The Q2 Goal Challenge

Issue #157

Your weekly roundup of insights and resources to help you get more done for the glory of God.

Read on the Web

In Today’s Issue:

  • The Q2 Goal Challenge
  • 3 Ways to Have a Better Prayer Life
  • ​Get More Done With the Power of Timeboxing​
  • ​What Monks Know About Focus​
  • Book: Lord, Make My Life Count!

Dear steward,

Can you believe we're almost through the first quarter of the year!?

I'm still struggling not to write "2023" when I jot down the day's date in my journal each morning...

But with a new quarter comes new opportunities. And I invite you to treat the beginning of Q2 2024 as a fresh start. Three months, or 91 days, is the perfect amount of time to tackle one big goal.

In that spirit, here's a four-step plan for setting a God-glorifying goal for this coming quarter.

1. Evaluate Your Progress

Look at your six domains of stewardship (these are the big areas of life God has called you to be responsible for). And prayerfully ask yourself, "Have I been faithful in each of these areas?" and "Where am I falling short?"

I find it helpful to give myself a grade of 1 to 5 in each area. Typically, the area with the lowest score is where I choose to set a quarterly goal.

2. Select Your Goal

Grab a sheet of paper and write down every potential goal you might want to try. Again, saturate this time with prayer for wisdom. Once you've written down your potential goals, categorize them by domain of stewardship.

Here's an example from my own brainstorming session:

Shoot for at least 3–5 potential goals.

3. Choose Just One Goal for Q2

Looking at that list, ask yourself this question:

“Based on my evaluation results and the current season of life I'm in, which of these goals will best help me glorify God, fulfill my purpose, and reach my longer-term goals?”

Select just ONE goal for the quarter.

Now you've zeroed in on your target.

4. Make a Plan

Now, all that remains is to plan to reach that goal.

I think of my quarterly goals at three levels:

  • The Goal – The big outcome itself (quarterly)
  • The Waypoints – The monthly milestones I need to hit to get there (monthly)
  • The Oars – The habits or actions that will propel me (daily/weekly)

Now, you have a plan of action to follow. You've turned your vague wish into a concrete plan. It's just a matter of following the plan.

But sometimes, that's the part that can be easier said than done...

Get Some Help

What I outlined above is, in broad strokes, the method we use for our Quarterly Goal Challenge in Redeeming Productivity Academy.

But we don't just leave you to your own devices to accomplish your goal. From the start, we help you in the process of:

  • Selecting and refining a God-glorifying goal for the quarter
  • Breaking it down into achievable steps
  • Holding you accountable each step of the way
  • Ensuring your motives are infused with a Christ-first mentality

We've seen success story after success story of believers who have followed this process with us. And we'd love to help you reach your next big God-glorifying goal, too!

Our Q2 Quarterly Goal Challenge kicks off next Tuesday, March 26th, at 12:00 PM ET with a live workshop hosted by Redeeming Productivity coach James Parker and myself.

This is an RPA members-only event. So, if you're not yet a member, sign up for membership before Tuesday to join us!


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The best links I found this week

3 Ways to Have a Better Prayer Life (3 mins)

Adriel Sanchez / Ligonier

These are great tips.

Think of prayer as an exercise. You’re not always going to feel like praying, and some workouts are more satisfying than others. In exercise, consistency yields results, but you need to make sure you have proper form and realistic expectations. Here are a few simple tips for strengthening the muscle of prayer.

Get More Done With the Power of Timeboxing (57 mins)

The Art of Manliness

Timeboxing is a productivity technique I’ve been practicing for years. So I was excited to listen to this interview with Marc Zao-Sanders, the author of the new book Timeboxing: The Power of Doing One Thing at a Time.

What is timeboxing? It’s simply a way of mapping your to-do list onto your calendar. It turns “hope to do” into “planned to do.” It turns a could-do into a commitment.

Here’s Zao-Sanders's definition:

I propose that timeboxing is the method and mindset of: Selecting what to do, before the day’s distractions arise; specifying each task in a calendar, including when it will start and finish; focusing on one thing at a time; doing each to an acceptable (rather than perfect) standard.

Here are a few of my favorite takeaways from this podcast:

  • Timeboxing your to-do list is as much a matter of mindset as it is technique. It removes your ability to wiggle out of your most important work because you are actually scheduling them.
  • Timeboxing is one of the few productivity techniques backed up by research
  • You don’t need a fancy app to timebox, just a to-do list and a calendar

Speaking of…, our Optimize Your Week course is still on sale for 38% off the regular price when you use code IDEALWEEK at checkout.

What Monks Know About Focus (7 mins)

Joel J. Miller / Miller’s Book Review

While technology has evolved in the last fifteen hundred years, the human brain has not. And few people in the ancient world cared as much about the challenges of attention and distraction as monks. Our reasons might differ today, but we have much to learn nonetheless.

While I don’t believe asceticism is a practice that squares with the New Testament, monks always fascinated me. Specifically, their dedication to focus in reading, prayer, and meditation. Living in this age of constant distraction as we do, wouldn’t it be fascinating to hear from these first-hand practitioners of extended focus from the past?

Well, we actually can.

John Cassian (aka John the Ascetic) was an interesting figure who, around 420 AD, interviewed the so-called Dessert Fathers to try to distill their wisdom and practices. This has come down to us as his Conferences of the Desert Fathers.

In her new book, How to Focus: A Monastic Guide for an Age of Distraction, Jamie Kreiner has collected all the parts of Cassian’s work that have to do with their thoughts on focus. The link at the top is to Joel Miller’s review of Kreiner’s book, which has quite a few interesting excerpts.


Lord, Make My Life Count!

If you're reading this newsletter, I think I can reasonably assume you are a Christian who desires for your life to count—not just here but in eternity.

That's why, after reading Ray Fowler's latest book, Lord Make My Life Count!, I couldn't wait to recommend it to you.

In just under 100 pages, Fowler deftly applies the Scriptures to six critical areas of life.

  1. Work
  2. Rest
  3. Faith
  4. Prayer
  5. Money
  6. Time

I trust you'll find Lord Make My Life Count! encouraging and convicting as you seek to grow in faithfulness in every area of life.



Quote of the Week

It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

Henry David Thoreau


Thanks for reading!

That's all for this week. If you want to chat about anything in this newsletter or want to say hi, just hit reply.

Until next week!

Reagan Rose

Reagan Rose

I talk about personal productivity from a Christian perspective. Creator of ​Redeeming Productivity​.

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