“I have too much time on my hands and not enough things to do!” said no one ever.

We all struggle to find time to have quiet time reading the Bible, take care of our spouse, raise our children, workout, and oh yeah pursue our dreams. Just typing that makes me want to cry and have a mini nervous breakdown. The stretch of all of life’s demands can make us give up something.

We will cut out our time with God, stop pursuing our spouse, ignore our kids, ignore our health, or give up on our dreams. Of course, not all at the same time. We usually drop one thing on a regular basis and the problem is that the consequences aren’t felt until years of habits and decisions catch up with us.

That’s not good enough! Dropping any of those things is not the life that God has designed for us! Coming up with more time is crucial to being able to do “it all.” These 4 things will help give you more time to achieve your dreams in all areas of life.

Pareto Principle

The first thing to understand when you are trying to make more time is the Pareto Principle. This principle is also called the 80/20 rule. It states that for many events roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the cause. In other words, 20% of the things you do produce 80% of your results. To make time grow on trees we need to remember this principle because it means that if we know what activities are producing the 80% return we can do those and cut everything else. That makes up a lot of time. If you work 40 hours a week you could be just as effective only working 8 hours if you are doing the right activities.

Bonus tip: Don’t tell people you are worthless 80% of the time.

Cut the Fat

I like to start with easy things first. Cut out things that you already know aren’t helping you towards your ideal life. Facebook, T.V., email, worrying, and arguing are a few things that could be cut if you don’t know where to start. As you look for areas to gain time, start with these extra things and you will get instant time. You can keep doing those activities as some are not bad, however, they are time wasters. Be a little slower answering texts, emails, and instant messenger. Cut the fat to find instant time.

Experiment and Track

Now that you know the Pareto Principle you need to figure out your 20%. What are you doing that is producing your results? What are you doing that is not helping you achieve the life you desire? Experiment with different activities for a few months and see if those activities are moving you towards your goals or away from them.

There will be a sweet spot where a certain level of activity gets you the most benefit. Experiment trying to find that level. For example, running helps me get in shape, but marathons are over my sweet spot. On long runs I must eat sugar shots in order to run further. I know it’s really stupid, but I like the challenge of marathons. If it was all about fitness, I could pull back the long runs and get the same physical result.

Experiment with activities and the amount of time spent to zero in on time savings.

Zone of Genius

There are certain things you are naturally gifted at and certain activities are daring and you’re kind of crappy at it. Stop doing the things you stink at and hire it out. Work in your area of strength more and more. You will be more productive and happier. Two for one win. As you work more in your area of gifting you will find that you make more money to be able to pay the person that is gifted in your weakness. Narrowing down on your area of strengths will give you more time!

These are just a few tips that will add time to play with your kids and talk with you spouse. Hey, you may even gain more traction on your dream and not be a zombie in the evening. I mean, I never fall asleep on the couch at the end of the day. Remember practice makes improvement. Keep fine tuning your routine and time will become abundant. You were made to dream just make sure to bring your family with you.

P.S. Want more tips and tricks to reach your dreams with a family? Check out Chasing Dreams in a Minivan!

Questions to Ponder:

What do you cut when you’re short on time?

Where are you wasting time?

Prayer: God, thank you for giving me all the time I need to do everything that you have called me to do. Help me to steward my time wisely. Give me peace when my to-do list seems longer then what I have time for. Multiply my efforts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

In one moment of bravery everything can change.

I have had a few moments in my life where I have been very brave. Asking my girlfriend to marry me, starting a business, starting this blog are among those brave instances that have changed the trajectory of my life. I’m thankful that I had courage in those moments, but afterwards when I had time to think, I was petrified.

I’m so thankful that in those moments I sided with courage and not fear. I would have never married my high school sweetheart, built a thriving business, or have you read anything I had to say. Bravery in action will open up the possibility for your dreams to come true.

I have seen in my own life that I act in a brave manner the more confidence I have. I’m sure if you looked at your life you would see the same pattern. Have you ever accomplished anything when you sat back in fear? Of course not. The more fearful and scared we are, the more problems we see and the less opportunity and blessings we see. More breakthrough will be possible when you walk in confidence.

