Grow Like Crazy!
Every year as the calendar moves from one year to the next I take time to reflect on the year behind me and the year ahead. I thank the Lord for the trials and victories He has brought me through and ask Him to show me what I need to see for the year ahead. This reflection on the past year helps me to create my personal growth plan for the next year.
Dr. Chris Stephens, Senior Pastor of Faith Promise Church, encourages us each year to create a personal growth plan. Pastor Chris has given us a great model to use when writing our plan. This template can be found in the back of each one of his books including Without released in January 2016 and Called Out released this month. You can also access a PDF Template here (page 4).
Overview of Pastor Chris’ Personal Growth Plan
Listed below are five main sections of the plan. Each section has detailed instruction on how to create your plan. Take a moment to view the template now.
Set Yourself Up for Success
By looking at the level in detail possible in each section of the plan it is easy to get overwhelmed. Take it in bite sized chunks. Whether this is your first plan or your 50th it is important to create a plan that challenges you but does not overwhelm you. When we get overwhelmed our tendency is to do nothing.
Try this idea: select one or two things from each of the five main sections and focus on those for the year. If that still seems too overwhelming then perhaps select one or two main sections to focus on for the year.
If you are early in recovery your plan may primarily consist of meeting with your sponsor regularly; completing the steps and attending church on the weekend (all of which would fall into the Faith category). If you have completed the steps then your plan may include following the daily Bible reading plan to read through the Bible in a year (Faith), serving at fpCelebrate (Faith) and creating a realistic financial budget (Fortune).
Taking the plan in bite sized chunks is not a license to do it half way. We all know that half measures will avail us NOTHING! We will not grow unless we are stretched beyond our comfort zone. Your personal growth plan needs to be achievable but challenging. Make sure it includes things you have not done before – or not done successfully. For example if your goal last year was to spend 20 minutes in quiet time with God and you actually only spent an average of 10 minutes, don’t set a goal of 30 minutes of quiet time this year. Keep the goal of 20 minutes and work to actually achieve the goal.
Part of truly growing personally and spiritually is being accountable. Share your personal growth plan with your sponsor or accountability partner. They can help “keep you honest” throughout the year. However, don’t rely solely on them. Ultimately your personal and spiritual growth – your recovery – is YOUR responsibility.
I am praying for you, your recovery and your growth. I can’t wait to hear stories about how much you grow in the year ahead.