I have been making a lot of traction lately. I have a guest post going live on Faith Driven Business today, six podcast interviews in the next two weeks and all while hitting my writing goal of 500 words a day with my book. I am kind of shocked at my small change and the amazing traction. I am thankful that God opened my eyes through my family and friends. Too often we are close to being on the money, but just a little off.

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Photo by: KcNewman Photography

About a month ago I would have told you that I don’t have time for anymore. It is Time Management 101, however, I think overtime we forget. Before I continue remember that time first and foremost must be consecrated to God The only thing I have changed is this. The night before I figure out what I am needing to accomplish and do it the next morning first thing. Figure out the result you need to accomplish and execute it. Then again and again. Small changes over a period of time get massive results.

What I was doing:

I was reading cool blogs and setting Hootsuite for my tweets for the day. What I wasn’t calculating was that I was using the best time in the day for me to write. I was replacing this with promoting and reading other people’s work. Underneath it all I think I was doing what made me feel important instead of what was most important. I have just hit the beginning of reexamining my schedule and I am sure there is much more space. For more on time management here is a good read by my friend, Matt Mcwilliams.

What I am doing now: 

The single thing I am doing is figuring out not what to do, but what I want to accomplish. Then and only then do I plan the activities.

Whether I am excited or not, I am doing what is going to advance my vision first. Right now for me that is two things; reach more people and finish my next book. Each morning I write my 500 words and then either reach out to a few podcasts or write a guest post. That’s nothing thrilling, but it works. What is so strange is I read the same amount of posts and share and comment as well, however, it’s on my time after I have gotten my list done. Figure out what your dream needs most and do it first thing. Try this for a week and let me know what happens.

Whether this is a new concept or you have gotten away from this, I encourage you to begin again. Keep slaying the dragon first thing. Often what we do with twenty percent of our time yields eighty percent of the results. Focus on that twenty percent and do more of it. That will get your dream to another level. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. It is effective though. Be blessed on your journey.

What small change has given you big results?

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I want a bigger house! I want a nicer car! I want to travel the world! I also want to do all of this now with little effort. Is that too much to ask? The truth is, I struggle with lust. These wants are not bad, but they can become horrible in a hurry.

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Photo by: KCNewman Photography

It is simple for me to talk about cultural problems, which is what I was tempted to do, but the problem lies within my heart. Our current culture didn’t create this desire for gain with no sacrifice; we were born with it. It is too easy to take the elevator instead of the stairs. We know the stairs are better for us, but an elevator gets us there with no effort. My friend, Rory Vaden has a great blog on self-discipline. Current inventions like debt have made it simple to indulge my lust to take what feels easy. To put the cart before the horse and just finance it.

When we live an undisciplined life that spins out of control, we make financial choices that don’t match what we really want. That is where I found myself six years ago. Dejected and frustrated I sat in the driveway sitting there with the car running wondering how I got to this point. I had gotten off of work, but couldn’t go inside. For me when I stop, all of the bad decisions and failures I have made come rushing into the front of my mind. Maybe if I sit here it will all go away like waking from a bad dream, I thought. My wife and I had overpaid on a house, put zero down and accumulated consumer debt. When we had begun our lives together we had said that we would just live on my income while she worked. If you are like me sometimes what we say and what we do is completely different. Slowly one bad decision after another had gotten me to this place of sitting in the car.

We were expecting our first child and I was sitting there wondering how we were going to make it month to month on just my income. Our plan was for her to stay at home when we had kids, however, it was more of a wish than a plan. Have you been there? Wondering how you made financial decisions opposite to what you truly wanted?

We don’t wake up one day in a disaster, though it feels that way. We don’t wander into a mess and we certainly won’t magically pop out on the other side. It is a result of a mindset and behaviors that overtime causes us to prosper or sit in a car feeling like an idiot. Often things happen so gradually we don’t even realize what is going on.

