Good morning sweet friends! How is your day going? I am snuggled up this morning with puppy dogs! They are sooo adorable! I came in here and Lacie, my Yorkie came running up to me. She pulled the blanket over my feet and stood back looking at me. Now, to get the PICTURE, Lacie is only 3lbs. It took everything in her to drag that blanket across my feet. She sent a strong message that she was ready to work by pulling that blanket across my feet. I looked at her and asked her if she was ready to work and I pulled the blanket on over my body. She sat on my feet and looked up eagerly at me–that is the BIG HINT that she is ready to work. I just love it! She is a darling!
Sooooo, now, I am snug-as-a-bug with Lacie and Pooh. Ready for our mom-to-mom time here! Ready to dig in?
Well, today, we continue our series called, IS YOUR YEAR ON TRACK??? If this is your first day here on the blog, don’t miss the other posts in this series. You can find them here:
My heartbeat with this blog is not to just “run my mouth” each day, but to really come alongside of you and help you to be inspired, encouraged, and equipped for your calling. Dig in to these posts. Share your takeaways. Let’s run our race together.
Speaking of that, are you ready for today’s post? This one is super special to me because this has been a big key for ME this year.
I can’t fuss about this wall, because it taught me MORE about myself, my life, and how to reach for my dreams than anything I had ever experienced. I know that we do not like walls, plateaus, or curve balls, but they really do teach us the very best lessons in life. This one taught soooo much. And, probably the biggest thing I learned from it was how to get and stay motivated even when you hit the wall, even when you are stuck at that plateau (or rut), and even when you get that dirty curve ball. Motivation in KEY!
Our success in EVERYTHING is very dependent upon our motivation…
We can’t buy it.
We can’t borrow it.
We can’t fake it!
Others can’t give it.
Others can’t force it!
If it is not there, we will NOT stay the course and reach toward the mark! If we don’t have motivation, we will not stay on track.
Whatever we do, especially something new, something overwhelming, something that is big, we are going to battle with motivation!
If the devil can frustrate us, we will not stay the course, we will not stay on track. If we don’t keep our WHY in front of us, we will go back to default! We MUST be motivated or it will NOT happen, we will not reach for our dreams! We MUST stay motivated or we will let our dreams just die away!
Yes, this is key! This is our next big secret to keeping our year on track–
6. Motivate Yourself!
I love it! But, wondering how on earth to motivate yourself? Maybe you are stuck and wondering how to get back up and get going again. Maybe you are so discouraged that the thought of “motivating yourself” is just totally overwhelming. Well, stick with me. I have some tips that have helped me tremendously this year. And, I am back on track with my health and fitness AND even counting down to my next 5K on April 30th. 🙂 Let’s dig in…
The only way that we will stay motivated is if we are staying on course! The only way to do that is to PLAN FOR IT!
Wanting to get fit–you have got to plan! You have got to have those clothes ready, you have got to have that gym membership, you have got to have that time in your schedule… IT DOES NOT JUST HAPPEN! AND, without plans, everything will work against it! PLAN IT! Plan it first in your schedule! Plan it into each and every day!
Want to have that time with God–you have GOT TO PLAN! You have got to know what you want to do each day, you have got to get everything together ahead of time, you have got to schedule that time where you can concentrate and not be rushed….YOU HAVE GOT TO PLAN IT! OR, you KNOW that the devil is going to work against it!
Want to grow closer to your husband–YOU HAVE GOT TO PLAN! You have got to plan it into a NON-NEGOTIABLE time of your week/day…you have got to plan so you have time and energy for him…you have got to plan so that everything else is on auto-pilot…OR you know that everything will go haywire. PLAN IT!
On and on…
Want to minister to your children?
Want to develop a friendship?
Want time for your business? To write that book? Etc.
Want time to declutter, clean out, or remodel your home?
What do you want?
Sweet friend, you have got to plan! If you don’t plan, the default, the same-old-same-old that you have been getting, is what you will get! PLAN!
Back to my lessons from last year, I found that my biggest key to staying motivated was to set goals EVERY DAY!
