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It’s that time of year again; the season we have vision for growth. The holidays are over, and we want next year to be different than last year. Because you’re a human I know you want to make progress on something in your life. Finances. Body. Business. Leadership. Reading. Diet. Writing. Insert your desired growth here: _________.  

But most people start every day trying to run through the mud in flip flops. It’s hard to make progress in life without traction. The good news is you can start building traction today. The real news is it takes time and intention to apply it. 

Pay attention to these three traction principles…

Comfort and growth can’t coexist. If you’re chasing comfort you’re not going to grow consistently. Growth has some tough friends; fear, change, loss, insecurity and pain. Tough crowd, get to know them well. They aren’t leaving any time soon. 

Energy isn’t created; it’s transferred. I didn’t learn much in Physics, but I’ve never forgotten The law of conservation of energy. It states that energy is not created; it’s transferred from thing to thing. If you’re going to grow you’ll need to transfer energy from one area of your life to another. Borrow from areas that matter less to you so you can put energy in places that matter more. Try to create new energy in your life and you’ll eventually burn out. No, you can’t do it all.  

You already have permission. You don’t need permission to start working on your business, ministry, book, project, YouTube channel or blog. Consider this your permission. Seek wise counselors and structure for sustainability, but go ahead and take little steps to get started! 

Let’s get ridiculously practical. In order to launch and lead this new thing you might need to create a space for your work, wake up at the same time every day, watch less Netflix, stick to a weekly routine, say “no” to mediocre things, get more sleep, wake up early, turn lunch hour into creative hour, etc. 

No need to copy and paste, but here are the things I do to keep traction… 

Go to bed early and wake up early (turns out I work better on sleep)

Join or create awesome teams (solid teams have been the X factor for me)

Cultivate sabbath space every week (my best ideas arise here)

Turn needless meetings into emails

Come to meetings prepared (meetings are active, not passive)

Avoid scanning emails between meetings (sometimes I miss things, but it’s still worth the risk of a clear head for me)

Take one risk at a time (I only occasionally violate this)

Ask people ahead of me for advice (this saves me a lot of simple mistakes)

Rarely work in the evenings (so I can invest in my family)

Avoid incoming emails early in the morning (this puts me on the defensive)

Block and batch my time (I created the Weekly Planning Grid for this)

Walk closely with God (it reminds me what I do isn’t who I am)

Consume books and podcasts that stoke my thinking (even if I don’t agree)

Travel to another context monthly to add value 

Get enough sleep to enjoy coffee but not rely on it (caffeine can make us lazy)

Share my goals with other people for feedback and accountability

 

A few questions to journal about…

In which areas are you losing traction in your life? How can you fix the leaks?

What little thing brings you traction every time? How can you do that more?

What habit is helping you? What habit is hurting you?