Are you feeling a tad overwhelmed with all that is on your plate to complete before the end of the year? I know I am finding myself feeling somewhat stressed right now. Seems like that is the case every year at this time.

In stepping back and thinking about the best way to finish the year strong I look to a great example of how the Apostle Paul talks about finishing strong. He says in his 2nd letter to Timothy, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” He was talking about the end of his life, which this certainly pertains to, but if I break it down to each year, I figure it will translate to my life as well.

To be an effective servant leader, I think I certainly need to finish my life strong, but also each year, each day, and each personal interaction. What does it mean to finish strong for a servant leader at the end of the year when you feel so overwhelmed and just want to waive the white towel?

First and foremost you must:

  • Maintain and build your energy. Your body needs to be cared for, and that means eating well, sleeping well, proper exercise, and personal development activities. Even though you get really busy at certain times of the year, you must maintain your routine around extreme self care to finish strong.

Next, set an hour aside to formulate your year-end To-Do List.  Literally put pencil to paper to come up with every task you think you need to complete by year-end to accomplish your goals you set at the start of the year.  Once the list is complete do the following:

  • Stay focused on your purpose. Run every task on the list through the funnel of your purpose. If it does not truly help you advance your purpose cross it off the list.  You must stay focused to finish strong.
  • Capitalize on relationships. Now that the list is whittled down to what is truly important, solicit help from friends, family, co-workers, and others who can help expand your ability to get things done in an efficient and effective way. There is not much in this world that we can accomplish on our own. By building relationships, and sharing responsibility you can finish strong.
  • Rely on Christ! At the end of the day, all things are possible with the help of God. Too often we get in the heat of the moment, or challenge at hand, and end up getting stressed out about what we have in front of us to accomplish. This season more than ever, we should remember the power we have in prayer. When you rely on Christ, and offload your worries to Him you can experience peace beyond all your understanding and can certainly finish strong.

So as you are working through this extremely busy season of wrapping up the current year, preparing for a new year, and managing all the wonderful aspects of the Christmas Season, be sure to discipline yourself and take the necessary steps to Finish Strong!

Mark Deterding

To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me. Colossians 1:29