Maybe to spend more time on the elyptical.
Maybe to set a faster pace on my run.
Maybe to set a higher incline on the treadmill.
Oh! I am not talking about a vast goal. I am not even talking about something extravagant. I am talking about setting LITTLE GOALS!
As I reached those goals each day, I felt a satisfaction that motivated me to keep on keeping on! Each day I was excited to reach for the next goal. Funny thing, each day, I was setting bigger and bigger goals. But, they were realistic, doable, actionable, measurable, specific, clear, and definitive. I could DO IT! That was the key to really pealing off the weight. It was also the key to staying motivated. When I let my goals go, everything unraveled from there. Funny thing, all it took was just a little discouragement by people who “poo-poo’d” my goals and dreams. Talk about a big, big lesson!
Don’t let anyone discourage you from moving forward. Set those goals. Get moving. All it takes is step-by-step. You will get there! SET GOALS DAILY!!!
We NEED deadlines! Deadlines will…
Keep you unstuck.
Keep you on task.
Keep you moving.
And, most of all, keep you MOTIVATED!!
Of course, if we use them properly!Deadlines must be–
Clear–SET THE DATE.
REASONABLE–Allow plenty of time. No super-woman here! You need to be able to reach your deadline. Also, you can’t quit living in other areas of life while you reach for your deadline in one area. So, stay reasonable when setting deadlines.
FIRM–Nothing can put you under the fire like making it happen by a specific time/date. Be firm!
REWARDED–Of course! Countdown to a real, substantial, and motivating reward!
Put all goals, steps and ideas on paper. Dump it all out of your brain onto paper. Write out all that you want to do, all that you want to accomplish. Just dump it out!
2. Get a vision!
Can you see it? Get it clear in your head!Write it out–get it clear on paper. What will it be like? What will it look like? What will it feel like?
3. Put each step on the calendar!
Pick out one thing to work on right now. Brainstorm out all that needs to be done. Put each step on your calendar.
4. Set aside time each day to work on it!
NON-NEGOTIABLE TIME! SET APART! WE set our schedules. WE really get done what we really want done. No excuses, if you want this, set aside time each and every day to work on it!
5. Check for Progress!
Have a set time to evaluate and check for progress! If you are behind–catch up! If you are not moving or getting around to it–check to see if you need a clearer vision or more specific tasks or to fire yourself up! Check your progress.
6. Keep on moving!
How do you eat an elephant? ONE BITE AT A TIME! Little steps get you there. Don’t forget it.
7. Reward Yourself!
REWARD YOURSELF WELL! When you reach your deadline, give yourself a big treat.
Yes, my sweet friend, SET DEADLINES! We NEED deadlines if we are going to keep ourselves motivated. We NEED deadlines if we want to stay on track. We NEED deadlines if we are going to get things done that really matter!
Ahhhh! The power of FOCUS! Nothing can chill your motivation quite like failure or delayed success. Want to be motivated? Want to STAY motivated?
Focus on ONE THING! Give it your ENTIRE focus. Give it your ENTIRE EFFORT. Then, FEEL the Success. That success will create an enthusiasm and excitement that will hunger for MORE. THEN, do the next thing! Do the next thing with focus until it is all done!
Then, look back in a year to YOUR story of productivity–you will reach those goals, you will get things done, you will reach for your dreams, and most fun–you will be motivated to do MORE!!!
THEN, look back in 10-20-30 years with contentment, satisfaction at a life that counts! I LOVE IT!
FOCUS! You will stay motivated!
There is something about getting started that seems to trigger the enemy to look our direction. He assaults us with every weapon in his arsenal. AND, if he can get us to STOP, QUIT, PULL BACK, GO A DIFFERENT DIRECTION, then he will use that weapon EVERY TIME we step out to do something.
Turn with me to 2 Corinthians 4.
16-18So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
Want to keep your year on track?
Want to make every day count?
Want to stay motivated?
Don’t stop–regardless of how tough things get. It is ONLY FOR A LITTLE WHILE!
