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5 tips to stay motivated to achieve this year’s dreams and goals

motivated

There are 156 days left until December 31, 2021 (22 weeks and 2 days). How are you doing on reaching your dreams and goals? What is stopping or hindering you?

Here are 5 tips to help you stay motivated for the rest of this year to achieve success.

Spend quiet time with God first thing. Whether that is the morning when you first wake up (perhaps with your coffee), during your lunch break, on a walk or run, or late at night before you go to sleep, take time to be alone with Jesus, praying, reading the Bible, and worship/praise so you can get His instructions and wisdom for you and those you love.

What is God’s priority for you today? Ask Him and then do that! Get quiet and intently listen to His still, small voice. Let Him be your GPS and your motivator for your life and to help you succeed in your dreams and goals. 

Leopard print Happy Planner

Leopard print Happy Planner

Use a calendar at a glance. Whether that is a desk calendar/planner (I use the Happy Planner; you can also get cute stickers and office supplies) or a large whiteboard calendar, this will help you to see your year, month, and week with an overall view to help you plan more effectively. Seeing your dreams and goals in black and white in front of you will help you to stay focused and on track. I truly believe that actually writing things down helps us to achieve them.

“No matter who you are or what you’ve accomplished, motivation doesn’t last. You’ll notice yourself pumped up and energetic in sporadic periods only to sink back into a rabbit hole of self-doubt and hesitation a few days later. Even if you have the strongest and most relevant of goals, you need to write things down in order to maintain your resolve and remind yourself of your purpose on a regular basis. Whether you have them listed in your phone, stuck on the fridge, taped to your mirror, or jotted down in your planner, it’s best to keep your goals visible as a constant reminder.” –Tet, 8 Powerful Benefits of Writing Things Down, Productive and Free, https://www.productiveandfree.com/blog/writing-things-down-benefits

woman at whiteboard

woman at whiteboard

Create a daily to-do list~ and check things off! I confess that I’m a bit obsessive about this. It gives me such a feeling of accomplishment to check off items each day. I also believe the adage, “Aim at nothing; hit nothing.” Writing and completing a to-do list is motivating and fulfilling.

 “People don’t take anything seriously until it’s written down and becomes an actual part of their daily schedule. It might take you some time to get there but once that becomes a habit, you’ll end up getting all that you planned done simply because it’s part of your to-do list for the day.” — Jim Kwik

We also need to know when to just pull back to spend time alone or with family and friends, or to simply rest and refill. Learn how to balance things in your life and in your biz. 

Reward yourself for getting things done. I believe this is crucial. You and I work hard and it should pay off. The Bible backs this up, too.

“For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!” (1 Timothy 5:18, NLT)

chocolate ice cream cone in Nassau

Chocolate ice cream cone in Nassau

Some things you can do to reward yourself are:

  • new walking/running shoes or sports wear (a tank or t-shirt, shorts, ear buds, etc.);
  • watching a chic flic with snacks and drinks;
  • buying/reading a new book, listening to an audio book or a new podcast;
  • eating chips and salsa, chocolate (good for the soul!), or an ice cream cone (in moderation);
  • lunch or coffee with a friend;
  • buying a “techie” gadget;
  • enjoying a hot bubble bath or a massage;
  • shopping for a new outfit, shoes ,and/or jewelry;
  • visiting a new, fun place. 

For myself, walking regularly and eating healthy are a reward in themselves. I don’t need to do anything other than experience the good feeling of getting my walk in that day or eating a big salad with fresh veggies, and I feel accomplished.

Scarlet O'Hara. Image resource; Wikipedia

Scarlet O’Hara.
Image resource: Wikipedia

On the days I don’t make it to the track or exercise (or if I eat junk!), I don’t beat myself up for it. As Scarlet O’Hara said, “After all, tomorrow is another day!’ God’s mercies are new each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) I can just pick up where I left off and keep moving forward.

