So if you're like most, you're already a day behind in setting your goals for the new year.

Make them measurable, make them concise, make them realistic, the internet is full of ways to make them happen for you this year, unlike last year and the year before that.

I'm not sure where you are in your "resolutions," but here is what I center my life around and maybe it will help you in your 2015.

First off you need to know that I follow Jesus and therefore, these three areas for me reflect what I believe he wants for me. BUT before you click back to google and start reading another resolutions post, let me say that they can and will have a positive impact on your life even if you don't follow Jesus.

So, let's get to Numero Uno:

Truth... Dedicate a portion of your time to learning. For me the truth is found in the Bible and I have already started my reading plans for 2015 using bible.com. This is the web version of the youversion app for your phone or ipad. They have many reading plans available to choose from.

If you're not a follower of Jesus, make your list of reading material for the year and get after it. Commit to investing in your own knowledge and your own learning. I have a list of reading from all different genres. Need some guidance... my favorite leadership book was FOCUS by Goleman and my two favorite novels were The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt and The Prayer of Owen Meany by John Irving.

And one more tip on reading is check out the "Overdrive" app. It is connected to many local libraries and you can check out many books to read on your mobile device or even audio books for free.

So Truth is number one and the Number Two area is:

Community... Find a group of people to surround yourself with. For me this is a church group, but also a smaller group of guys who hold me accountable to the these three areas of my life. This particular area is so important to me that I drove four hours to spend some face time with one of the guys that keeps me in check. He shoots straight and accepts my shortcomings.

Some thoughts when looking at who you might want to spend time with... look for people who will help you be a better version of yourself. You will become like those you surround yourself with, so choose carefully. Are the people you are with encouraging you to be better, to work smarter and achieve more or are they encouraging you to make stupid choices?

Second find people who are honest about life and who will speak grace into yours when you mess up. You want people that are true not facebook true... not everything is rainbows and unicorns, but that you can truly share your life with.

And the last one... Number Three:

Give... whether it's at work or somewhere in your city. Take time to invest in others. Specifically those that can't repay you. Where you might say or what? Those will have to be decided by you, but let me be honest if you will slow down every now and then and just listen, you will see and hear needs all around you. Surprise your office, your bosses, the cleaning staff, the parking attendant with cookies or coffee. Unannounced and unexpected. Let them know you are paying attention to what they are doing. Maybe you're on the bottom rung at your office. All the better. Be the example.

In your neighborhood... take cookies to your neighbors. On trash day when (if it's like ours) garbage man makes a mess, clean it up. Especially if it's in front of your neighbors house. It's still your neighborhood. Make extra dinner and share it with your neighbors. Invite them over.  Use whatever skill you have and help someone in town with it. The point is get out and serve someone with no expectation of getting something in return.

You'll make a difference and you'll feel better for doing so.

There you go. Those are my big three for this year. Do you have any suggestions? Book suggestions? Ways to serve? Do you have any stories? How about your goals for 2015? Share below.
 
 
About 6 years ago we began working in a low income area of our city. Our main connection has been through the local elementary school that is located there. 
 
 
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With a crazy amount of midwest weather I am now three days late to see my friends in Ecuador. I am hoping to be there tomorrow evening. That all depends on the weather in Dallas.

I am going to see my friends. My Ecuadorian family who I have known now for almost 7 years. I enjoy my time there. I enjoy spending time with the people. The beautiful children. I love that I get to work alongside them.

I will be taking some clean water filters with me again this trip, to help families and children like the little girl in the photo to the left... that is, if I make it out of town tomorrow.

Hoping and praying for a little warmer weather, a cleared runway and on time departures.

 
 
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I've been at this thing for 10 weeks. Kind of hard to believe. So happy I've stuck with it.

For the most part I have changed the way I eat.

Stopped some bad habits like, eating at Taco Bell, eating regularly at Buffalo Wild Wings, making my almost nightly run to Walmart to get a pint of ice cream.

Started some good ones: working out 5 days a week eating many more greens meals, going to bed earlier, drinking juice (that I have juiced).

I have lost a ton... 36 pounds, but in all honesty, I need to drop at least another 17 - 27 pounds. And I need to start lifting a bit too.

 
 
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Photography is something I love. I enjoy "the hunt" as my wife calls it. Thinking about, planning, chasing and capturing the image. The past week has provided me with some great opportunities. Tonight the cotton field with a full moon and last weekend in Santa Fe chasing the Aspens... with a surprise snowfall.

You can see more of my photos over at stevenjolly.com.



 
 

So close! Two more pounds and I find myself in the 220's. It's been almost eight years since I've seen those numbers on a scale.

 
 
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This weekend I'm heading out to go camping. I love to go away from the city every now and then to enjoy the outdoors. Growing up in Oregon; hunting, fishing and camping for most of my young life has implanted deep in me the need to get out there.

With a wife and kids and work I am not able to do it as often as I like, but with a wonderful wife comes the rare trip away. So this weekend I'll be heading north to the mountains of New Mexico in search of fall color. I've never been up there to shoot the Aspens. I hoped to go last year, but schedules didn't permit it. So I'm grabbing my low temp sleeping bag, my camera and my boots. I'll be hiking around the mountains and enjoying the beauty of our landscapes!

 
 

It's been 40 days since I started this journey to a better lifestyle. I'm happy to say that I've lost 28 pounds so far and for the most part it has been a fairly painless ordeal. This weekend started to struggle little bit on the elliptical but I am going to push through and hopefully it will get easier again like it did towards the beginning. I'm looking forward to losing these last 5 pounds to get into the 220s.

 
 
... for a night. I figure it's okay since it has been a month... Beer with dinner and menchi's for dessert. Not tomorrow I'm back at it and working hard to get down about three pounds from the last weigh in. I'd really like to be in the 220's by the end of next week. I can't imagine that... my pants and shorts are already slipping... starting to look like a cholo with my baggy pants.

If you know me... you know I look nothing like a cholo... and I'd have to lose anoth
 
 

So I was pleasantly surprised to see that I have continued moving down in weight. Over 26 pounds. I have another month or so to get into the 220's. I can't wait for that. It's probably been 5 years or longer since that has been a reality.

More healthy eating and gym visits for me.