Jon Gordon, author of multiple best sellers and motivational speaker, is on a mission to educate people on how to develop positive relationships. If you read The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, or his coauthored book, One Word that Will Change Your Life, you are familiar with one of the universal themes he uses in his writing- to uncover God’s plan and purpose for your life.

Why is this discovery so important?

To illustrate, in Colossians 3:23 (NKJV), Paul said, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.” Indeed, the key part of the verse ‘whatever you do’ should not be dismissed.

What does ‘whatever you do’ actually mean?

In summary, it is pertinent that I teach my girls that ‘whatever you do’ means academically, during extracurricular activities, at school, or at home. Understandably, kids need to be shown that they belong, they have a voice, and they are important.

Furthermore, by focusing on whatever they do, I hope to guide them towards creativity, academic risk taking, service, and a level of exploration that gives them the opportunity to feel accomplishment.

Family Goals for 2020

As a result of the new year on the horizon, I have family goals. Do you have them too? I want my kids to become more motivated and independent in 2020 than they were in 2019.

Jon Gordon, the author of the books mentioned earlier recently published a children’s book, One Word For Kids: A Great Way to Have the Best Year Ever. In brief, the book is to get kids to focus on one word for the year. This word that will help them to uncover God’s plan and purpose for their life as they focus more on the world around them. In other words, the book is to help kids understand that in order to, “discover their one word, they must look inside themselves, look up, and look out.”

If your kids are… well…. kids…

Likewise, I am sure you deal with a lot of the same issues that I do. Do you find yourself saying the same things over and over again? I don’t think I should tell my kids everyday to hang up coats, read for 30 minutes, put their shoes in the bin, or put their dishes in the dishwasher.

This constant repetition makes me feel like this …

Seriously, saying the same thing over and over and getting the same results…insanity. However, I want different results. Since I was not designed to be a parrot in a cage repeating the same 100 words or phrases daily, things need to change. Does it wear on you too? Do you also feel like an exotic bird trapped in your habitat?

The Importance of Serving

Despite the love I have while serving my family, I need them to begin to look at their daily responsibilities as opportunities to serve. I am doing a disservice to their future if I continue to enable. In 2020, if you are a child in my house there will be no more reminders to fill up water bottles before basketball practice or to remember your lunch before heading to afternoon co-op.

How can you execute this new plan?

To make this a family project in 2020, read One Word For Kids: A Great Way to Have the Best Year Ever. You can purchase the Kindle edition here.

Then, brainstorm a list of words so everyone can pick our “One Word” for 2020. Again, our family focus is independence, responsibility, and motivation because we want to help our girls understand that a person’s character should never change, no matter their location.

Example Word List

























Developing Determination

I hope to raise girls who have grit. Most importantly, when they fail, they need to have that desire to get back up again. Further, they need to fully comprehend that there are consequences for their words and actions. Obviously, I will continue to tell them that I love them unconditionally. Words and actions can always be forgiven because THEY ARE NOT their negative words or actions. Everyone in this house is going to mess up this this year. However, we are going to learn from our mistakes and keep moving.

Can People Change?

We were created to make mistakes, repent, change, and grow. Recently someone told me that as an adult I don’t have the ability to change or grow. I guess 41 is the cutoff for change in their eyes. My heart tells a different story. The only thing you can’t change without a whole lot of prayer is the way people feel about you.

This is My Belief

Do you have to understand that people can change in order to trust that your child can change?

Of course! As parents, we need to embrace the wonderful responsibility of leading our children into developing their character. Through modeling, teaching, and striving to live with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, we are helping to make the world a better place.

Living Open-Minded is the Only Way to Live in Peace

Certainly, raising the bar is going to be hard. My girls are going to be resistant. The idea of quitting will go through my head…100 times by January 2. Naturally, giving up and giving in is so much easier. Trust me, if you are thinking-

  • I’ll walk the dog myself
  • I’ll clean the litterbox myself
  • I have to do the project for them
  • I have to drop off their lunch
  • I can’t be a more patient parent
  • How do I teach my kids to turn the other cheek if I constantly find myself playing the tapes of all the wrongs done to me over and over again in my mind?

However, we owe it to them to raise the bar in 2020! If I don’t raise the bar at home, I am lowering the bar on the possibilities. That means for myself too. Life is too short. Tomorrow CAN be a new day. After all, everyday is a new day, but some of us just need a place to start.

Is January 1st day one of the rest of your life?

If you believe that change is impossible, I hope that you look inside and see how much you have changed over the years. Tremendously, right? Teach your kids right now that change is ALWAYS possible!

Stay tuned! Tonight we are making vision boards for our goals and dreams for 2020. I will post the pics hopefully before the ball drops.

To learn more about Jon Gordon visit

I originally wrote a similar post for Deep Creek Learning Center. To Learn More About Deep Creek Learning Center, click on the Picture Below.


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