Hiring a coach, asking prayer partners and/or intercessors to pray for you, and staying accountable for achieving your dreams and goals with an accountability partner, a mastermind group, and/or a support group or community is another way to stay motivated.

woman in hammock

woman in hammock

We can’t be an island unto ourselves, laying on a hammock alone as a recluse all day long or hiding behind our laptops. We need Jesus and each other to help us walk this challenging but exciting adventure called life and to succeed in business. We need God beckoning us higher to fulfill our greatest potential and other people surrounding us, who won’t just tickle our ears but will speak the truth in love to us–and yes, call us out when we need it!

My business coach Diane Cunningham Ellis has often called me out for “hiding” on social media, exhorting me to “show up” more, to share the gifts which God has given me for His glory and to help others. This encourages me to stretch myself in faith (past my comfort zone!) and not be lazy, so that one day I will hear those beautiful words from God, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)

I love the quote by Erma Bombeck:

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything You gave me.”

Amen!

shoes

shoes

What are some ways you can motivate yourself to achieve your dreams and your goals for 2021? Please leave your comments below.

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Re-alignment: 5 ways to stay motivated and back on track

shoes on sand

Shoes on sand
Image source: Unsplash

Losing motivation? It happens to all of us at times. But there are ways to keep moving forward, which means taking a hard look at your priorities this year. With the 3 P’s–prayer, preparation and planning–you can stay motivated all the way through whatever goal you’ve started, whether it’s getting fit and healthy, becoming debt-free, or traveling to a new country.

How?

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Bible Studies, Blog, Faith, Family, Homeschooling, Marriage, prayer, Spiritual Gifts, Time Management, Travel, Writing

My one word for 2019

Several years ago I stopped making New Year resolutions, because, let’s face it, they were broken the first month (sometimes the first week!)–like walking again or eating healthier! I heard about instead, creating a #oneword and a Scripture verse(s) to go along with it.

One word

When I began to do this, I no longer felt condemnation that I was breaking my New Year resolutions so quickly. I also discovered that as I earnestly prayed to God about this matter, the #oneword always turned out to be a prophetic theme for the entire year.

joy

Red cardinals joy decoration

For example, my #oneword in 2018 was JOY. At times, last year was anything but joyful! There were many hard times. I have cried a lot the last several years, more than I ever have in my entire life.

pensive woman

pensive woman

We all have stress and battle worries–relationship problems. Business or ministry challenges. Health issues. Financial struggles. But joy is a choice. You can be joyful even in adversity or a major crisis! Joy is not the same as happiness.

Smiling child

God wants us happy, just as we do our own children. But joy, like faith, isn’t based on circumstances. The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) We must choose faith, and we must choose joy.

Compass pointing north

Compass pointing north
Image source: Google

Usually, the last week of December of each year, I pray about the coming new year, for God to protect and bless me and my family and friends, for His guidance and presence with us, and for a #oneword and Scripture(s) for the coming year.

I ask Him to be mine and my family’s compass, our “true north.” (This expression comes from the great chick flick movie, Message In A Bottle, with Kevin Costner!)

Message in a Bottle movie

Message in a Bottle movie

God speaks in a myriad of ways to His children:

  • primarily through His holy word, the Bible;
  • by His still, small voice to our hearts as we pray and listen to Him;
  • from other people, sharing His words of truth and encouragement;
  • in nature (“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”–Psalm 19:1, NIV);
  • through signs in the sky, such as the sun, the moon, the stars, etc. (Luke 21:25);
  • in other signs, such as red cardinal birds, mourning doves, eagles, the wind, a billboard, a car’s bumper sticker, something said on a podcast, radio or TV show, a voice in a crowd, etc. Obviously, we can’t base our lives on these “signs,” but God can speak to His children however He wants to get His message of truth across to us. Sometimes it’s like He needs a two by four to get the message through our thick heads and stubborn hearts!