We are like a frog. If you boil water and try to put a frog in, it will jump out. When it feels the steam and heat it resists going into the pot. It is fully aware of the danger. We are the same way when there is a huge danger we know to avoid it, well most of the time. Sometimes we are not as smart as a frog. However, if you put a frog into cold water and turn the heat on high and warm the water slowly, the frog will not jump. He will sit there while being boiled. Gradual temperature change is not even noticed by the frog. This is true for most of us as well the deaths of a thousand cuts are not even noticed. I have been this frog more times than I can count.

Are you tired of being a frog? Ready to change your life and live with more than enough instead of barely getting by? Great! That is a good place to start. To get to a point of being tired of your current situation is the first step to change. Change will not come easy, but there can be enjoyment and fulfillment today. Not when you are done changing your finances, rather the here and now.

I looked at financial discipline all wrong in the beginning, therefore I didn’t stick to any budget or other financial management. Here it is simply. A budget when given thought and time instructs your money to go towards your true wants and desires, not your frivolous wants in the moment.

Sticking to a budget and investing money overtime will get you and I the wants financially that we truly desire. That is why disciplining ourselves with a budget is so important instead of pitifully sitting in a car. My wife is able to stay home with our children. We have everything we need and a sense of peace about the direction we are going.

Say no to lust and yes to what matters. Create a budget monthly with your spouse. Learn from me and live a life of purpose financially before you wake up down a road you weren’t intending to head down. In most cases the stairs are actually easier than the elevator. Be blessed on your journey.

This is part of the new book I am working on called, “A Life That Prospers.” What money questions, problems, or solutions do you have?

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I have been slowing down more, but I have a long way to go. If you haven’t checked out Jeff Goins Slow Down Challenge you should. It is crucial that you chase your dream the right way. I am becoming more effective and getting much better results out of my activity the more I slow down. Now slowing down to watch more T.V. is not the goal. To slow down and admire life while living in the moment is our aim. This beauty of slowing down will propel your dream if you marry the two ideas.

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photo by: KC Newman Photography

I pray that after last week’s post you have written out your vision so that you don’t waste your opportunities.

Too often we scurry around for what? We know we have to say no to the good things to say yes to the great, however, we still say yes to everything! Get off the hamster wheel!

After praying and seeking God and writing down what He has put in your heart, it is time to breathe life into it. We do this through partnering with God and planting seeds. Slow down and examine your activity. What seeds are you planting? What harvest will you reap?

Be specific when sowing seed. Could you imagine a farmer grabbing random seeds and tossing them out all over the ground? He would reap a harvest, but it would be weeds, flowers and a crop. However, if instead he maps out his property deciding what to plant and where to plant it, he will receive a harvest that can support his family. The farmer is just as active in both scenarios, but with drastic differences. Make sure that your activity is aimed at your vision.

Focus on the planting. When a farmer is planting his field he sows many seeds. Your dream will be the same way. You will sow many seeds to turn it into reality. The temptation is to plant a seed and see if anything happens. It is a big temptation for me to post a blog and then stare at the analytics for a few days. My activity and planning slow way down to watch to see if a seed sprouts. Rather, I should post the blog and move onto something new right away. Planting with a purpose, then another and another. Focus on focused activity.

The only way to change your life or to have new breakthrough is to do things differently than you have done them. Slow down, take your vision and create action steps to turn it into reality. Remove the bad or good seeds and plant many great seeds with purpose and vision. Be blessed on your journey.

 What are you sowing this week?

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A close friend of mine that runs a highly successful tech company asked me a few weeks ago, “What are your plans for the future?” I heard myself say, “I don’t know?” Like a slow motion fail. To me this interaction showed a deeper problem. Interactions just like that surrender opportunities to advance and spread our vision. One small question that could be an open door surrendered. You and I never know who people know and what they need. In these moments, the dream inside of me and the dream inside of you almost shrinks back.

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photo by: KCNewman photography

Why do we get so confused?