Gain your confidence by doing these 4 things so that you can walk in bravery to reach your dreams.

Identity in Christ

Knowing who you are in Christ is the most powerful way to be confident. We are flawed creatures who are redeemed by Christ and now take on His nature. You are not your sins, mistakes, and shortcomings. You are a son or daughter of the King of the universe. When you are feeling low and have a lack of confidence, remember who you belong to. The truth of God’s Word is above your feelings. No matter what you feel, you need to remind yourself over and over, I am what the Word of God says I am.

Workout

Working out raises your confidence in so many ways. Exercise increases your energy level and oxygen capacity. Exercising for a few minutes can help de-stress and refocus onto positive things in life. When you exercise you will be able to lift heavier weights or run faster or further giving yourself the gift of success and progress. The more you exercise the more your bodies will change which will also affect your confidence. Find a time of day and type of exercise that you enjoy and workout to raise your confidence.

A Close Marriage

There is one person in this world who affects my confidence more than anyone else and it’s my wife. When I struggle to see myself as God sees me she speaks life into my heart. She thinks I am all that and a bag of chips and it makes me walk with my head high. Your spouse can give you confidence if you are working on your marriage. Prioritize your marriage and grow closer to each other so that you can help build one another up. That is the way marriage was designed to be a safe place where we build each other up, but often we get distracted and start seeing flaws and stop pursuing our spouse. Work on your marriage to raise your dream chasing confidence.

Inner Circle

Who you allow in your inner circle will directly affect your confidence. You need people walking through life with you that build up and strengthen you. Make sure the people you are involved with see your awesomeness and not your flaws. They should be able to speak truth from a place of love and safety. Build an inner circle that will lift you up when you’re going emo and you will walk with confidence more often.

One of the awesome things about this confidence list is that all of these things will have other positive effects. If these don’t work you will still be ripped like Arnold, have a close marriage, and great friends. You are able to do what is in your heart. Build these things into your life so that you can see that more often and capitalize on the opportunities around you. You were built to chase dreams, just make sure to bring your family with you.

Learn more tips and tricks in my book Chasing Dreams in a Minivan.

 

This morning it was really foggy here in Roseburg, Oregon. I really dislike driving in thick fog, but that’s the reality of living in this part of the United States. Driving along I am unable to see far in front of me and I really want the whole picture. Even with a road I have driven many times I still feel uneasy with the lack of clarity.

This isn’t the only area of my life that I hate fog. I hate fog with my dreams, however, that’s the reality of chasing dreams. We can’t see ahead of us and we want the whole picture. An audible voice from God saying, “We are on the right track” and when we will get there would be nice too. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?

Unless we are going to sit waiting for the fog to clear, we need to learn to drive in the fog and heck even thrive. If we are going to Chase Dreams in a Minivan we need to show that fog who’s boss.

We need to know where we are going.

When we are driving somewhere we have a destination in mind. With your dreams you need to have the end in mind.  Where are you driving? When we have no destination in our brain, we get lost in the fog. We can get turned around and end up somewhere we never intended to go. Write down where you are going and how long you are working in that direction.

When we write down our dream and timeline we are working toward the goal. We have a navagation system that keeps our overall direction and decreases the confusion in our mind. It frees our mind to drive.

We need to focus on what we do see.

The thing that can get us in trouble in fog is trying to see and FOCUS on things we can’t see. We waste mental energy obsessing over what (if’s) or is this what God has for me? When we focus on everything that is not now and not in our control we have pulled over to the side of the road. Standing still in the fog is dangerous!

What should you be doing now? If it’s resting, then rest. If you should be spending time with your spouse, then spend time with your spouse. If you should be working on the dream, then work on the dream. Be in the moment and be faithful with what you should be doing NOW.

Check up!