Just prior to January 2019 beginning, I noticed the words “humble” and “humility” in a couple of different places. First, the words Stay HUMBLE were inscribed on chapstick that I’d received in a gift box.

Stay humble chapstick

Stay humble chapstick gift

That’s interesting, I thought. The words “humble” and “humility” started popping up like Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Butter popcorn on Facebook posts.

popcorn popping

popcorn popping;
Image source: Google

Then I started seeing the words a LOT! A recurrent theme.

Oh no, I thought in dread. Uh oh—wait a minute! That’s my one word for 2019, isn’t it, God?

I knew what that meant (God was going to smash my PRIDE), and heck no, I did NOT want that word! Which is probably exactly why He is giving it to me!

Why couldn’t I get a nicer, easier, funner word like adventures? Or dream bigger? Or overflow, especially in our bank account? Or laughter?

But no. My words are humble and humility! Yes, I know humility is a beautiful, Christ-like virtue and God is doing this for my own good.

You and I know there is just no use fighting God. In the end, He’s going to get His way. Because He’s God!

Jacob wrestling

Jacob wrestling with God
Image source: Google

We can wrestle with Him until daybreak like Jacob did (Genesis 32:22-32), but we’ll walk away with a painful limp. God is bigger and more powerful than you and me, so we might as well submit and obey!

So I started researching the definition of humility to begin preparing spiritually for 2019. (Here goes nothing!)

  • freedom from pride or arrogance;
  • a lack of ego;
  • lowness; an attitude of service;
  • the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance;
  • serving others for their good, as well as your own;
  • a realistic appreciation of your strengths, as well as your weaknesses.

Synonyms for humility include:

  • demureness;
  • down-to-earthness;
  • lowliness;
  • meekness;
  • modesty.

You know, traits that are so unlike me! People who know me well would NOT describe me as demure–reserved, bashful, shrinking. Instead, my sister Maria describes my approach in life more like “a bull in a china shop.” 

Antonyms (the opposite) of humility are even more revealing–and alarming!

  • arrogance;
  • assumption;
  • conceit;
  • haughtiness;
  • huffiness;
  • presumptuousness;
  • pretense;
  • pride;
  • imperiousness (domineering);
  • obtrusiveness;
  • superiority.

STOP! Is anyone else getting uncomfortable here?! Well, I sure am. But then it’s my #oneword, not yours–unless God says so!

Remember that pride, and then rebellion, was Satan’s sin. We don’t want to be like the devil, do we? I don’t!

Humility and gratitude

Humility and gratitude

Mother Teresa said, “If you are humble, then nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.”

No doubt that I have some family members, or even friends, who will remind me throughout this year of my #oneword humility and how I am being so NOT humble!

Maybe humility isn’t your strong suit, either. I have good news, dear friend. When we stumble and fall, as we surely will, we can get back up.

That is why Jesus died for you and me; nobody is perfect but Him. He’s teaching us to be more like Him each moment.

You and I can breathe again, and be thankful that God’s mercies are new every beautiful morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

 

Humility book

Humility book

This week, I ordered a used copy of Andrew Murray’s book Humility from Amazon to start off the year right and plan to do other studies on this topic as well.

My Scripture verses for 2019, based on these words humble and humility are:

“The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 15:33, ESV)

“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6, NKJV. The NLT translation says, “And He gives grace generously.”)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:6-7, NKJV)

This last Scripture shows me that I need to be alert in Spirit this year. Satan wants to cause destruction in mine and my family’s life, to devour and kill us. I thank God that Jesus Christ is more powerful and the battle belongs to the Lord, who has the victory already!

The great news in all this? If we humble ourselves before God and cultivate a lifestyle of humility, depending on and trusting solely in Him, the Bible says God will give us HONOR and EXALT us! (Good surprises for us, for HIS glory!) Isn’t that exciting? 

Do you have a #oneword, Scripture verse(s), and/or theme for the new year 2019? Please share it below with me! And let’s pray for each other this year to walk it out with God’s grace and help!

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