Align Your Days With Your Dreams

October 3 - December 12, 2024

Reinvent your life . . . everyday!

Your life is a work in progress

Give yourself permission to fill your life with purpose and passion. Find ways to discover and honor your callings in life. Clarify your values and create a rule of life. Seek discomfort in ways that break unhelpful assumptions, attitudes, approaches and actions. Notice what's working and what's not in your life and develop a new road map for your life that's specifically designed for you. Join the conversation, share your wisdom, and learn from others.
PRE-WORK 1: Define your current reality
  • List your current callings in life AND your competing commitments
  • List your primary strengths. What's your superpower?
  • List what's life-giving for you AND life-draining.
  • List what’s working in your life AND what’s not working.
  • List what you'd like to do more of in the future AND less of.
  • List your core values/highest priorities.
  • List what you'd like to be different in your life.
  • List what you'll no longer tolerate as you move forward.
  • List what makes you feel alive; what makes your heart sing.
  • List the obstacles you face moving into your preferred future.
  • List an image, word, or phrase that describes your current setting.
  • List an image, word, or phrase to frame your intentions this year.
PRE-WORK 2: Complete the following projects
  • Complete the Wholeness Wheel exercise. 
  • Review your Spiritual Autobiography.
  • List people who could be a resource/sounding board.
  • List 10 ten goals for this year and then prioritize them.
  • Describe your top 3 goals in greater detail. 

Craft a Rule of Life

A rule of life is a set of intentional guidelines or principles that individuals create to help structure and prioritize their daily lives. It serves as a personal framework to support well-being, personal growth, and the pursuit of meaningful goals. Creating a rule of life involves thoughtful reflection and planning. Here's a general process:

  1. Self-Reflection: Begin by assessing your current life situation, values, and priorities. Consider what areas of your life you want to improve or focus on, such as health, relationships, spirituality, work, or personal development.
  2. Identify Values: Identify your core values and beliefs. What matters most to you? These values will form the foundation of your rule of life.
  3. Set Goals: Define specific, measurable, and achievable goals for each area of your life that you want to address. These goals should align with your values and reflect what you want to accomplish.
  4. Prioritize: Determine the relative importance of each goal and area of your life. Not all goals will carry equal weight, so prioritize them based on your values and what's most pressing.
  5. Create Guidelines: Develop practical guidelines or habits that will help you work toward your goals and live in alignment with your values. These could be daily, weekly, or monthly practices.
  6. Review and Adjust: Periodically review your rule of life to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. Life circumstances change, so your rule of life should be flexible.
  7. Seek Accountability: Share your rule of life with a trusted friend, family member, or mentor who can provide support and hold you accountable to your commitments.
  8. Practice Self-Compassion: Understand that it's normal to face setbacks and challenges. Be kind to yourself and adapt your rule of life as necessary to meet changing needs.
  9. Live with Intention: Embrace your rule of life as a daily guide, striving to live with intention and purpose, working toward your goals, and staying true to your values.

Creating a rule of life is a dynamic process that evolves as your life circumstances change. It helps you remain grounded so that you can do less while doing what truly matters. Your rule of life will most likely include core assumptions about life and yourself, what you hold most dear, and specific practices that help you honor the essence of who you are. 

Create Space for Reinvention  |  Clarify What Really Matters


  • Define your current reality
  • List what's working 
  • List what's not working
  • List what's life-giving
  • List what's life-draining
  • Note your life's trajectory
  • Know your purpose
  • Know your passions
  • Know your priorities
  • Know your limitations
  • Use the Wholeness Wheel
  • List what's not essential
  • List what no longer serves you  
  • List what's most pressing
  • What will be your legacy?