When we are driving through fog, once in a while the road will open up and we can see more of the picture. In those moments we should be looking at the road we are on and if we are going in the right direction. These moments feel really good, but they drift back into the fog really fast. In those moments look around. Are you still driving in the right direction? Do you need to adjust anything you are doing?

These checkups are not a destination; they are moments in time. Keep driving and don’t get suckered into stopping on those “feel good” clear sections. Step back into the fray of fog. The clarity can be seductive; that’s not where we are designed to stay.

Focus on what you can control and move in the direction you think you should go and you will be an expert on the foggy road. You were built for this. You were made to chase dreams, just don’t forget to bring your family with you.

Want to achieve that dream in your heart? Check out my book Chasing Dreams in a Minivan here.

Questions:

Where do you think God is leading you?

What is an action you will take today towards that dream?

Prayer: God, help me to chase dreams in a way that honors you and my family. Help me to walk by faith and not by sight. Help me to enjoy the fog and not fight against it. I trust You in these moments and not my own understanding. Amen.

Exhausted, frustrated, and confused, I was telling God that He made a mistake. Through tears I was asking Him, “Why would you give me these desires? Take away the dream in my heart!” Up to this point my dream had just brought misery.

Constantly frustrating my wife with my lack of presence and not making the traction that I wished I could make, I narrowed down the problem and two solutions. I could love my family well or chase my dreams. I couldn’t possibly do both.

This solution led me to laying aside my dreams and being with my family. Well, for a while and then I was still unhappy. Then I would chase my dream and put my family on the back burner, I would come alive for a moment and then be unhappy and hurt the hearts of the ones I loved. What an awesome feeling; I was like a chipmunk trying to dodge the tires of an oncoming car. Zig-zagging back in forth but still going splat.

It’s tiring feeling like you are letting everyone down including your heart.

I was confused for years chasing my dreams and I realized that a big portion of the problem is mindset at the beginning. If you desire a close family, healthy life, and achieving the big goals and dreams for your life, it’s important to flush out the “and.”

There are certain things in life that require you to choose one or the other. For example, sleeping in or getting up early. A lot of things though are “and” choices. If you want more in life operating in “and” more often will help you to reach the dream and have you and your family love the dream or goal along the way.

Don’t get tired reading this because I’m not going to suggest that you grind harder, drink a bunch of Red Bulls, and get four hours of sleep so that you can do everything. Achieving “and” can happen without killing yourself and running around like a chipmunk. Chipmunks are cute until they go splat just like you and your dreams. Let’s stop running the pancake gauntlet and apply these 3 principles.

Cut

We have a lot of waste in our lives when we really look at it. It’s not fun to hear, however, we do a lot of things that aren’t getting us closer to our goals. Cutting out things that aren’t actually restful and don’t move us closer is the first step to having time and energy to be able to operate in “and.” Track your time and activities for a week and cut out or at least reduce your t.v. watching, social media use, and any other thing that we mindlessly zone out on. Once you track how much time you are spending on these activities, make a conscious choice how much mindless time you will allow.  Cut the junk and you’ll have the time.

Consistency

If you go to the gym for eight hours in one day you are not going to see a difference in the mirror. You don’t start looking like the “Rock” by killing your biceps all day for one day. You get there by going consistently for a long period of time. We need to be consistent in our activity to get to our goals. Most of us do the eight hour gym routine and then give up and move to something else. If you are going to achieve what God has for you there are a few tricks to stay consistent. First you need to reduce your dream work time to something you can maintain on a daily basis. A half hour a day for a year is a lot of hours working on your dreams. It is also imperative to plan time to read the Bible, play with your kids, and go on a date night with your spouse. Maybe you can do more than 30 minutes a day and that’s great. Just make sure that you can maintain the time.

We are patterned creatures. If you create a time of day you are working on different things, you will build habits that will move you in consistency towards your true desires. Habits will move you in a consistent direction; just make sure it’s towards what you really want.

Adjust

Some things that you are doing will move you in the right direction and somethings that you will do won’t. It’s important to check your effort and if it’s producing the goals you want. If not, adjust and fine tune. Over time your adjustments will make you effiecient and you will get more done with less time which translates into you being your family’s hero. Adjust along the way to do more with less.