Doubt and fear pull us down. Good opportunities push us away from the dreams we feel God speaking into us. This is why I stopped and had no answer. Has this happened to you? Bold in a direction one day and then a few days later bold in a different direction. Yeah me neither. I was asking for a friend. In all actuality this happens to us all, yet we feel fear telling us not to talk about it. Our minds change on their own. What we think matters. Someone we trust says, “It doesn’t matter.” These things will push and pull us causing us to stand still. Stop the confusion!

Don’t waste another opportunity!

I don’t want you or I to waste another opportunity. Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” So, with vision the people shall flourish. What is your vision? Could you explain it to me? What problem are you solving and for who are you solving it? You need to write it down. You need to know what you are aiming at. This is the only way to overcome the push and pull that will happen in your life.

Write down what you feel God calling you to in 3 to 5 years. In other words, where are you headed? Don’t think about the obstacles for a second. We live so small. We overestimate what we can do in a day and underestimate what we can do in a few years.

Stay focused!
The power of being focused for a period of time cannot be overstated. Writing and sticking to what you wrote will save you time and energy. Your written vision will help you in what to say “no” to and what to say “yes” to. It will stop you and I from getting so distracted with all the shiny things out there. Make it a priority to pray, seek God, and write down what He is saying.

Expand your horizons. Allow yourself to have the expectant hope of a child again. Write it down and start walking in that direction. Be prepared to share, learn from me and capitalize on opportunities to share your dream. Be blessed on your journey.

What do you feel God calling you to in the next three years?

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God has given me almost all of the dreams of my heart. Yet it seems like some of the dreams may never happen. It reminds me that I am no different than one of my favorite dream chasers from the Bible, Abraham. The great faith that this man had amazes me. He was not perfect, yet he showed time and time again that he would trust God. Unfortunately, I think he is most remembered for one of his mistakes; a time in his life when he and his wife lacked faith to see the full promise of God.

God had promised Abraham that he would be the start of a great nation. That his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. I can only imagine his excitement because Abraham and Sarah had no children. This is something that they both longed for.

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photo by: KCNewman Photography

Years went by and God had given them land and great wealth but no children. That is when the major doubt started to come in. So much that Sarah decided it was a good idea to have her children come through her maidservant, Hagar. She presented the idea to Abraham and he agreed. He took Hagar to be his other wife.

Hagar went on to give birth to Ishmael. God’s promise to make Abraham a great nation was still there. He was to make Abraham and Sarah the start. She would have a son named, Isaac. Honestly, all they did by taking the dream of having numerous descendants into their own hands complicated their relationship and their lives.

It is amazing to me what we are all capable of when we want something so bad. When we elevate our dream to an improper height, it can easily distort and change to find a way that seems logical at the time but has major consequences.

On the path to your dream you will face the Ishmael test. It looks different for all of us, however, there will be a point in time that you will be tempted to settle and plan for what you know is second best. For what you are fully aware is not what God intends. You will have a point where your hope is weak. This is when great faith will be required of you.

When Abraham and Sarah had the Hagar idea Abraham was eighty-six. He had lived in the land God promised him for over ten years. This is the time where you will be tempted to settle. When the window of time appears to be closing. When the journey has been long. Don’t stop. Just keep walking out the path that God has laid before you.

What God promises he will fulfill in His timing and in His way. Do not rationalize and justify, but do your part. Keep taking focused steps and trusting God with the rest. Be blessed on your journey.

Have you been tempted to settle for less than God’s best?

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Love In Marriage

Zechariah Newman —  June 24, 2014 — 11 Comments

This week my wife and I have been married ten years. Though I am far from having all of the answers I have learned a few things along the way. There is one that sticks out like a sore thumb and that is I fail to meet the expectations put on me by the scripture. My wife who is full of mercy says, “You are too hard on yourself.” But let’s look at what the Bible says. In Ephesians 5:25 it says, “I am to love my wife the way Christ loved the church and gave His life up for her.