Don’t quit–you cannot imagine what is on the other side!!! It IS worth it!
Shrug off the bad days!
Get back on the program!
Stick it out!
KEEP ON MOVING!
Hit those plateaus? I sure have! I have hit plateaus in every area of my life–spiritual, financial, weight, homeschooling, even in my marriage, parenting, friendships. What do you do then? How do you keep on moving? How do you stay motivated?
Don’t quit! Don’t get discouraged! Don’t slow down!
SHAKE THINGS UP!
Change things up–
- Workouts–why not try something new, why not get out of the gym and hit a pretty running trail, why not try a different time of day, why not workout with a friend, why not join a class?
- Quiet times–get a new nook! Get a new version of the Bible! Get a new journal! Get a new study!
- Homeschooling–try something fresh and new–a new study, that new learning tool that you have been putting off, a new book! Begin a new study! Change up your day a bit–get out!!
- Marriage–plan a fun surprise for them–cook their favorite meal, get all dolled up, plan a candle-light dinner, plan a movie night–just the two of you (even if it is at home!)!
- Parenting--let go of the STUFF that distracts and wears all of you out, make time to make sweet memories, plan some focused, uninterrupted time with your child!
CHANGE THINGS UP!
Don’t lose your motivation! Stick it out! It is sooo worth it!
Don’t be a lone ranger!
Take a peek at 1 Peter 5:8
THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE:
8Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [[a]in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
LIKE A LION! What does that mean? Well, I have been studying the “ways” of lions. They are sooo interesting. It is amazing how the devil operates much like a lion.
A lion does not see like you and I. When he sees a flock of gazelles, he does not see the individual, he only sees a big blob. He is not sure if he is seeing a big, BIG BOOGER or if he is seeing a flock of gazelles. So, what does he do? The same thing the devil does when he sees us, he pounces, he roars, he snarls. His goal is to scare the weaklings so that they take off running. When they run into isolation, then he can devour them.
Sweet friend, our enemy is just like this! He KNOWS the power of the Body of Christ. He wants you and me isolated! And, yes, dear friend, he will do anything to cause you to run in fear away from your support. Then, he can devour you. He will chew you up!
We all need to stay connected–with family, friends, our church, with trainers/coaches/teachers/mentors, with groups.
You are not a lone-ranger! You are not designed to be a lone-ranger! Don’t isolate! Connect! Let others in!
If you want to stay motivated and stay on track, you have got to get support and use your support that God has blessed you with!
NONE of us can run on empty. We can’t run long on LOW FUEL. We must RE-FILL! But, how?
- Re-fuel with a daily quiet time! God has designed us with a “God-shaped” vacuum. We need Him! We can have everything else in the world, but without HIM, we run on empty and have NOTHING to offer to others. The neat thing, we don’t just have a vacuum, but God has also provided exactly what we need to bridge that gap–a personal relationship WITH HIM! I love it! If you have been running on fumes, can I ask you how is your relationship with God? Have you ever trusted Him as your Lord and personal Saviour? If not, you will never experience the abundant, lavish life that He designed for you. Nothing else will satisfy. He is SO trustworthy! If you have accepted that personal relationship with God, how is your quiet time? Are you trying to go through life on your own strength? Why not run to our Heavenly Father and let Him fill you back up? It is just what you are looking for! Why not commit to take time with Him each day? Your life can be sooo much more! Why run on fumes? Re-fuel daily!
- Re-fuel your relationships! How are your relationships doing? Your marriage? Your relationships with your children? Your friendships? Are they vibrant and growing? OR, dried up, withering, and very neglected? Nothing will wear US down like trying to navigate through life alone. Again, we are not designed to be alone and isolated. God has designed us for relationship. Not only does He want for us to pour into others, but He also wants for us to let others pour into our lives. It is sooo fulfilling to pour into one another. It is also exhausting to try to live as an island to ourselves. Why not commit to re-fuel those relationships? Talk about some motivation!