It is possible to achieve your heart in a way that honors your family and those you love. You were built to dream, just make sure to bring your family with you. Start small, make adjustments, and stay consistent and you will be Chasing Dreams in Minivan.

Learn to be your family’s hero and achieve your dreams! My new book, Chasing Dreams in a Minivan: For men with big goals and the women who put up with them, will help you do just that! Check the book out here.

Questions to Ponder:

What do I need to cut?

What do I need to reduce so I can stay consistent?

Prayer: God, give me the long game perspective so that I chase the goals that you put in my heart in a way that honors you. I’m sorry that I doubt what you have placed in my heart and I want to honor what you tell me to do. Help me have an eternal perspective and a faith that’s unwavering.

P.S. You really should get my new book, Chasing Dreams in a Minivan. Get it here.

You are capable of more than you think.

I am in the later training for my sixth marathon as of writing this and am running twenty miles on my long days. This training schedule has taught me something that will help you get an extra measure of breakthrough in your life.

Bonus joke: How do you know if someone has run a marathon? Just wait five minutes and they will tell you.

In the past I have trained to finish the race. The end. However, this time I am training toward a PR (personal record). As I have pushed the pace, I have shaved almost two and a half minutes off my per mile pace in a short period of time.

Okay enough about me and my running. Training for pace has helped me accomplish more in my writing; (15,000) words each week for the last two weeks and in all areas of my life. So, if you want better results dreamer, follow these simple (not easy) truths.

Belief

The first thing that is required is belief. You need to believe that it is possible for you to do more than you are currently doing. If we are honest, we like to focus on our excuses instead of believing that there are areas in life we could improve. I know you have great excuses. You know how I know? Because I have great excuses and if I obsess over them, I fall to a victim instead of a victor. If you are breathing which you are, and if you have a pulse which you do, you have more in you than what you are currently giving to this world.

Don’t be a trial lawyer of excuses, instead become a detective of what can be changed in your life to make progress toward whatever goal you have.

Pain

Hooray! Pain sounds amazing doesn’t it? Well I could shoot some fluffy feel good lies to you, but why not give you the truth that is actually helpful? To get to the next level, pain is required.

We are hardwired to avoid pain though, so it will take you focusing on the pleasure you will get on the other side of the pain. Basically, why do you care? If you truly don’t, you won’t push through and you will stop short and pull back.

Write a list to make it more real. Here is my reasons for going through pain and pushing my marathon pace. 1. I will have time to do other things because training takes less time; 2. I work better with goals; 3. My wife looks at me differently when I run faster (I want to be her hero); 4. I feel better about myself. Those are four simple things that are personal to me that make me push through pain.

Face into pain and there will be a reward from it!

Joy

On the other side of pain is joy with the right perspective. As I started running faster and focused on the pace and not the pain, joy increased. I started to see traction in areas I cared about which added to my joy meter.

Joy is on the other side for you as well. If joy does not come after the endurance of pain, this is where you re-evaluate. Sometimes it’s a goal we actually don’t care about, but others have said it’s important so we do it. Sometimes it’s because we are so focused on the pain instead of the progress. Sometimes we are just grumpy and we need to let it pass.

Why are you downcast? Is it temporary or constant? Joy is the indicator; it’s like a check engine light on the car. Dig deep and figure out why you aren’t joyful and make some changes. Joy is a Fruit of the Spirit and when it is missing we are in works of the flesh. Find out where you wandered off and get back on the joy wagon. Sometimes you need an outside perspective. Ask someone that you will listen to.

Once you start to make progress in one area, you will see that it spreads into another. Momentum and habit have a way of building on themselves. Focus on one area at a time and you will see a whole new level of potential in you that you didn’t even know existed. The world needs you! You were built to dream; just make sure to bring your family with you.

Questions to ponder:

What area of your life do you want to see progress?

What pain do you need to push through to make it happen?