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If I was honest, in the early years my love was more often than I like to admit manipulative. Some thoughts that I had, What can I get? What do I need to do to get it? Though my acts look sacrificial, they were more for me than my loving wife.

While chasing your dream, it is beyond important to focus on the first things. One of those is the spousal relationship. As a man this is mainly for us guys, but I pray married or single, man or woman, you find value in this. As men, we have one job; to love like Christ. It is not to tell our wives to submit, (a peeve of mine), but to love in a sacrificial way. To lay down our wants and desires for the good of our wives. To lead in a servant way. To be strong by being gentle. Because in 1 Corinthians 13:3-8 it says, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” We are called to love our partners in this manner. In the same way God loves us. So let’s all whether male or female, single or married, raise our game. Let’s love a little more on the journey of life. Be blessed on your journey.

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It is amazing to me that God created everything. Both what is seen and unseen. It says in Genesis 1:14- 15, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth;’ and it was so.” Have you ever thought of this simple truth that God invented time?

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Priorities with our time is crucial, yet I have failed time and time again. Judging by emails I received this last couple of weeks I am not alone. We as God believing people have failed, at least at times, to put God as Lord of our time.

Busyness. I believe this is an attack from the enemy. It has invaded every aspect of our culture. It is so all-consuming that it is our response when someone asks how we are doing. “Really busy” is an excuse we use and for me is a sign I am out of alignment. We struggle with slowing down and we certainly don’t have time to sit at the feet of God. We get stuff done although a lot of the time we can’t say what we have accomplished.

Take a step back. Often in life we need to step back and examine how we are spending our time. Are you getting results out of your time? Are your priorities in line with your belief? Are you keeping God first? Why? These are just a few questions I am asking myself this week. We all will have moments of failure, moments where we have overstretched and have been ineffective. The question always will be in time of failure; how will I react to this? Will I crumble or will I rise stronger? I will choose to center myself back on the cross. I pray you will too.

Multiplication of time. Giving first of anything requires faith. That is why our first fruits in all areas are so important. In Mathew 6:21 it says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I believe that when we give of our time first to God He will bless the rest. When we leave God out I believe it doesn’t have that blessing accompanied with it. I would rather have an hour that is blessed to work on my dream than four hours that are not. God will multiply your time as you give Him your first fruits.

Today I exhort you to put God first. I guarantee you will have enough time for the things that are important. As you trust God to be Lord of your time He will be faithful. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you to keep God Lord of your time?

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Focused Energy

Zechariah Newman —  June 10, 2014 — 18 Comments

I have a 16 month old little girl named, Hope. She is our third little bundle of joy and she is busy. She has learned how to walk and now gets into everything. If she is awake, she is going from one thing to another. Toys capture her attention, but overtime she is bored and she has moved onto the next thing. If we are not careful she will get into the garbage or toilet if we don’t shut the bathroom door. Good and bad things occupy her day.

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How many of us never mature beyond this? Always on the go and when someone asks how we are we say, “busy.” It’s like the American answer to give. Rarely focused; just an object in motion. Occupied by the silliest things. Your dream won’t come easy. You need to cut out a lot of the distractions in life. Your dream will require you to focus on one thing for a prolonged period of time. You well could be easily distracted by junk and by good things.

Momentum will happen with your dream over time. It is the prolonged pressure that is required to see your dream through. You must maintain focus on your dream like a magnified glass. The focused energy of the sun through the glass can cause a fire. Our lives, when focused, can have the same effect. When you move the glass around though, there is not enough energy to catch a fire. The lens must stay firmly focused.

At times your dream will feel like it is a million miles away. Keep making small steps in the same direction. The time that it will take is not always fun, however, it is required to become excellent in any skill. Put in focused time and watch your dream take on new life.

When you have success which you will, be careful on how quickly you layer things on top of your beginnings. One of the biggest times for business failure is actually bred out of success. Don’t expand too quickly, rather make calculated moves over time.

