Start 2017 Running: Intention and Attention

2017 is going to be your best year yet…I know that it’s going to be mine.

Whether 2017 is a season of growth and breakthrough for you or a year of pruning and deepening…as it progresses we are going to be gaining ground. Some of those gains are going to be celebrated…some are going to be imperceptible to all but you and Jesus, but as we each continue to draw near to Him and follow His lead…it’s going to happen…we are going to gain ground.

Two things that we need if we are going to gain ground and then to be good stewards of those gains is Intention and Attention.


Intention is understanding my goals and my “why” behind each goal. Having my intentions set gives me the map to set my “no” and my “yes” everyday. And over my lifetime, it ensures that I will not live for lesser things.
 Without intention, feelings, circumstances, and other people’s urgency or goals will manage our “yes” and our “no”. We can be incredibly busy, but have a constant sinking feeling of somehow being further behind than when we started.


Attention is doing the right things at the right time.  You must schedule your intentions.  You can have all of the dreams and goals in the world, if they are not given dedicated, protected time then they will never become a reality.  The great thing about attention is that if we can develop sustained rhythms on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis (ie. exercise first thing every morning, Friday night family game night, first Monday of the month review family financial goal progress, yearly three day retreat with friends), then curve balls don’t derail our lives.  Monday snow days or holiday seasons don’t send us into spirals of anxiety or leave us feeling buried.

Conversely, you can have the latest scheduling app, ten to-lists, and every minute accounted for on tomorrow’s calendar, but without intention you will either not have the determination to stick to your plans or you will be busy all day but may not be doing anything that really accomplishes your goals.


Intention with no Attention = constant dreaming, with little or no fulfilling

Attention with no Intention = busy work, rarely accomplishing the things that really matter

How do I know that intention and attention are crucially important?  Because I have seen the fruit first hand in my life of not having them both in play.  I tend to be an intuitive leader, not an intentional leader and so I have to work at structure all of the time to steward my life well.

Mike Varney says, “The goal of productivity is to speed the right things up, so we can slow the right things down.” I agree with him.

Burn out is not a badge, it’s a penalty on the play.

The best leaders aren’t haggard and burnt out. Burn out is not a badge, it’s a penalty on the play. It tells us that we are doing something wrong and/or out of order. The best leaders know how to work from rest, rather than resting from work.  

They enjoy the life that God has given them and the people in their life.

Let’s take some ground for the Kingdom in 2017…Intention and Attention will help us do it!

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