Prayer: God, help me to have the courage to look at my life with an honest perspective. When you show me pain that I need to push through, give me the endurance and strength to press in with everything in me. Thank you for giving me joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Help me to walk in the Spirit. Amen.

You Got Bad Advice

Zechariah Newman —  November 18, 2018

Sometimes I just want to sit down and not be bothered. It’s usually when I’m watching an Oregon Ducks football game. I have noticed that my children don’t really care about this desire to be left alone during the game. It’s like they smell the blood in the water of me wanting a few hours to myself.

I’m not sure how verbal your kids are, but my kids are very, very, very verbal and persistent. It can be so much fun when you want some silence. This day my son wanted a treat.

He piped up, “Dad can I get a treat?” In our house a treat is any form of sugar. “Nope,” I responded. A few minutes later Luke jumped back in to test the waters, “How about now? Can I get a treat?” By later, I mean less than five minutes after the first question. I informed him that nothing had changed. What felt like seconds later he said, “How about now?”

I quickly stated, “Will you stop asking?” Then I thought about what I had said and what traits I want in my children. I sat him down and apologized for my bad advice.

My kids do not have a gene of persistence. I believe that all of us are born with this how about now mentality. I also believe we pound it out of them. “Stop bugging me!” “Stop asking!” And worse of all, “I said no and don’t ask again.” I was not teaching him honor, rather was teaching him to give up at the first sign of resistance.

I want you to return to that inner child with a few tweaks that I taught my son.

Find out the barrier.

We often are persistent in the wrong way. We might as well be backing up and running into a wall at full speed repeatedly. It hurts to do that, and it annoys anyone that is watching. When you get a “no” when you are working toward your goal, finding out the reasons for the “no” is crucial.

If we don’t find out the reason for the stop sign, we will fight the wrong battle. My son wanted his treat now. I was watching football so didn’t let him know why. My bad. The reason for the “nope” was that I wanted him to wait until after dinner to have sugar so that he would eat his meal.

If you are not fully confident with why you are getting told “no,” ask more questions to discover the resistance.

How can you overcome the barrier?

Once you are armed with your reasons now you can use reasoning. Finding out ways to work around the hurdle in front of you is where all your energy should be going. Sometimes there is no barrier to overcome, like if you want to sell someone a product and they don’t have money to buy it. Often though there are ways to creatively work around or through a barrier. In fact, credit was created to work around the barrier of a lack of money.

Really what we become in this scenario is solution oriented. Instead of being the interrupter, we become the helper.

Persist with respect.

Respectful solutions are ones that are a win, win.

Don’t become a sleezy salesman in this process. Ask questions and discover instead of being so focused on your desire. Start to solve their problem in a way that is beneficial for you as well. Sometimes a no is a no for now and not a no forever. If we treat people with respect, they will come back when they are ready. Be persistent in a way that people still like you on the other side of the conversation.

Return to your childlike state, but with an adult brain by finding out the obstacle in front of you and become solution oriented with persistence and respect. You are made to dream, just remember to bring your family with you. Be blessed on your journey.

Questions to Ponder:

What relationships are the hardest to hear “no” from?

When are you tempted to give up?

Prayer:

God, give me wisdom to see the real problems in front of me. Give me creativity to find solutions and help me to always keep others in mind and not my own wants and desires. Amen.

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Holler Back!?

Zechariah Newman —  November 11, 2018

“Luke where are you?!” I hollered in a frenzy as I searched for my eight year old son. My son, my father, and I were all in eastern Oregon deer hunting and now my son was nowhere to be found.

That morning I had hit a deer and we were trying to find it. As we searched, my dad and I decided to split up and Luke would search for the deer with me. At eight years old he has different fears and right then I realized he was scared of the sound of the gun.

He didn’t want to be next to me so I agreed that he could stay back a little. As I moved through the sage I was so focused on finding the deer that I didn’t turn back to see if Luke was still behind me. Cue father of the year award. As I turned back around he was gone! My mind whirled, I can’t shoot and I am a crappy dad.

