This past year was nothing like I imagined it would be. In some strange way, I’m thankful for that. Most of all, I am thankful for you – my community of brothers & sisters in Christ, readers, creators, and doers who encouraged me all along the way.
In this post I want to invite you in, behind-the-scenes, to get a picture of what I accomplished, the goals I hit as well as the ones I missed, and what to keep an eye out for in 2019.
This Year’s Theme
If I had to label this year with a theme it would be the following: The Year of Healing.
As many of you know, I ended 2017 with a host of strange medical issues which progressed to the point of me having to temporarily leave my full-time job at the university and take medical/disability leave for 3 full months.
It was honestly the scariest thing I’ve ever been through. BUT it also highlighted the destructive patterns I had allowed to creep into my life. Unhealthy eating habits, unhealthy stress reliefs, unhealthy thought patterns – and so much more went through a terrible unraveling.
All of me was laid open this year. After a thorough “cleaning”, and with God’s grace, we stitched back together what remained and created the me that is writing this to you today.
A better, stronger, truer David.
This is the path I needed to be on. I wish I didn’t have to go through so much pain to get here, but let’s be honest – my stubbornness typically only responds to tough-love!
Let me begin this review with 3 things I learned about healing.
Healing is a process. Every day you are either growing closer to the mind, body, spirit, life you want – or further from it. Every decision is a step in one direction. Don’t think the small things don’t count because those are what count the most.
Healing requires help. 2018 was humbling in many ways, but more than anything it forced me to ask for help in more ways, and more often, than I ever had in the past. If you truly want to repair or improve some area of your life, you’re absolutely going to need help to do it well.
True healing is holistic. Everything is connected: our diet affects our emotions which dictate our actions. Our actions influence our thoughts and words. And our words shape our lives in a million different ways. If one area of your life is causing you serious trouble, it’s likely that thing is merely a symptom of a deeper issue. Do the deep work if you want true healing.
*Total includes Paid and Free eBooks as well as Paperbacks.
2018 Success and Failures
This is one area I have had to give myself a lot of grace on. If you keep reading, I think you’ll understand.
Failures: Everything I had planned.
I can’t even begin to list all the things that didn’t go as planned this year – from my initial Teachable course stalling out, to being too sick to write the books I wanted, to losing all momentum on my journey to become a full-time author. It was rough. But I am of the firm belief that Life Happens For Me, Not To Me. So I choose to see this past year not as a series of fails, but as a series of I learned froms. It’s these broken pieces which will allow me to build the 2019 of my dreams.
Success 1: Reevaluating my focus.
While I was thinking of what to write for the annual review, I thought about something I honestly hadn’t before. What would I have accomplished and where would I be if I hadn’t gotten ill?
I don’t know. But I don’t think I want to know either. I wasn’t on a healthy path. My life wasn’t headed in the best of directions. And my relationship with God was frail as best.
This year strong-armed me into focusing on my health. As I climbed my way back into normalcy, I was very careful to measure what else I gave my focus to. Health was my priority, so everything else took a backseat. And now that I am healthy, I am learning to protect my focus because it really is the lifeblood of effective creativity (which I believe is the gifting and ministry God has blessed me with).
Success 2: Deepening the connection with my audience.
An unforeseen benefit of this year was having the opportunity to listen in a way I hadn’t before. Being sick and stuck on the couch for weeks (and months) on end does something to your perspective. The first few days I was antsy. I wanted to push myself back into health. Over time, I understood the importance of deep rest for my body and mind.
It was in that place of rest where I opened myself up to the stories of those who have read my books, responded to my emails, and mailed me hand-written letters. They were beautiful. So many of them were going through struggles I could hardly imagine enduring. Yet they had hope. Hope, in some small way, fueled by the words God had given me to write.
So there I was, catching hope from people who had once caught hope from me. Grace is cyclical and I expect you’ll hear more on this in my writing this year.
Lessons Learned in 2018
Pay attention to the voices you allow into your life.
This is everything – all the wisdom I gained last year boiled down into a single sentence. You will believe the beliefs you feed, for better or worse. This concept is also the heart of my newest book Magnetic Faith. I really can’t stress enough how seriously I take this idea now. If you want real change in your life, pay attention to the voices you are allowing in.
Your actions must match your goals.
You would think this would be common sense. But so many people act in ways precisely contrary to what they want! If you want to write a book, choosing not to write is the exact opposite of what you need to do – and yet that is exactly what so many of my friends and followers choose when they allow excuses or distractions to dictate their priorities.
If you act in accordance with your goals, you will achieve them. Every. Single. Time.
What’s To Come in 2019
A few of the items on my mental plate have to remain under wraps for the time being. However, I promise if you jump over and subscribe to my email list you’ll be the first to know.
Before I list out the main things to look for in this coming year, I will explain one major change I have implemented in my goals planning. Instead of trying to map out exactly what the entire year will look like, I am breaking up the year into quarterly goal segments.
All of my focus and effort is based purely upon the next 3 months and the 2 things I want to accomplish during that time. Nothing else is allowed to fill my head during that time. Then, at the end of Q1, I will evaluate what worked, what didn’t, and what more Q2 focus should be moving forward.
I heard this method talked about on a podcast. The author explained it as essentially taking your annual goals and shrinking them into a 3-month period so that every calendar year you could basically accomplish 4 “years” worth of goals. If you’re familiar with Parkinson’s Law, then this should sound familiar to you.
With my health on point and my focus intact, I’m ready to accomplish everything God has strengthened me to do!
Quarter 1 Goals
Grow My Facebook Ad Agency
Managing social media accounts for local businesses was actually one of my first businesses back in 2015. The work was fun and I was very good at it. However, the opportunity took a backseat when I began seminary and made that my priority.
As 2018 drew to a close and I thought about what I really want to accomplish in 2019, one of my realizations was that a more flexible position would allow me to write more (both in volume and consistency). My current job is limiting in a lot of ways, so I have decided that my focus will shift to reengaging these skills and growing the opportunity into something very substantial.
If you connect with me on LinkedIn, you’ll have a front-row seat to these changes. Otherwise, you’ll be able to celebrate with me because as my Ad Agency grows – the more time I’ll have for writing – which equals the more books you’ll get!
Publish & Promote Magnetic Faith Release (3.12.19)
I am seriously so excited and proud and thankful for this book, it’s hard to even put into words. This book is me laid out on the page in a way my previous work simply couldn’t be. If you take away anything from this post it’s that you need to get yourself a copy of Magnetic Faith!
It will change the way you think. It will change the way you act. It will change the way you speak. It will change your life if you take its message and method to heart. This book is the best one I have written to date and you can bet I will work my tail off to make sure it reaches as many people as possible.
I’m going to do everything I can while inviting God in to do everything I cannot.
So there it is, a brief look into my work as an author, entrepreneur, Christian, and human. I hope some part of this encouraged you. Honestly, you can do anything but not everything. The point is to do something.
You are here for a reason. Make 2019 your year. Make it a year of change. Of progress. Of faith.
The more God has for you is waiting for you to take the first step.
Ready. Set. Go!