“Throw yourself into everything you do so that everyone will see your progress.” (1 Timothy 4:15-16, BWM paraphrase)

Since we’re about two months into the new year, I thought this would be a great time to check in with you for a little progress report. According to the Mirriam Webster dictionary, a progress report is “a report about how much work has been done on something.” So here goes. 

Thus far, it’s been a great year for me. I’m still making progress! That doesn’t mean that I’ve accomplished everything I’ve wanted. No, I’ve had to deal with a couple of detours, including a cold/sinus infection that wouldn’t go away. The other is an old friend that shows up mid-winter about every year – depression. Ughhh. There’s something about shorter days, gray skies, and non-stop rain that triggers seasonal affective disorder (SAD) for me every year. It’s made my writing goals very difficult, because it limits my ability to focus and think creatively. (That’s why you didn’t get a Word For the Week post last week. My apologies.) But I’ve been to my doctor, I’m taking my meds, and I’m getting better! Progress.

Some of that “better” is due to a new routine I’ve added to my day: physical fitness. You’ll remember a few posts back I talked about adding small, even tiny routines to your daily schedule that will help you make progress. So last month, I added a tiny habit to my daily routine. The 8-minute workout! Seriously. I found that I could do 30 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, and 30 curls in about 8 minutes. (I could probably turn that idea into a million dollar best-selling book!) So I added that to my schedule, in addition to my stretching in the shower routine. It feels really good. Progress.

But I want more. Progress leads to motivation, and motivation leads to wanting even more progress.

So this month, I’ve upped the ante. I’ve started running. In fact, I’m running 4 miles, followed by a 15-minute workout. The whole thing takes about an hour, but man does it feel good! (I mean, I’ve been terribly sore as my body tries to process this new routine, but it’s a good, bad feeling.) My goal is to do this workout 3-4 days a week, making sure my body is getting sufficient rest in-between. So far, so good. Making progress.

In terms of my work, I’m still making progress. Other than last week, I’ve managed to get out a blog every week. Progress. In addition, I’ve been creating another 1,500 words of content each week, reaching my goals of 2,500 words a week. I created a new five page PDF called, “Success in Marriage and Work: How to Do Both Well.” One of the things I get asked to do workshops on each year at conferences is how to help people balance marriage and work, or ministry. So I condensed my larger workshop material into a sort of Top Ten Ways to do both well. I’ll be making that PDF available free to existing and new subscribers later this month! Woohoo!

The speaking ministry has been going great! I did two Valentine’s banquets in February, one in Huntsville, and one in New Albany, MS on consecutive nights. I created an all new talk called, “All Four Love”, that I shared in MS and it was very well received! It’s a talk about the four loves, but specifically about how agape’ love changes everything in our marriages…for good. Then I’ll be heading out to Michigan next weekend, March 20-22, speaking for 3 days at the Grace Adventures Men’s Retreat. It’s sold out and I’m thrilled to be sharing four talks on, “Fearless: How to Overcome Your Fears and Walk Confidently into God’s Purposes for Your Life.” This series has been well received at both men’s retreats and ladies conferences!

Speaking of conferences, if you’re an aspiring writer or speaker, I highly recommend the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids, MI July 9-11. I’ll be one of the workshop presenters and coaching folks one-on-one while I’m there. This is one of my favorite events every year and I’d love to see some of my readers there! For you ladies, particularly those who are mentoring the next generation, I’ll be speaking at Wheaton College in Chicago, IL for the GEMS National Conference July 31st-August 2nd. It’s an amazing leadership and personal development conference and is open to all ladies whether they are a part of the GEMS organization or not.

But I still sense God inviting me to more. 

My primary gift lies in communication and I want to maximize that for as many years as God gives me on earth. So in April (Lord willing), I’m launching an all new podcast, “This Changes Everything!” The theme is personal and spiritual growth, helping people make progress in every area of their lives. It’s about how the Gospel, properly understood and applied, changes everything. And when I say Gospel, I don’t mean just Bible facts about Jesus that someone knows or “believes” as a means to get to heaven. 

I believe the Gospel is EVERYTHING Jesus taught, lived, modeled, and commanded. 

It’s the good news about a heavenly Kingdom that can never be shaken, and when we live out the Kingdom principles that Jesus shares, it changes everything! It changes our relationships, marriage, parenting, business, career, finances, serving the poor and oppressed, and yes, even church. I’m also making progress on writing an e-book with the same title! More about that later.

My podcast producer/manager told me I’m going to need a lot of help getting the word out about the podcast. I need about 100+ folks like you to be on a Pod Launch Team which involves downloading episodes, listening to them, reviewing them, and telling your friends. So if you’re interested in helping me get this thing launched, just zip me an email here: bruce@brucewmartin.com, and say “I’m in!” I’ll follow up with specific instructions about how you can help. I want to get the message of the Gospel out to as many people as possible, and we can do this together!

So how about you? Where are you making progress this year? Leave a comment below so I can celebrate with you and pray for you on your journey.

Let’s do this thing!

Photo courtesy of Melissa Tash – Spoiled Rotten Photography