  • Paint a picture of your future
  • List what you'll no longer tolerate
  • Connect "why' with what you do
  • Rewrite your stories
  • "What if" your norms
  • Measure your influence. 
  • Create time/energy margins
  • Rethink your calendar
  • Rethink your finances
  • Rethink your energy
  • Rethink your relationships
  • Rethink the voices in your head
  • Decide what you'll delegate
  • Set better boundaries
  • Park ideas & opportunities


  • Clarify your values
  • Embrace your superpowers
  • List competing commitments
  • Craft a rule of life.
  • Design your day (new norms)
  • Design your week & month
  • Design your year & decade
  • Select an annual theme
  • Add YOU to your calendar
  • Schedule deep work
  • Use a coach; find a mentor
  • Track your results & learnings
  • Embed atomic habits into life
  • Review your day daily
  • Develop your support system

STEP 1 | Declutter Your Life

When people ask me what’s the most valuable resource for a church leader, my answer is always time. Take a long, hard look at your calendar. How much of what's occuping your days and weeks are tasks that don’t bring you closer to joy or your goals.  Your clutter might be a signal that you need to make some changes in your circumstances to bring your work and life back into alignment. Unwanted Clutter usually reflects a glitch in your systems and serves as an indicator that something in your life is not running as smoothly as possible .

Declutter your Calendar
Decluttering your calendar involves reviewing  your tasks , meetings , events , and other commitments that make us feel overscheduled .

  • Make a list. Write down your passions, goals, and aspirations. This will guide you as you curate a more intentional schedule that truly honors your time. 
  • Look at your calendar. Identify tasks and activities scheduled in your calendar that don’t align with the passions and goals you listed earlier.
  • Unsubscribe and delegate. Take a look at the tasks and activities you’ve identified. Is there any way you can unsubscribe from them or delegate them to someone else? How much time does this free up for you? If you’re a leader who spends more time replying to emails and comments than creating what you love, perhaps you can consider delegating some of these tasks to a virtual assistant.
  • Redirect your time. Once you free up some time on your calendar, think about how you want to utilize that time. It’s important to be intentional as you curate your schedule. Fill these pockets of time with activities that can uplift your life and move you closer to your personal goals.

Declutter Your Mind
Let go of the tapes you play in your head that sap your energy, steal your joy, increase your anxiety, and diminish who you are. Mental clutter inlcudes the thoughts , worries , concerns , and desires that distract us and distress us .Note what triggers these thoughts, how long you ruminate on them, and what thoughts you might replace them with.

Declutter Your Digital Life.
Digital clutter is anything on our devices that overwhelms us . It includes our phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, sound systems. Note how much time you spend on your devices, how energizing these

Declutter your Physical Space

  •  Note when your clutter begins to bother you.
  • Think about how that clutter makes you feel.
  •  Ask yourself why the  accumulated.
  • Think about what you want to see in place of the clutter. What do you wish to make room for?

STEP 2 | List What You've Been Tolerating

STEP 2 | List Counter-productive Assumptions

Our capacity to reimagine and reinvent our future is constrained by our self-imposed limitations. Limitations include the things we tolerate or accept in life that aren't aligned with our preferred futures. Items people we coach often accept, include:
  • Quit prioritizing productivity over well-being. Prioritize your lives as much and you do your job.
  • Quit striving to achieve work-live balance.  The idea of work-life balance assumes your work life and personal life are separate . It doesn’t account for the possibility that your work life will encroach upon your personal life or that your personal life will affect your performance at the office . We simply don’t live in these silos anymore. There are aspects of our everyday routines that don’t fit neatly into either of those categories. It also doesn’t account for unforeseen situations, where equal attention to both parts of your life just aren’t possible.
  • Quit taking on too many responsibilities. We need to think about how many competing commitments we can realistically manage, and which ones we may need to set aside, at least for a period of time. In music, harmony happens when two or more contrasting melodies are played together. In our everyday life, harmony happens when we integrate our personal life and work life so our days flow smoothly, where the parts of our life complement one another rather than working in opposition.
  • Quit putting work first. If you're aiming for work-live harmony You are the nexus around which your life revolves . Work-life harmony helps you evaluate whether the things in your life are in sync with your priorities.  We must choose activities that enhance our lives and eliminate those that don’t.
  • Quit discounting what your body and gut are trying to tell you.  Our bodies often tell us what’s working and what’s not working in our life. Consider what you might learn if you listen to your body and the moods you experience.
  • Quit deferring  your passions. We often defer the things we’re most passionate about. Move them toyour NOW list rather than your LATER list.
  • Quit ignoring the power of small steps and 5-15 minute sprints. Use the brief moments in your daily life to propel you toward your preferred future. Find pockets of time when I could begin to experience that harmony - while commuting, waiting for a meeting to begin, or a 10 minute walk.
  • Ask more questions that get to the core of who you are. What do I really love? What do I personally want to do? What do you want to create in your life that would meaningful to you?

