Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Better Story For 2014

H/t to James Clear for the format for this post….

The goal in development this last year is taken from Donald Miller’s A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: the idea is to edit my life into a great story. In reviewing the past year and concurrently setting goals for 2014 the significant questions are:

1. What was accomplished in 2013 that makes for (or leads to) a good story? What went well?
2. What chapters would I leave when I looked at 2013?
3. What accomplishments will be additional good chapters for 2014?

Chapters In A Good Story

Writing: This was my 2nd year of consistent blogging and page views increased significantly! Though I can not measure it I feel that my writing is more concise and my personal editing is better than previous years.

Travel: Mrs. Dillo and I stepped out of our comfort zone and flew into Guatemala. We spent nine days with missionaries that we’d never met. We went into small villages and were embraced by God fearing Mayan’s. Mrs. Dillo ran vision clinics and I helped with construction—both areas skirting the line between comfort zone and total lack of skill/experience zone. The family visited the Sequoia’s and San Diego. As a couple we took a trip to Temecula and toured the wine country.

Cycling: I Participated in a number of rides including The Mile High Century, a 105 mile ride in Lake Almanor, California. It was great to accomplish a ride of this distance but my overall time to complete the ride was slow and disappointing.

Spiritual: Our annual men’s retreat took place in November. By default I ended up point-man on the planning committee; not a goal accomplished but an achievement. During said retreat I was challenged to pray consistently. For half of November and all of December I stopped on the way home from work, read Psalms and prayed. The result has been dynamic in both my attitude and through God’s responding.

I led a number of men’s Bible studies; Ephesians, Galatians and two sessions on forgiveness.

Finished reading The Gulag Archipelago.

What Didn’t Go Well

Spiritual: I attempted to read through the Bible in a year and I’ve read through a small chunk of the Old Testament. Prayer and reading were inconsistent at best.

Bicycling: Didn’t train well for the level of rides I did. Speed training non-existent. Not certain how hard I want to push and train in cycling this year.

Employment: Work is still a struggle. I had plans to research what’ out there and work toward making changes. None of that happened. In the current economy I think I’ll stick it out and wait to hear from God before making a move.

Finances: Still a catastrophe in 2013. The wonderful wife’s perseverance finally paid off and she landed the desired position. This should help getting us back on even keel in 14.

Good Chapters for 2014

Writing: I will resume blogging three times a week. The desire is to push myself with different styles and be willing to risk more. This means some blog posts will be edgier than some may appreciate---the joy of honing the skill will be worth the risk.

Nanorimo: November is National Novel Writing Month so I will be writing a novel.

Photography: My desire is to reacquaint myself with my camera. I am reading some excellent books on lighting and exposure. The challenge will be to find the time and place to shoot more with life and schedule already full.

Spiritual: I will continue to stop and pray on my way home. Will start a journal of prayer requests and answers.

Travel/Training: Beyond the usual summer trips we are committed to attend the Storyline conference this year and work through long range life planning.

Finances: Will pay off THE credit card.

In broad brush strokes those are the main goals (I’ve purposely left off family oriented goals such as time with wife and child) for this year. The hope is that God will reward as He is sought for “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” May the reward be a life and a story that is worth the telling.

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