Stop. Evaluate 2014.

Can you believe 2014 has come to an end? With only 17 days left, including the one you're living today, there is probably a sense that 2014 is already over. Christmas is looming and the headless chicken run is on! Dinner parties, shopping, a few more dinner parties and more shopping. We eat more, drink more, sleep LESS and spend more. Our days are consumed by consumerism and our nights consumed by festivities. Now these activities, in themselves, are not necessarily bad things, but in the next 17 days they have more potential than any other time of the year to be toxic. 

Before working on goals for next year, I encourage you to spend even a little time on reviewing your goals for 2014. Like an arrow, you need to go back in order to be propelled healthily into 2015. 

Ask yourself:

Why did I fail to reach some goals?

Why did I reach others?

Unless you know why you were successful, it might be hard to repeat that success next year. And unless you know why you were unsuccessful is other areas, it might be hard to become successful unless you know why.
— Carey Nieuwhof

For me, I didn't get around to refurbishing at item of furniture, a personal goal I had hoped to achieve this year, and I haven't yet launched men's retreats as a part of YEBO Life's service arm. Men's retreats have been etched in my heart to launch very soon, starting here in Cape Town. But this year I have realized that not all vision is for the now, a lot of it is for the future. 

YEBO Life is taking an exciting journey of refining and honing of our vision and passion - Spreading the Stoke. Although certain goals weren't achieved this year, we blazed trails and achieved more than we'd dreamed. Julie moved from Knoxville to Cape Town, we got married and started a ministry, all in just 8 weeks. Talk about pressure. I look back on 2014 and marvel at all God has done for us. Such provision. Such favor. Such grace.

  Julie and me walking down the isle after saying, "I do."

Julie and me walking down the isle after saying, "I do."

Registering YEBO Life as an NPO was trickier than I thought. A board of directors was handcrafted by God, himself, and we couldn't have done all the paperwork without the guidance of Ron Martin, associate pastor of Hillsong Cape Town and founder of SALT Ministries. With a strong inner circle of accountability and leadership, I feel confident in moving forward with the big vision God has laid deep in my heart.

We launched our first retreat this year in Gatlinburg, Tennessee! Four young professionals came together over a weekend and dived deep into their God-given calling and purpose. They were an integral part of the beginning of an impactful arm of our ministry. We are excited to announce four retreats for 2015 - January and April in Cape Town, and November will be a doubleheader in Nashville and Knoxville! 

From our first retreat in Gatlinburg, our Your Story E-Course was birthed. Without Julie at the helm, the content and design, and well basically everything, wouldn't be at the professional level that you'll find it in. She spent countless hours working and editing our 8-lesson course that is geared to propelling individuals into their unique callings. Watch this space.

  Looking back on this year's vision and goals in preparation for next year.

Looking back on this year's vision and goals in preparation for next year.

Having said all of this, I can look back at 2014 and see where I may have done better. But I can also celebrate the unchartered territory that we have pioneered. As with anyone, I excelled in the areas that I am passionate and skilled in - Relationship building, networking and coaching. And need to work on my several areas of weakness - Admin, sticking to a schedule and over-committing, just to name a few.

It's easy to do the things you like. But in order to do the things you like, you need to do the things you don't like. This takes a continuous work of God in our lives. 

This little exercised of 'going back' has revealed my blindspots. I'm able to reinforce these areas in order to move healthily into the new year. I encourage you to do the same. 

Where have you come from? What goals weren't reached and why? And celebrate the victories, no matter how big or small!

Do yourself a favor, friend - Stop. Evaluate 2014.

Heart to God.
Spread the Stoke.