you starting tomorrow, Nov. 21. (Don’t worry; I’ll email you a link tomorrow – to be sure you get the link, provide your name and email address in the turquoise and gray “Subscribe to” form on this page.)

The book is called Achieve What Matters in 2017: 8 Strategies Super-Successful People are Using Now to Accomplish More Next Year.

You’ll recognize the names of a lot of the people Michael interviewed for the book: Dave Ramsey, Lysa TerKeurst, John Maxwell, Andy Stanley, Tony Robbins, Lewis Howes and many more. These high achievers shared their strategies for setting up the new year for success.

I got a preview copy of the book and read it over the weekend. It’s pretty good, my friends! This book will prime you for your “Best Year Ever” and whet your appetite for what the course will help you accomplish.

TOMORROW: Download the ebook (when you get my email), and get ready to hear more from me in the days to come about “5 Days to Your Best Year Ever.”

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