Don’t Rely on Willpower: Why Changing Your Environment Takes You Farther

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” 

~Jim Rohn~

        Willpower alone is not enough for us to change. I guarantee you that no matter what, your intention will not carry you through 100% of the time. This is nothing against any of us—or even a comment on how much drive a person has. It has much more to do with biology and the brain. If we have done something over and over again and again, we create that pattern in our brains. This means that even if you are very determined to do something differently, it can feel like the fight of your life to go against the way you’ve trained your brain.  If you’ve ever tried to change an ingrained routine or a habit, you might already know this from experience. In that moment, you will likely revert to your most common or comfortable response. This is even more common when under stress, since we tend to seek familiarity and comfort in moments of tension...

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Working from the Inside Out

 

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

~James 3:13-15 ESV~

        If you have been living the entrepreneurial life for any length of time, you might have noticed that it comes with a myriad of ups and downs, from enthralling wins to devastating disappointment. The only thing we have control of is our response to all of it. I’ve said it before, but an entrepreneurial existence—and if we’re honest, any existence—requires flexibility. Depending on our personalities, it may be hard to factor that in, but if we remain rigid, change will be very painful. 

        Does...

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Cultivate Gratitude

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”

~Proverbs 16:9 ESV~

        Sometimes when life feels uncertain, we desire to know what is happening next and control the outcomes. We believe that if we know everything that’s going to happen, we can avoid pain and disappointment. Even though that might sound good on the surface, it is not only false but harmful. One of the hard but true things about life is not all good or all bad, but a beautiful mixture. Often the toughest moments bring the most growth, if we stay present and open in the midst of things.

         If we want to live authentically, we must accept the light and the dark moments. If you’ve been on this journey with me for a while, you might notice I quote Brené Brown abundantly and I won’t be stopping anytime soon. ;) Her words resonate with me at a soul level. She  expresses the truth about (accepting) the full...

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Maximize Motivation

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

~Philippians 4:13 (NLT)~

 

Even the most driven, purpose-oriented people—and entrepreneurs are certainly that—have days where it’s hard to be motivated. Sometimes, we have to drag ourselves around just to get any kind of momentum going at the beginning of the day. There may be things we are dreading doing, or we are just feeling emotionally drained and it affects our productivity. I have said it before but it bears mentioning again; remember that maximizing our motivation does not mean we have to be at full capacity in terms of busyness or tasks. There are some specific strategies that can help us get work done and still have time to really enjoy and savor life. 

 

Here are some tips to help you stay motivated:

1 - Reward yourself: There is scientific evidence that rewarding yourself helps with motivation. According to Deborah Halmer at brainfacts.org, “Dopamine...

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What seeds are you sowing? Building habits for a more fulfilling and effective life. 

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

~Galatians 6:9 (ESV)~

        Have you ever thought about habits as a gateway to your dreams? Maybe that sounds strange, but think about it. There are aspects of your life and personhood that you want to change, as all of us do, in order to continue transforming into our glorious best selves. There are actions that you want to take, and even build into your life. Your future self, that dream self, can be reached one action and habit at a time. But it can take a lot of effort to always muscle the willpower it takes to make good choices. It is a better economy of time and energy to weave the things you want to do into your routine, so that you don’t even have to think about them much.

        But I want to encourage you to step away from the obligation-based “doing” of it all, and imagine your life as a garden. Every choice...

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Bet On Yourself

        “You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously.”

~Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free~

 

        I am currently in a comprehensive certification program about marketing: offer creation, copy, and design. This isn’t something that was on my goal list at the beginning of this year. I realized that I needed it to be effective, so I added it to my schedule. While we need goals and objectives to accomplish we are reaching for, we also must be willing to remain flexible. Staying flexible in your planning is like walking a balance beam—too flexible and you're off the beam not accomplishing anything, too rigid and you're off the beam not taking advantage of opportunities as they arise. 

        Although not in my original yearly plan, the course lined up with my values, so I decided to take it...

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The Power of Pause

"Sometimes you need to press pause to let everything sink in.”

~ Sebastian Vettel ~

        There is no denying that for pretty much everyone on earth, life has been turned upside down since January 2020. We’re only halfway through the year, but in just seven months, our way of thinking has drastically shifted. One major change is that face-to-face time with people outside immediate families and roommates has been greatly limited. Meetings are usually confined to a computer screen, and although we are blessed that we have the technology that we do to connect with each other, it is different, and sometimes it feels like a profound loss to have to interact screen-to-screen instead of face to face. 

        In all of these changes and even deep grief at things being different and lost, it is important to remember that in spite of the sadness and the void of certain things like hugs and movie theaters and fancy vacations, there...

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My COVID-19 Story

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

~ Philippians 4:6-7 ~

       

        I was recently down for three weeks with COVID-19. I could have spiralled into a “Why me? Why now?” victim mentality and it would have felt legitimate/valid. I was planning on launching the Builders membership this month, a big next step in my business. I had plans that had to be put on hold for a bit.

        I was originally going to launch the membership to begin in July but decided to wait because I didn’t want to rush it out there. I had told a couple of people about it but I hadn’t sent it to my list. I thought about it for a couple of days and made the decision to launch it at the end of July to begin...

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Nobody is Perfect: Assume the Best

"Grace will take you places hustling can't"

~Brené Brown~

 

        One of the reasons I reference Brené Brown often is because I have noticed that she asks good questions. One of the questions I find most compelling is “Do you believe people are doing the best they can?” The answer to that will tell you a lot about yourself as a person—and as a leader. 

 

        This year, I forgot my mom’s birthday - and I didn’t remember for a full two days. Her birthday was on a Wednesday and I woke up on Friday morning remembering it. I have no excuse. I simply forgot. There wasn’t anything extraordinary happening that day. In fact, I talked to her on the phone that morning like I do most mornings. 

 

        On the surface it seems silly and even a little embarrassing: I specifically teach people how to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Nevertheless,...

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Action and Target Goals

 

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”

~Proverbs 21:5 (ESV)~

 

        If you are reading this blog, chances are you are a motivated person who has many ambitious aims. But even with the best of intentions, without a plan it will be very hard to make progress. From the routine tasks to developing your business to writing a book, all endeavors require a plan. If we don’t prioritize things, chances are they will be poorly done at the last minute or they won’t happen at all. Neither of these options are ideal. Instead, laying out your priorities ahead of time and making specific goals can get you where you want to go. 

           

        There are two different types of goals - action goals and target goals. Action goals are those that you have complete control over. For example, the goal...

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