Frantically hollering his name and searching, I cared nothing for the deer and everything about my boy. “Luke!” I yelled, now not being able to hold back tears. What seemed like hours later was only a few minutes. My dad bellowed, “I see him! He is coming towards me.” As I walked over the small ridge I found my son.

“Could you hear me, Luke?” I asked trying to not lose my temper. I quickly learned that he could hear me, but was afraid that he would get in trouble. It reminded me a lot of the story of Adam and Eve. They had just eaten the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and God comes to the garden to walk with them like He has done every evening. What do they do? They hide.

God is hollering for them and they hide in their shame. A really effective game of hide and go seek when you play with omniscient and omnipresent Deity.

On the path to your dreams, you are going to screw up a lot. Sometimes by mistakes and sometimes in sin you will screw up. I know because I am like a professional at failing. The key is to fail forward. In those moments your human nature to cover and hide will kick in. Hidden failure will not help you move forward. It keeps you lost in the desert of eastern Oregon while your dad cries and imagines the worst case scenarios.

The simplest and hardest thing to do is to “holler back.”

First, hollering back to God, “Here I am! Here I am God in all of my mistakes and sin. Here I am in my failure. Here I am, forgive me. Here I am, help me overcome.” In our low moments we need to take our burdens to the cross instead of hiding them and pretending like we are fine. When we bring them to God He will be faithful to draw near to us.

The second place we need to holler back is to people. You don’t need to drop your baggage on the doorstep of every person, however, you do need to tell a small band of people. In those moments that you share your full self and your mighty men love you anyways and remind you that a moment in time does not form your identity. They remind you of who you are in Christ and they set your feet back on solid ground.

Only when we holler back can we fail forward. Only when we walk in humility can we move on. The very thing that at moments feels like the opposite of healing is the very thing that moves us towards wholeness. Hiding takes more effort and steals more life than any other activity we humans do. Be you, be strong and courageous and your dreams will come to fruition. Be blessed on your journey.

Questions to Ponder:
When are you tempted to hide from God?
When are you tempted to hide from your peers?

Prayer: God, forgive me for hiding. I want to be transparent with you and others. Give me courage and help me to find people I can share my true self to in my worst moments and my best. Help me to move in spite of failure. Amen.

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I hate that the labels that say, “deer resistant” are a bunch of liars.

I live in the country and love the deer and the turkeys that are around our house, but I don’t love that they love my plants. I planted a bunch of different types of deer resistant flowers outside of our fenced area of the yard. I thought I was beautifying my driveway. Apparently the deer realized I gave them a buffet of greatness.

All summer long the deer would actually leave the plants alone for the most part. I watered and cared for my precious plants. Then buds would form and I waited in anticipation for the colorful bounty that would be my front yard. Then in one evening right before the flowers would open the evil deer crushed my colorful dreams. The carnage was heartbreaking.

A couple weeks later the plants had recovered and so had my hopes. The plants were ready to bloom again in only weeks, holding scars from the last apocalypse of the deer. My rainbow visual display would make my neighbors jealous of my gardening skills. Then the zombie deer destroyed my plants again!

All summer long this pattern would persist. The deer would leave the plants alone until they started to bloom and they would chew off the flowers. The plants would never give up. They would try and try again. This fall I have flowers! The plants look funny with the tops chewed off, nonetheless, the front yard is full of flowers.

Okay dream chasers, we need to learn a lesson from my non-deer resistant plants.

At the edge of success they would get their faces chewed on by a deer of death and have to start over from scratch and try and bloom again. I didn’t hear my flowers whine or even show a hint of giving up; they kept trying to bloom. They bounced back up like Rocky Balboa getting punched by Apollo Creed.

Luckily, we don’t have zombie deer trying to chew our beautiful faces off, but we will have a lot of setbacks. Someone you admire will tell you your dream doesn’t matter, your plans won’t work, and you will have to try a new strategy. Time and time again there will be setback after setback. Your emotions will have you wanting to cry and throw a big fit. That’s not your nature though.

