Goals. While January is a great time to plan New Year’s resolutions, March is a great time to check in and see how you are doing. Whenever I think about planning for the future, I think about my good friend Bill Johnston. He was a friend who died way too young. Bill was the most intentional man I have ever known. When it came to planning for the future, he was clearly the best. A financial planner who had worked for Georgia Pacific in the past, Bill was the perfect man for the job.
Bill was the driving force behind Goals Weekend, a mini-retreat that we put together for men in our church (Northpoint Community Church) the first weekend of the year. We would sit down and talk about goals and what we wanted in the coming year. We also talked about death and what we would want people to say about us at our funeral. Then, we would brainstorm together on how we wanted to live our lives to accomplish the dreams.
Making and sticking to a plan is not second nature. Getting busy and fired up about exciting opportunities is only part of the process; you have to be able to follow through. Bill was the master of follow-through; he had charts/checklists like you would not believe and he stuck to them.
Accountability was a core value for Bill. Today, I am in one accountability group for my business and one for my spiritual life. Bill was a great teacher. In addition, he was a great friend. He was a Proverbs 17:17 friend.
There have been times in my life where I made some bad choices. When you walk through dark times, you find out who your true friends are and who really cares. Bill was gold in my life. Bill was not judgmental but in a gentle way, he always pointed me back to the light. I am so thankful for his influence.
As this first quarter of the year comes to end, I encourage everyone to ponder the lessons of Bill Johnston’s life. Live intentionally. Create a plan. Make yourself accountable. Savor each day because you never know when God may call you home.