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5 Bad Habits to Break for a Better New Year

3) Stop using grace to avoid tough conversations.

One of the big reasons you are in ministry is because you love and care about people. It’s good to be kind, forgiving and lean into grace, but not if it’s a way to escape the necessary tough conversations.

The better way is to have tough conversations with grace. This is not a play on semantics. When grace is used to avoid a tough conversation, that’s an excuse. When you fully engage a tough conversation, seasoned with grace, that is speaking the truth in love.

What is one tough conversation you know you need to have this week? Pray. Settle your resolve. Have the conversation.

4) Stop letting busyness overtake productivity.

Activity does not equal accomplishment. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you are getting the most important things done. It’s very easy to get tired without making progress!

Email, favorite projects, easy tasks and the squeaky wheels, etc. are the great thieves of accomplishing your most important responsibilities.

A ruthless focus on the highest priorities and most significant responsibilities is required of all great leaders. You will never be free of the tension of too little time, but as you gain more experience, success and confidence, it does get better.

Here’s one of the best practical steps you can take. Ask your boss to tell you what your most important/primary responsibility is. It’s a tough question. Have the conversation!

5) Stop comparing and complaining.

Negativity of any kind (mild or major) will eat your lunch as a leader.

If your attitude and perspective go sour because you compare what others have to what you don’t have, you can’t lead well because that attitude will leak out of you.

Complaining never solves anything and only serves as a wet blanket on what otherwise might be hope and encouragement. Instead, do your best to be solution oriented.

We all have moments where we complain about something. That’s human. Remember, we’re talking about habits. And if complaining is a habit, that is a big bad one that you are wise to break.

Can you add one “big” bad work habit to the list?

This article originally appeared here.

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.