Our true nature is a resilient one. One more powerful than my flowers. Our true nature I am talking about is our identity in Christ.

In Romans 8:37 it states, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

We have everything in us through Christ to bounce back and be an overcomer. The problem is that often instead of reminding ourselves of our nature and pushing through all of the obstacles in front of us, we focus on something else. This may be our current circumstances or the obstacles themselves to our own inadequacies. Instead of being a conqueror, we shrivel into a wimp because we choose to not operate from our identity in Christ.

It’s as simple as choice.

Choose to never surrender. Choose to live in joy. Choose to persevere. Choose to have a faith so strong that you are willing to look like a fool to others. You have what it takes to do what God has called you to do. You were built to dream, just make sure to bring your family with you. Be blessed on your journey.

Questions to Ponder: 

When are you tempted to give up?

What do you need to remember to push through setbacks?

Prayer: God, thank you for giving me perseverance. Help me when I am tempted to look at things outside of you and what you have called me to do. I want to be a man/woman of faith. Help me to live out that desire. Amen.

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The Hill

Zechariah Newman —  October 28, 2018

When I run I like to imagine I look like Eric Liddell, the man who the movie, Chariots of Fire, is about. I have found out that this is not true though by seeing photos of me running, still I love to run. I am training at the moment for my sixth marathon in November.

Running marathons is similar to chasing down any major goal except for extra sweat and the joy of getting to eat more chips and salsa after long runs. When you run a marathon, paying attention to how you attack a hill is crucial to finishing the race.

I have a tendency to push the hill. When I get to the hill I try to get up the stupid thing as fast as I can. The problem with this is that pushing up the steep hill wastes precious energy. In running a long race it’s all about conserving energy levels. My running translates over to my dream chasing tenacity as well. I want to push and get up whatever hill I’m climbing and it usually leads to burnout.

Another group of people avoid the hill. I watched a close friend of mine plan out a run and he picked the easiest stretch with as little incline as possible. The problem with this is that nothing good comes from easy. Muscle is built on those hills and if they are avoided on race day, the hills will eat you up and spit you out. Not literally, the hills are not alive! A dreamer that avoids hard and seeks comfort will never fully accomplish the dreams that are in their heart and mind.

When running the hill, there is a third group. This group is unnatural to most of us runners. They let the hill come to them. There is no avoidance of the hill, and if there is one in their root they take it in stride. They don’t press up the hill either. They maintain the speed they had as much as possible. Focusing on that next step and gliding up the hill.

The Hill

Balance is achieved on your journey just like with scales. When you have weights on either side and they don’t balance, the heavier side needs to be reduced or the lighter side needs to be increased. A hill in your life would be that you have a lot going on and it usually puts off your balance.

How is the weight at home? Are you facing anything at work? What goal are you working on? How is your health?

Asking questions like these let us know when we are on the hill. Are you on a hill right now?

Burnout

The byproduct of pushing too hard and not resting is burnout. If you have a tendency to burnout you need to pull back or you need to increase rest when you are on a hill. Be honest with the weight and pressure that you are carrying and find out ways to decrease your load. I ask three questions that help me.

1. What do I need to cut?
a. How can I do that in a healthy way?

2. What am I doing that someone else can do?
a. Who can I train to do that?
b. How can I hand it off in a healthy way?

3. What do I need to say no for now, but not forever? (Andy Stanley question)

Lazyness

We can avoid the hill and cover it up in wisdom. I believe one of the biggest idols in North America right now is comfort. We hold up comfort as the standard. In all reality, Jesus does not call us to comfort. If the hill is in between you and what God is calling you toward, don’t avoid it! There are a few questions I ask to find out if I need to run the hill.

1. Does the hill help get me where I want to go?
2. What will it cost if I avoid the challenge?
3. What will I gain if I tolerate the pain?

There will be a lot of hills (challenges) between you and your goals. They require more focus and acknowledgement of our human limits more than at most points in life. Let the moments refine you, embrace the hill, and let it come to you. God will work all things for good! Trust Him even with the hill. Be blessed on your journey.

