How to Reach Your Goals for 2022


Arena Men,

From Dead Man Walking to 90,000 Push-Ups

Last week on the Men in the Arena Podcast, we interviewed my friend and fellow NCMM Board Member, Rod Handley. Not only is Rod the president of Character That Counts, but he is a Stage Four cancer survivor. Three years ago, while undergoing surgery to remove gall stones, surgeons discovered a rare form of cancer nicknamed, “Dead Man Walking Cancer” because, by the time it manifests symptoms, patients live about one day before dying.

Fortunately, it was discovered, tumors removed, and Rod survived, albeit a much weaker man. Rod decided to regain his strength by doing 65,000 push-ups in a year. The problem? Rod was unable to do a single unmodified push-up! His story is truly inspiring. Check it out here!

His story inspired me to the degree that in 2022, I and more than 300 Arena Men are embarking on the 65,000 Push-Up Challenge. Click here to join the challenge and here to join our Facebook support group, it isn’t too late!

Another Dead Man Walking

John 11 contains the Bible’s shortest verse (“Jesus wept.”) in the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.

When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud
voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”   John 11:43-44

What struck me was that Lazarus was resurrected—raised to life by Jesus—alive but wearing dead man’s clothes. Still carrying the baggage of death. The first thing Jesus did was remove the filthy rags and replace them with the new clothes of life! No one puts new clothes over their old, stinky ones, but exchanges the old for the new.

Lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Ephesians 4:22-24

Every year in January, I unbind any death wrappings that have hindered my best version through prayer and goal setting. These goals have brought new life, hope, vision, zeal for God, and living out John 10:10b, I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

New Clothes. New Song. New Life.

Seven times in the book of Psalms (Songs) we are told to sing a new song. Isn’t that interesting? In the Song (Psalm) Book of the Bible, we are told to sing the mysterious new song. 

Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord, all the Earth.  Sing to the Lord, bless His name.
Psalm 96:1-2

The Hebrew word most often used is, chadash which means bright, fresh, and new. Even the best songs get boring if overplayed, and we need a chadash song to celebrate God, better ourselves, and change those around us. We sing a new song by scribbling new music and lyrics through setting new and fresh goals.

S.M.A.R.T. Guys and New Songs

Last year I wrote to you about how to set S.M.A.R.T. goals. This is a vital step that is often overlooked. Experts tell us nearly 80% do not accomplish their New Year’s goals, and I believe it is because many never transitioned their dreams into an actionable plan. Here is a great plan using the S.M.A.R.T. acrostic.


Lily Tomlin joked, “I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.” What exactly do you want to accomplish? Avoid generalities and abstract statements like, “I want to lose weight.” What exactly do you want to accomplish?


If you’ve ever listened to horrible karaoke you know what I mean. Vague goals are like singing a song on the radio before learning the words. You hum and mumble your way through without ever knowing what song you are singing. Every goal has a metric. A goal without a metric is either a dream, thought, or idea, but it is not a goal.


Most goal-setters lose their minds right here. Run your goals by your wife or a trusted friend. Ask someone to be brutally honest with you. You will thank them later. Do you have the ability, time, grit, and faith to step into a better version of yourself? Do you have the resources necessary? Do you have the time? Do you have the skills required to accomplish this goal?


Goals without a time limit are unable to be broken down into micro-goals to measure your progress, to observe your traction. Set mile markers, short-term goals, to track your long-term success. This is one metric you cannot live without

Push Through 2022

Men, it is not too late to join the 65,000 Push-Up Challenge on the way to over 15,000,000 collaborative push-ups representing the lives we will impact by our 20th anniversary in 2022. 

Make sure to sign up for our Winter Cycle launch of virtual teams here.

  • Grow in your passion for God by listening to the Men in the Arena Podcast. Be watching for the January release of my new book, Guts, and Manhood: The Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage. Pre-orders are coming soon!
  • If you desire to build deeper friendships with your children, make sure you upload my newest book, Tell Them: What Great Fathers Tell Their Sons and Daughters including 200 “tell them’’ statements, Bible verses, and meditative images to help dads become their best version. Add this fathering weapon to your arsenal.
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  • Engage on our Facebook Forum with 11,000 men in lively conversations about everything related to manhood.


Welcome to the Best Year of Your Life!