Navigating New Years With A 90-Day Challenge

January 1, 2013 — Leave a comment


Last year, and by last year I mean yesterday, I posted my 13 (abstract) resolutions for 2013. I pointed out that resolutions without an action plan don’t really work. Resolving just do things differently leads to the above comic becoming incarnate in your own life. So, making resolutions concrete involves two steps:

  1. Brainstorm concrete actions that relate to the resolutions
  2. Focus on one specific action in each area for 90 days

The latter idea is something I’ve blogged about before. It’s called a 90-day challenge. Since a year is 365 days, you can do four 90 day challenges in a calendar year: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. Using the compound effect, you can focus on small steps toward the resolution, rather than making radical changes all at once.

In my case, it helps that I’ve been thinking about the resolutions since break started. So I’ve had time to plan, and in some cases, I’m just resuming a discipline that I’ve let fall by the wayside (like frequenting the gym for instance). In other cases, I’m trying to develop a habit that I’ve neglected to develop, even though I know I should. And when I say “should,” I have a gospel “should” in mind. You know, the one where I’m not earning favor with God but living more in line with my already favored identity as an adopted son of God. I should live more and more like I’m a child of the King.

All that being said, I regrouped my 13 resolutions into 3 key areas:

  • Rhythms
  • Reading
  • Relationships

Using these as headings, here are the resolutions again:


  • Pray more
  • Spend less time online (or spend wiser time online)
  • Get in musical shape and learn more songs
  • Get in physical shape and lose some weight


  • Spend less $$ on books
  • Sharpen up my Greek and Hebrew
  • Read differently
  • Write more original content (and possibly a book)


  • Be more thankful (this could also go under rhythms)
  • Start a family (or more accurately, get some affairs in order to start trying)
  • Lead Ali better at home
  • Be more relational
  • Disciple more

Now rather than 13 individual resolutions, I’ve got 3 areas of focus with some general prescriptions directing my planning. To formulate a 90-day challenge that has clear goals involved, I’ll need to add actions items in each of these areas. But, that will wait for tomorrow’s post. Today’s agenda is to spend some time planning and thinking through the specific action items.

That and watching bowl games.

But mostly organized and planning the upcoming 90 days.

(Image via)


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I'm an avid reader, musician, and high school Bible teacher living in central Florida. I have many paperback books and our house smells of rich glade air freshners. If you want to know more, then let's connect!

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