It may seem a little late to say, “Happy New Year!’ but this is our first communication so far this year, so I want you to know I am personally praying for you to have an exceptional year. How’s it going so far? Have you gone through the exercise of taking time to re-evaluate where things are in your life? Did you make any resolutions?

Personally, this year, I’m skipping the resolutions. Too many times, these fall through the cracks and then just create an extra weight of guilt that I don’t need to carry around. If you made some, that’s great — this year, they just aren’t for me.

Make 2011 an Extraordinary Year

Make 2011 an Extraordinary Year

But that isn’t to say that I’ve skipped taking some time to re-evaluate. In fact, my wife and I have taken quite a bit of time to examine our lives and look at what God is doing and is leading us to do differently in 2011. We’re not finished, actually… we’re taking this slowly so that we can be deliberate and prayerful about the decisions we’re making.

Fasted Lately?

We’re thankfully surrounded by some people who have chosen to do some fasting, and while it can be extremely painful (this one included caffeine for me… youch!), it’s so valuable to quiet the soul and to break some of the habits that we don’t even know are holding us back in life. Whether you choose to abstain from all foods, from certain foods, or even from activities that are particularly pleasurable to you, this discipline alone has incredible benefits to help bring clarity and perspective to your life and make 2011 a better year.

Serve Someone Else

Fasting has a way of bringing us down a notch or two, but I can’t think of anything that will do this more quickly than setting out to serve someone else. We all know someone who could use a helping hand, and when we give of ourselves in a selfless way — especially when we’re already busy (or even overwhelmed) in our own lives — it can really help shift our attitudes and our point of view. I personally always seem to come away having learned something important, and usually feel grateful for the opportunity to be a blessing.

Developing a heart of servanthood can make all the difference in your success this year. Remember, Jesus said, “But this is not to be so among you; instead, whoever desires to be great among you must be your servant,” (Mark 10:43 AMP).

Recently, my wife came to me and said she felt like 2011 was going to be a “year of service” for us. We had already decided to take on supporting the Haiti Orphanage Project I mentioned to you just before Christmas, but after hearing her share this, we’ve prayed more about it and thought about our business:

How can we better serve our customers and clients?

This kind of thinking has already caused us to rethink some of the strategic moves we were getting ready to make and I believe everyone will be the better for it.

Who can you serve? Make it a neighbor, a homeless shelter, or go clean the toilets for your church. Whatever you do, allow God to speak to you as you demonstrate His selfless love and goodness toward someone else!

I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this. Feel free to comment here! And watch for part 2 coming soon…

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