by Ryan Krzykowski

Happy New Year and welcome to 2020.  As we flip the calendar to a new year and decade, it’s a natural time to reflect and ask ourselves what we can do to live better.  What’s working well?  What needs to be cleaned up?  How can I make the most of the limited hours in each day, while living at a pace that’s sustainable and nourishing?

Thinking about those questions and looking ahead to the coming year, I realize a few things.  I need to slow down — spend more time reading and cultivate the discipline to pray more effectively.  I need to do a better job of living in the moment — being less concerned with things that I have to do later, and learning to enjoy the present more.  And I need to grow in my ability or willingness to “push pause” when I get irritated.

It happened again just a couple weeks ago.  I was in a conversation with a struggling student who was teetering on the pass/fail brink for the first semester.  This student had pledged to give a great effort to wrap up the term, and it just wasn’t happening.  Frustrated by her lack of effort and concern for her own academic well-being, I got fed up and kind of mocked her supposed commitment to passing the math class.  It wasn’t like I lost it; my voice was low and we didn’t make a scene or anything.  I just left the conversation knowing that I had allowed my frustration to dictate my words, rather than slowing down, assessing the situation and choosing the approach that would have the best chance of actually being helpful.  I know that feeling that comes when the frustration builds and I am tempted toward a lack of kindness.  In 2020, I want to push pause in those situations, take a breath, think, and then speak.

It doesn’t seem like it should be very difficult, but it’s taken me the better part of four decades to even realize I have this tendency and make it a goal to change course.  Makes me grateful for a God who loves us with such incredible patience and who uses everything, even our shortcomings and mistakes, to accomplish His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Let’s Coach With Purpose in 2020.