- Re-fuel YOU! We can’t keep on going, going, going without re-fueling. We are designed in the image of God. He designed us with a need to pull aside regularly to re-fuel. We have to re-fuel our emotions, our minds (brain!), our hearts, and even our bodies. NONE of us are super-woman! We will run out. We will burn out. We have got to take good care of ourselves if we want to be strong women who are faithful to our call. Re-fuel!
Sweet friend, offer up your cup and let God fill it back up! Let God flow through you–you KNOW the difference! It is time to re-fuel! Unless we do, we will lose steam. We will lose that motivation. We will get off track! Sweet friend, don’t run on fumes!
You are going to hit them! KNOW IT! Don’t think that YOU are an exception. We ALL hit the slumps. This does not make us a failure. This does not mean that we will not have a year that counts. This does not mean that we will never reach for our dreams. No!
Slumps come! Don’t let them get you down!Don’t let them stop you!
Dig in and push past those slumps!
I remember years ago listening to a FOCUS ON THE FAMILY episode. James Dobson was talking about a getaway with his wife that he took to “finish a book.” I remember thinking how nice that “would” be SOMEDAY. Are you thinking the same thing? Well, sweet friends, you are HERE TODAY! THIS can be one of your getaways! YOU CAN DO IT! 🙂
Want to stay motivated? Want to stay productive? Want to stay on track? Want to keep your year on track? You are going to need regular getaways!
It might not be an exotic location.
It may not be to a cabin for a month.
BUT! YOU CAN GETAWAY!
How about an afternoon at the park? Kick back under a tree and just enjoy the time planning, journaling, dreaming while your little ones scamper about???
How about a morning breakfast with God? At a restaurant? On your deck? On your front porch? In your own bed? 🙂
How about a time away at a coffee shop? Just YOU, your Bible, your journal???
How about a hotel for the weekend (or night)?
How about a vacation cabin/condo?
ON AND ON….
You can do it! Here are some things that help me to carve it out of my life:
1. Make the time!
3. Focus--Know what you want to do and just do that! Leave the STUFF at home!
5. Getaway! To plan! To Hear God! To Brainstorm! To Work with Focus! To Get it Done!
Carve out some time to getaway. It will fire you back up. It will help you to be refreshed, renewed, refilled, and recommitted to the call. Sweet friend, getaway regularly!!
A while back I read a passage in the Bible that cut me to the core. Paul asked the probing question, “You who teach others, do you not teach yourselves?”
Anybody saying, “OUCH” with me?
Oh! You may not be a writer, a teacher, a speaker, but sweet friends, we are ALL teachers! We are always teaching those around us!
We cannot operate on empty! We cannot do it in our own strength! We have limits, self imposed limits, that are based upon how much we invest in ourselves. Do we SAY we love others, but neglect ourselves? We CAN’T! We can’t love them any more than we love ourselves! If we do not invest in ourselves, we will not have anything to offer others. EVERYONE SUFFERS!
1. Burned out?
2. The well runs dry?
3. Get foggy thinking?
4. Lose that enthusiasm, excitement, passion, and motivation.
5. And, worst of all, we don’t live a life that counts! We just settle for so much less!
This is easy to remediate–just invest in yourself! It is not an extra, it is ESSENTIAL! Anyone who says different is a liar. Jesus HIMSELF took time away in the midst of the busy demands of ministry and discipleship to invest in himself–to take good care of himself. How much MORE do we need to?
Make it a commitment! Make it a lifestyle! What do I mean by INVEST IN YOURSELF? Well, here are some things that I have committed to do for myself:
1. Read! Read Widely!
2. Study–learn something new! Dig deep!
3. Connect with Others–Learn from them, teach them what you know, learn with them, invest in them, let them invest in you!
5. Find things to refresh and renew!
6. Make time to RECREATE!
7. And, most importantly, take time with God!
It is NOT an extra! It is ESSENTIAL! Be intentional about investing in yourself!
Well, sweet friend, this is YOUR year! You have the very best months ahead! Get motivated! Get moving! This is your year to be productive! This is your year to grasp on to all that Christ died to give you! What are you going to do with it? How are you going to keep yourself on track? How are you going to stay motivated? Share with us here….