Here's How Your 2018 Will Finish Strong

Here's How Your 2018 Will Finish Strong
Don’t fall into the negativity trap! Make success a habit in 2018!
The great golf instructor Harvey Penick was asked by one of his students, “How do I get out of sandtraps?” Harvey replied, “I’ll eventually teach you that. But first, I’ll teach you how to stay out of sandtraps.”
Life is full of traps. Some we see, and still walk into them. Others are unseen and we are surprised when captured by them. Regardless of whether we are caught or not, they are all around us every day. I’m no golf pro, but I know about traps, so let me coach you a little.
The trap right now is making New Year’s resolutions. Don’t just make a resolution—start a habit. And here’s the habit to start: make decisions against yourself. 
Here’s why. We all make deals with ourselves and give ourselves reasons to quit. As master negotiators, we make ourselves feel better about not accomplishing a goal by accepting the reason why we didn’t.
To accomplish your goals in 2018, just start a habit to make decisions against yourself. Don’t accept your own excuses—just get up and do what you need to do.
In the book, Just a Bartender, I wrote that the opposite of fear is START.
Make the decision to start. Don’t negotiate with your negative self-talk, or with the negative world around you. Daily get in the Word. Read the stories of the disciples—men who didn’t always get it right, but they always kept moving. Move toward your desired result for 2018. Do it now. Create a full-of-faith, positive lifestyle.
The most successful men I know have a habit of making positive forward movement every day. If they get knocked down, they get back up.
Think about a morning ritual—the Word, prayer, pushups, a healthy drink. Get up 30 minutes early and make it happen. Don’t negotiate it away.
What are your large goals? What small thing could you do today to move closer? One of the great stories I read this year was of the 18th century novelist Anthony Trollope. He got up every day at 5am, reviewed his previous days’ writing, then from 5:30am to 7:30am he wrote longhand with ink and paper. Then he went to his job at the post office… by the time he died in 1882 at the age of 67 he had written 47 novels! He made it happen.

Make a habit to decide against yourself each time you want to skip devotions, skip prayer, skip the Word. The habit of deciding against yourself, refusing your own negotiations and rationalizations, denying yourself, will move you closer to God. Moving closer to God will keep you out of the sandtraps of life. Godly wisdom and resolve will keep you from falling into the traps of self negotiation and self justification.
Now, get out there and live! Let me hear from you as you have a tremendous 2018!