I have a friend named Tim Addington. He’s great. He wrote a few books that changed the way I approach ordering my life. You can check out his stuff here. In one of his books (Leading from the Sandbox), he talks about how to live fully from one’s heart by identifying the key areas (Key Result Areas) that you feel the Lord has called you to make a lasting impact in, planning to make that impact, and then executing that plan. It sounds simple, and it is. Today I’m going to show you how to do it, and I’m going to share with you my Key Result Areas for the next 3 years.
So, what we here in Narnya do is we imagine, in vivid high-res detail, what we hope our lives will look like at a certain date in the future. For me, now, it’s 3 years. Others use 5, some 7. Pick a period of time that makes sense for you in light of the terrain of your life right now. In 3 years I’ll finish the big 40, so 3 years fits the natural contours of my life, as I’m looking to enter the next phase of life positioned well for our best impact.
Now, imagine that preferred future as clearly as you possibly can. What will your family look like? Your health? The teams you work with? Your ministry or your family’s ministry? Your neighborhood? Think about every area or person you care about, and imagine what you hope they will be like in that amount of time.
Got that picture in your head? It can take some time to get it clear, but don’t rush this part. Without this vision, your plans will perish.
Once it’s clear enough, identify the significant areas of that picture that you’ll have some influence over. These are your Key Result Areas (KRAs for short). For example, if you’re not in politics, the presidency of your country probably shouldn’t be one of your KRAs, but your family certainly should, as should your personal development, and whatever ministry you’re involved in. You can see below that I have 4 KRAs – Me and My House, the Church and the Work. A few years ago I did this exercise and had a longer list, but found a long list led me to dis-integrate my life, and that wasn’t helpful for me at the time. So, I’ve simplified the areas and just given them greater detail.
Once you have the areas identified, write a description of what you want them to look like in the amount of time you’ve chosen. Describe them using as much detail as you’ll have influence over (not control, but influence), while keeping it general enough that minor changes in the game won’t demand a total re-write. For example, a team mate here decided not to include the names of individuals in her KRAs (e.g. “Adil will be following Jesus and growing in his family life as a believer” was changed to, “A few friends following Jesus and learning to live that out in their households”), but to include the names in the specific monthly plans (which are a later discussion).
So, to review, you imagine your life and all that’s in it a few years down the road. You describe the areas of that life you’re envisioning as you hope them to look by then, and you write that down with as much clarity as you can. From here, you can make the plans that can get you there, but that is for later post.
Below I’ve edited my own KRAs so they’re postable without changing the way they are worded much. This is the document I refer to every month as I try to exercise appropriate dominion in my own living. Feel free to look it over, and to ask questions. Many of you, I know, are wanting to live a little more intentionally, but just need some good tools to get you there. This is a great one, so feel free to poke at mine and to ask questions or offer some push-back. The dialogue will force more clarity for me (which is always helpful), and it might help you live more fully and effectively from your heart.
So, take a look. Am I missing anything? Are there areas of life you think I should attend to that you’re not seeing here? Is there something I’m made for, but I’m not doing? Which of these can I clarify for you? Which of these do you like, or might you use yourself? How do you keep life from becoming a string of accidents?
See below, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Key Result Areas (KRAs): “When I’m 40…”
These KRAs describe my desired future in the 4 areas most important to me. This is what’s in my heart – the places I want to leave a legacy. The window is 3 years.
Having been shown some of the Father’s intent for me, and understanding what I need to be and to do that, I want to embody these things:
- Isaiah 50:4-5
- I want to love strong and true, like sunlight on leaves; and I want to build a house to heal the world.
- Athletic physicality – StrongDad
- Understand and appropriately exercise authority and spiritual power
- An Integrated Identity that is factual, flexible and fulfilling
I want to have built a stable, Christ-soaked core household that blesses and builds, catalyzes and cares.
- A family team that works to understand, adore and celebrate each other, and that works together well.
- Living established, simple rhythms and practices that members can be shaped by.
- A normal means of training apprentices who come to live with us, and a steady stream of them.
- The house 25% paid off
- [My wife] happy, healthy and honed
- Household members working regularly at 80% of their maximum pace (not more).
I want the churches in my reach to be increasingly Christomorphic, activated and rigorously Biblical. I also want critical mass toward 100 Disciple-making Households in Narnya and the Narnyan church intentionally moving toward a clear vision of health.
- Living in clear relationship with the Narnyan church such that I am able to help them (and them me) in all the ways the Father intends (with my House).
- A few clear, usable means to move toward clearly envisioned health
- 10 of the 100 Households equipped and activated
- Motion toward catalyzing a re-imagination of Narnyan Manhood
- Houses/Churches/Fellowships elsewhere well connected to each other and to us, equipped and engaged.
I want more Workers doing the Work better (and together where appropriate).
- My team clear, thriving and resourced.
- Workers from all organizations and denominations here working as one with the Spirit.
- Workers in my reach equipped, catalyzed and activated.
- Local APESTers in play.