Questions to Ponder:

How do I normally face challenges?

Where can I adjust to face into challenges in a healthy way?

Prayer: God, I need wisdom. I tend to (push the hill/avoid the hill). Help me to run the race in a way that honors you and the limits you put on my human body. Guide me and direct me so that I finish the race you placed in my heart! Amen.

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Waves

Zechariah Newman —  October 21, 2018

A few years ago I went halibut fishing in Alaska. That was the moment it became apparent; I get sea sick.

As we were going out to the spot where we were fishing at, I felt fine. The second we stopped to fish and drop our lines in the water, that fine feeling slowly slipped into I’m going to up chuck over the side of this boat. If you have never been on the ocean, it’s the swells that get you. I had started watching my pole and the highs rolling into lows caused this guy to feed the seagulls his breakfast. Try reeling in a fish and puking at the same time; it’s an experience!

When you get seduced into looking at the waves, you get sick. However, there is one thing that can help you when you are feeling sick and that is to keep your gaze and focus on the horizon. Looking at the horizon, levels out the high highs and the low lows.

When you are chasing dreams and goals that are beyond what you can see, you have a different kind of wave that has a higher cost than wiping your mouth of a little regurgitated cereal. That wave is the wave of belief.

One moment you are up high: Move out of my way, I’m going to make this happen! I’m quitting my job and going all in baby. You may think. The next you are low: What am I thinking? I can’t give up all this! In fact, I don’t think I can even make that dream come true. Your emotions make about as much sense as a two year old’s emotions. Try reasoning with a two year old and you won’t have much success.

The same method of stopping the upchuck shuffle is required for the waves of belief: look to the horizon. The horizon balances out emotions to a point where your wife or husband doesn’t go nuts by listening to you switch back and forth from a conquering hero to Eeyore, the sad donkey, on Winnie-the-Pooh.

The horizon of future.

When we set our gaze out in the future, it levels out the boat. Where God is calling you in the future isn’t where you are today. I know this because you’re reading a blog about chasing goals and dreams, and also we are not called to live a stagnant life. When you look to the future, what excites you about where you are going? Can you see yourself accomplishing your dreams?

The clearer you are on your preferred future, the more the wave chop will get taken out of your belief. When you want to cry to your mama, you will instead have the resolve to keep pushing through. When the future looks so good you can overcome the obstacles of today. If you have not taken the time to write down what you think God is calling you toward, please start. It is crucial because the road is long and the valleys can be deep. You will need the reminder about where you are going.

The God of the horizon.

Doubt is usually a product of circumstances. When we switch our gaze toward God, we are reminded about whom He is and not where we suck. We are reminded of who controls the cosmos and made the ant and who made us for purpose. God is in your corner. He made good works for you to do. He will give you the strength when you feel like you have nothing left to give. There are 4 things that help me to fix my gaze on God.

1. Silence and solitude in the morning, praying to Him.
2. Memorizing a verse to meditate on throughout the day.
3. Reading through my identity in Christ.
4. Praying audibly about my struggles.

Friends of the horizon.

Friends of the horizon doesn’t make sense, but I had a theme going on here. We need friends that we can reach out to when we are struggling. Friends that you respect and can remind you that you do have what it takes. A reminder that you can overcome challenges and setbacks. That you are awesomer than awesome. See I even make up words because you are so awesome. Building community is critical to dream chasing because we need a physical person to believe in our ability. Grab some friends and ask them if you can reach out in your low moments and tell them what you need from them in regards to support.

Keep your gaze up and don’t get seduced by the waves of emotions. God has placed in you a desire for a reason. Run to win the prize. You have what it takes. Be blessed on your journey.

Questions to ponder:

What excites me about where I am going?
When do I struggle and want to give up on my big goals?

Prayer: God, I am full of doubt and fear. Help me to run the race in a way that honors you. Give me strength to overcome my lack of faith. Give me wisdom in my dream chasing journey to set up a plan of horizon. I will be faithful no matter what to what you have placed in me. Amen.

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