Are You in Reactive or Proactive Mode?

Dr. Gary Hewins Lifepoints President

New Year’s resolutions can often last into early February, but intentional planning can make a huge difference. Here are some tips for you to be a more effective person and leader in 2020. Next year is going to be so great, in part, because you took some time to think through a simple personal plan for yourself and your family.

Spontaneity is great, but so too, is having some sort of relationship/family plan. Good leaders make good plans that give others a real sense of purpose and accomplishment. If you asked a son, daughter or spouse what the family wants to accomplish next year, would they have an answer. Do you or your family have a theme for 2020? Is there any strategy improving the status quo? Are you living more in a reactive mode or a proactive mode? 

Do you have something to learn from those who have made an artform out of being ready for the year ahead? Corporate America is pretty good at devising strategies and making plans for the coming year. Good corporate leaders have long since assembled key people in their businesses to define an upcoming annual theme, to set goals and objectives, and to intentionally plan for growth in the next 12-14 months. Good leaders orchestrate a future while others are seeking to simply get by in the present. 

Just the thought of an annual plan seems a bit daunting. Maybe you are not into devising an overwhelming plan but that doesn’t mean that some kind of plan, if only simple, will make a huge difference for you in 2020. The following simple ideas, if implemented, will make a big-time difference for you in 2020. 


Time with Others

Think about a spouse or child or significant person in your life and try to “intentionalize” the amount of quality time you invest in one another. For married couples, consider going on a date once a week. A date can be a romantic dinner together or hanging out at Home Depot. A date often follows taking a shower and in a perfect world, is enjoyed in the absence of cell phones. 

In addition to a weekly date, intentionally hang out together one day a month, one weekend a quarter, and one week a year. This same principle works for kids when just one child gets a whole “date” or day outing with the parents a month to do what can yield the highest gain for them, the parents and the whole family. 


Continuing Education?

Anyone who has a license for most any reason understands the need to take a few required “continuing ed” classes to maintain their credentials. Why not you too? Think about two or three aspects of interpersonal relationships where you (or your marriage) could use some improvement. Next, pick some intentional ways of improving in those areas in 2020. Maybe you need some tips in the areas of communication, time management, parenting, personal boundaries or procrastination (unless you want to work on that in 2021) or staying focused and increasing your memory. 

What are the areas of relationships that causes you and others the most grief? Address these areas in the following ways:  Read two books next year that will help you improve in your worst areas (or you and your spouse read 2-3 books together next year and discuss each), ask a friend to coach you in an area that they are really strong and enjoy the benefits of accountability. Go to that personal finance course offered at a local church in your area. Learn all you can about “Love Languages” and start loving others better. 


Evaluating 2020

Next year can be best evaluated in retrospect if you define your “win” for next year. You only really know if you succeeded if you first defined success. New Year’s resolutions fade in February but “intentionalized” plans to love and invest in one another yield results for a lifetime. Plan to influence others and be the leader you know you can be in 2020!


Dr. Gary Hewins is the President of, a coaching and consulting ministry to ministry leaders and preachers and the Senior Pastor of Community Bible Church in the picturesque mountains of Highlands, N.C.

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