So again focus your energy over time and allow God to multiply your dream. Patience is not easy, but it is worth it. Your reaction to distractions will determine whether you will achieve what God has put in your heart. (Tweet it) Be blessed on your journey.

How do you stay focused on your dream?

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The Great Stretch

Zechariah Newman —  June 3, 2014 — 5 Comments

I have been in the later training stage for my next marathon, which is 26.2 miles for those that don’t know. This is my second marathon and in the later stages of training I have a lot to think about since my long runs last three hours. I was pushing out my mileage this last week and I thought how important this concept is to any dream chasing journey. We must constantly push through to new stages and new levels of being uncomfortable.

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Photo by: KC Newman Photography

When I first started to exercise I couldn’t run a mile without stopping. In fact, I felt like I was going to die! Little by little I pushed beyond what felt fun and comfortable. If you would have told me that I would run marathons, I would have laughed at you. Now seven to ten miles are short runs. As I write this, I think about how amazing the journey in life is.

Think about it. What today do you do that use to seem impossible? I have three awesome kids that are five and under. I still remember when we had one and it seemed so hard. Now if anyone watches two of our kids, it feels like a vacation! (My wife and I are done with the stretch of more kids). We need to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. I know that sounds silly, but it is the truth. There is great comfort in the embrace and overall peace of discomfort.

Pain unfortunately is part of the process. While long distance running, one pain will subside as you run through it and another will begin. The pain of change is real, but so is the pain of regret. Most often in my life the pain of change is more physical, however, the pain of regret affects all areas of my life. If we are going to go through pain no matter what, I will choose the pain of change. How about you? Which pain will you choose to embrace?

Keep stretching, press through to new levels and embrace the pain of change. If you and I allow our lives to be molded, we will never be the same. So as Paul said in Philippians 4:13, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” How about you? Will you press on? Will you allow God to stretch you? Don’t shrink back to comfortable, rather look forward in hope and anticipation. Be blessed on your journey.

What helps you to stretch?

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God instructed the Israelites many times to make monuments of remembrance so that in the future they would remember what God had done for them. This is my monument post. It has been a year since I started blogging regularly. Thank you for being apart and I hope you have gotten value out of reading.

I have had many highs and lows this last year like I am sure you have. It hasn’t been roses, but God has been and is faithful. I have learned more than I could have ever imagined about faith in the midst of doubt, handling rejection, and keeping priorities. God is always gently teaching us if we will listen.

I broke this monument of reflection into two parts; my top five posts and top five moments from this last year.

Top Posts

5. God Won’t Bless This- Is all about the right heart attitude toward money.

4. Motivation to Start- How do we get the motivation to start something new? That’s what I talk about in this post.

3. Your Calling- Two quick things that may help you figure out your calling.

2. 5 Steps to an Awesome MarriageFive keys to what I believe makes an awesome marriage.

1. Restoring Hope- This post was about hope in the midst of our pain of not being able to have children.

Top Moments

5. Making it a year. I set out to make it one year without missing a week. I did it. Thank you God and what a huge feeling. Thanks for your support this year as well.

4. Talking with many of you. I have been blessed with the opportunity to talk to many of you through phone calls, emails, or the comment section. It has been a blessing getting to know you. If you haven’t reached out, I would love to hear about your dream. zechariahnewman@gmail.com is my email.

3. Helping someone land his dream job. What a cool moment to hear that I got to play apart in helping someone land his dream job. I pray I will get more opportunities to partner with people in the future.

2. Entrepreneur On Fire. I was privileged to be a guest on this major podcast. That felt validating and gave my platform a big push.

1. Writing Dreams That Last. This is my first book on Amazon. The amount of people this can and is helping has amazed me.

I am excited to partner with you in the future to work toward your dream. In this coming year, I am working on my next book and plan on focusing on the speaking aspect of my business. Thank you for being a blessing to me on my journey. Be blessed on your journey.

How can I serve you this next year? What was your biggest moment while working toward your dream this last year?

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