“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...
“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...
“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...
"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...
"Grace will take you places hustling can't"
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,...
“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...
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
~John Lubbock, The Use Of Life~
Most of us have “those days”, the ones where we don’t know what to do with ourselves. Our home is in chaos and clutter around us or our work tasks are piling up and we feel overwhelmed or even paralyzed. In that moment, we often don’t have any motivation to make progress so that things can feel better. Instead we go and do something mindless or a chore that feels less scary than tackling the job. By the time we emerge from our numbing, we can feel pretty guilty about the avoidance and it can affect us a lot emotionally, as well as mentally. Sometimes I have even called myself names, the main one being “lazy”. After all, what...
“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.
“Everything I have ever let go of has claw marks on it. Everything.”
~ David Foster Wallace ~
I resonate with this sentiment of this quote. It is hard and often painful to let go. As people, we tend to hold onto things. However, claw marks would indicate that someone is yanking something away from you. It isn’t really like that, is it? We have free will. We choose whether to hold on to things or to let them go. We each have the power to lay something down at the foot of the cross and walk away. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it is our choice.
I didn’t always think about things that way. Sometimes wisdom comes from the most unexpected of places. About five years ago, I was at my friend Robin’s house at a barbecue. She had been trying to quit smoking for a while and the habit kept drawing her back in. She and our pastor were having a conversation and I caught...
“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