15-Minute Exercises
  • Make a list of things you do every week that are life-draining.
  • Make a list of the things you're tolerating, that aren't part of your reimagined life, or aren't in alignment with your callings, convictions, core values, and dreams.
  • Make a list of what you’ll stop doing, or do less of, to make space for what matters most to you.
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| Reclaim margins in life

  1. Acknowledge that I can't do it all. List/prioritize 5 things to let go of this year.
  2. List plans for letting go of item #1.
  3. Rearrange schedule to match my energy levels.
  4. Be home by 8:30pm most evenings.
  5. Build meeting agendas with conveners; do not attend most monthly meetings.
  6. Schedule time for quarterly Sabbath retreats.
  7. Schedule a night every month to connect with friends.
  • What time of the day am I most creative?
  • Moving forward, what will I no longer tolerate?
  • How and who can I equip to do the things I don't need to do?
  • What does self-care look like for me, right now?
  • Who can support me in living into my preferred future?
  • What is it costing me and my family if I don't make these changes?

| Lose 10 pounds in 6 months

  1. Use lunch break to go for a 30-minute walk.
  2. Schedule walk and talk meetings with church leaders.
  3. Drink a 40 ounces of water daily to stay hydrate, reduce sense of hunger.
  4. Avoiding eating during home visits, and after 7:30pm.
  5. Starting and participate in a walking group with church members.
  6. Begin weighing self daily; determine healthy ways to celebrate my weight loss.
  • What are the triggers that cause me to eat when I'm not hungry?
  • What impact does stress have on my eating habits?
  • Who models healthy habits that can support me?
  • How will I celebrate my progress in healthy ways?
  • How can I make exercise more playful and fun?
  • How do I need to see myself differently to be act differently?

3 | Make time for hobbies

  1. Change meetings times so I can participate in monthly book discussion group.
  2. Buy tickets to 5 or more local plays, concerts, or comedy groups.
  3. Attend a broadway performance this year.
  4. Visit local wineries. Take a wine tasting course.
  • Which hobbies do I enjoy doing alone?  With others?
  • Who else enjoys some of the same hobbies I like?
  • When and where might I do my favorite hobbies?
  • Why do I always put my hobbies on the back burner?
  • How do my hobbies contribute to my well-being?

4 | Take trips I've deferred for years

  1. Join friends in biking Wisconsin's Sparta trail.
  2. Rent a cottage along MN's northshore for a weekend.
  3. Go hiking at Joshua Tree after Leading Well Retreat.
  4. Tour Ring Road and Golden Circle in Iceland.
  5. Hike Crater Lake; drive Oregon coast with family.
  • With whom do I wish to travel with?
  • Which destinations do I wish to plan first?
  • What kind of vacation/setting would be more renewing/energizing?
  • Are there trips that I can combine with other scheduled events?
  • What would a week-long staycation look like for me?

5 | Deepen spiritual life and practices

  1. Schedule monthly meetings with a spiritual director.
  2. Start journaling & practicing Daily Examen at the end of the day.
  3. Register for the November Leading Well Retreat.
  4. Take the Enneagram assessment; explore ways it can help me grow.
  5. Use weekly Sabbath day for rest, renewal and recreation.
  • When and where am I most aware of God's presence?
  • Which past experiences have been most formative for me?
  • Which practices could I embed into my current routines?
  • Who is, or could be, a spiritual mentor/guide for me?
  • Which part of the day is most suited for reflection/renewal?

6 | Improve my home & financial settings

  1. Pay off Honda Fit car loan.
  2. Purchase guest bedroom furniture; wall desk for family room.
  3. Use up remaining Nest funds for kid's college expenses.
  4. Contribute maximum IRA amount to retirement plan.
  5. Redesign outdoor patio space; install grills & Solo Stove.
  • What's my favorite room in the house?
  • Which rooms energize you?  Drain you?
  • Where in my home do I experience Sabbath moments?
  • Who would I like to have over to my home more often?
  • What are 5 ways I could me our home or inviting, functional, or fun?

