“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”
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...
“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...
“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...
“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...
“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...
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
~Galatians 1:10 (ESV)~
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves even when we risk disappointing others.”
If I could advise you about one thing in life, it is this: do the things you need to do so that you can do the things you want to do. This sounds simple, but sometimes the things that have to get done take over the day and the important but non-urgent things fall by the wayside, pushed to the back of the agenda even though they would greatly benefit our businesses or lives. There’s nothing inherently wrong with things being urgent; it just means they have some kind of deadline. The problem comes when we assume that because things are urgent, they are the most important.
“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.”
~ Stephen R. Covey ~
"But all things should be done decently and in order."
~1 Corinthians 14:40 (ESV) ~
As we continue to put our priorities in order, we find tasks that feel urgent, but are not the most important. These can feel tricky to deal with, but the best way to manage them is to carve out specific times to do those things, and leave them in those slots, rather than letting them bleed into other parts of life. I firmly believe processing email is one of those things. It is important to sort and answer it, but let’s not let it take over our day. Keep in mind as you make changes and work out your own best way to do this, you don’t have to be perfect. Do your best and make progress. Here are some insights I’ve gained to get you started.
A Zero Inbox is Not the Goal
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
~Psalm 16:9 (NIV)~
Once you begin understanding your purpose and why you do what you do, your priorities will start to make more sense—and things that shouldn’t be important will start to fall away. What if I told you that you could do all the things that were important to you? I promise it’s not a trick. Your first response might sound something like, “I don’t have enough time”. That seems like a reasonable answer and may even feel true. However, the truth is that we all have the same amount of time. The key is to ask ourselves if the task or demand we are considering aligns with our why, if we want to make it a priority at this time. That way, we can make intentional decisions about what to say yes and no to—and not have to feel guilty either way. Let this be an encouragement. We have the time; we just have to...