7 | Re-engage with friends and family members

  1. Re-engage with friends and colleagues via Facebook/Instagram.
  2. Pilot 15 minute phone conversations with 3 friends/week.
  3. Explore new small group opportunities at church.
  4. Host/help plan family reunion event.
  5. Invite friends for brunch/dinner once a month).
  • What are the top 10 friends I wish to connect with more often?
  • Who are the people that inspire me? Challenge me? Support me?
  • What gets in the way of connecting with those who I love?
  • Who are the people that continue to reach out and connect with me?
  • What do I need right now from the friends I connect with?

8 | Make space for fitness and outdoor activities

  1. Purchase annual ski pass; ski 12 or more times this year.
  2. Rent kayak rack at Cobblestone; kayak 12+ times this summer).
  3. Participate in a sleep study; focus on better sleeping habits.
  4. Average 7500 steps/day  via rebounder or walking.
  5. Practice 1MAD and 18:6 eating routines.
  • Am I more successful working out at home or at a gym?
  • Which activities do I enjoy that also keep me fit?
  • Which activities could I do more often with my friends?
  • What do I need most - more rest, more exercise or better diet?
  • Who are, or could be, fitness coaches and mentors for me?



  • JAN: - Plan Strategic Generosity event/cohort.
  • FEB - Plan Living & Leading Well cohorts.
  • MAR - Launch Leading Well Retreat registration.
  • APR - Revamp Coach Well webpages.
  • MAY - Coaching pathways & publications.


  • MONTHLY - Invite friends for brunch/dinner.
  • MAR - Install new screens/door locks.
  • MAY - Set up Kamodo grill; take grilling class.
  • JUN - Create fire pit space for Solo Stove.
  • AUG - Renovate Kenton's room.


  • MONTHLY - Lose 1#/month until reaching 175#.
  • MAR - Purchase season ski pass at Welch Village.
  • JUN - Set up LLC for coaching & training events.
  • AUG - Update ICF coaching credentials.
  • AUG - Update all ICF online coaching content.


  • MONTHLY - Meet with spiritual director.
  • APR - Pilot Faith @ Home resources with family.
  • JUL - Digitize all files, folders, books & paperwork.
  • JUN - Test using Centering Prayer Apps.


  • JAN - Launch Familying the Faith podcast.
  • APR - Move links, PDFs, MPAs & MP4s to STS app.
  • APR - Redesign Surface to Soul Youtube Channel.
  • MAY - Develop video creation/editing skills.
  • SEP - Create Udemy-style modules for ACC.


  • JAN - Trip to Greece with Kenton.
  • JAN -Trip to Cozumel with Brett.
  • FEB - Trip to Portugal.
  • MAR - Spring break trip to San Francisco.
  • JUN - Attend Apple Developer Conference.
  • NOV - Hike Angel's Peak @ Grand Canyon.


  • Arise @ 5am; check weight; sort emails.
  • Complete 10,000 steps; 15-minute workout.
  • *Post daily on Facebook & Instagram.
  • Ask a question/share an affirmation via text.
  • Post a picture everyday in Journal app.
  • Don't eat until 2pm or after 8pm.
  • Go to bed by 10:00pm every night.
  • Plan tomorrow the night before.
  • Review my goals, ideas, and bucket list.
  • Plan a 24-hour learning/renewal retreat.
  • Fast one day a week (SAT).
  • Review finances/budget/home projects.
  • Date night with Gina.
  • Read 2 books/week.
  • Watch a movie; complete a TV series.
  • Create/update 1 chapter in new STS book.
  • Plan 2 international trips/year.
  • Plan quarterly 3-day getaways with friends.
  • Meet with financial planner & physicians.
  • Attend STORY conference (online/in-person).
  • Buy annual ski pass (Welch Village).
  • Host quarterly gatherings with friends.
  • Enroll in quarterly cohort or classes.
  • Select a country/region I'd like to learn about.

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