Tag Archives: Goals

Work for What You Want

(Picture Source: homemade life)

I recently signed up for a six-week community activity program. People can choose to join a team or register as an individual. The goal is to get Canadians to be more physically active. Participants can choose whatever activities they like so long as they commit to the minimum number of recommended hours of physical activity per week.

I sent an e-invite to an acquaintance from church. She declined. I’m not upset that she declined but the reasons this person gave for not wanting to participate were, in my opinion, excuse making. We all make excuses about something in our life: exercise, healthy eating, hours and quality of sleep, over or lack of commitment, etc. But where I draw the line with excuse making is when people want something they are not willing to work for.

If you want to be fit, you need to exercise. If you want to be a doctor, you need to attend medical school. If you want to be a hero, you need to do something extraordinary. If you want to be a winner you must compete in a competition. Some things are non-negotiable.

If you are not careful, excuses can become a source of pride and stubbornness. You eventually stubbornly refuse to do what is required and you pridefully convince yourself that you, unlike the others, don’t have to do what is necessary.

(Source: Biblical Counselling C.)

Some simple, yet still challenging ways to stop making excuses and accomplish and achieve what you need:

State verbally and in writing what you want.

e.g. I want to become an accountant.

State verbally and in writing what you need to do. What is it that must be done? These are non-negotiables.

I must attend school and training sessions because it is the only option for becoming a certified accountant. I have to pay for these classes, pass all of the mandatory courses and exams. I will them need to apply for jobs.

State verbally and in writing what will likely happen when you do all that is required, mandatory, and non-negotiable.

I will have the mandatory requirements for becoming a certified accountant and can apply for jobs as an accountant.

I get people to do this exercise so they understand that mandatory and necessary processes are not our enemies. They are not something to be dreaded or hated. There are people who have a tendency to misapply the words have to, need to, and mandatory to things that are not; and as a result they begin to see these words as something automatically bad.

None of us like being “told what to do”, but every single day you do something because you have been told to do so, are required to do so, or have been forced to do so.  What might some of these things be: stopping at a red light, feeding your children, paying your employees, not punching someone in the face even though you really feel like doing so.

Have to, need to, must, and mandatory can be words of freedom and bring accomplishment to our lives when we learn to adhere to them in proper circumstances. Don’t allow your dreams or goals to remain unaccomplished in your life because you couldn’t bring yourself to do what was non-negotiable.

Proverbs 18:12 “Before destruction one’s heart is haughty, but humility goes before honor.”

Proverbs 11:2 “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

QUESTIONS and REFLECTIONS:

How do you feel about the words “have to”, “need to”, “must”, and “mandatory”? Are there any emotions that you attach to these words?

What is your usual response and thoughts when you are told to do something you don’t want to do?

Take some time to meditate on a verse of your choice regarding stubbornness or pride. Ask God to reveal to you any area where instances of pride and stubbornness might be preventing you from doing things in your life that are necessary.

When doing so, remember to be gentle with yourself and remember that God reveals the wrongs in our lives to correct them and change them. He does so from his love, mercy, compassion, and kindness towards us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sacrifice-Mother Teresa

Sacrifice:

“The act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone” or “An act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god.” (Source: Webster’s Dictionary)

Thankfully, I’ve only experienced one of those two definitions for sacrifice. I’ll let you guess which one J.

The topic of sacrifice has been on my mind a lot these days. Lately I also seem to be having frequent conversations about sacrifice and achievements. I’m both saddened and surprised by the number of people I encounter who don’t seem to understand the concept of making sacrifices in order to do what you have to do in order to get what you want or need.

I’ve had to make many costly sacrifices in order to fulfill what I believe to be my calling in life. I’ve sacrificed my desire to live a lone without the frustration of having roommates. I’ve sacrificed having great paying jobs in order to work for non-profit organizations where I get to do what I love. I’ve sacrificed having nice brand named items in order to keep afloat financially. There was a time when I was filled with anger and regret about many of my choices in life; but thankfully through much reflection and meditation over the years, I’ve learned that sacrifices are never wasted.

People who have goals, a calling, and a mission in life know and accept that sacrifice is part of the journey. Achievements will always require sacrifice; some will be small, others will be major. As I type these words, I want to give you a message of hope by telling you that your sacrifices are never in vain. They are not random, pointless, useless; they are important.

I noticed these key words in Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of sacrifice, “…giving up something that you want to keep…”. Sacrifices are difficult because we are required to give up something that we don’t want to. We are placed in a position of now verses later. The question being asked of us is, “Will you give up this in order to achieve that?”. It’s not an easy decision sometimes, but your willingness and ability to give up something against your own wishes means two things, a) you’re serious about what you need to do; b) you have your priorities in order.

I wish I could say I am great at making sacrifices, but that would be a bold lie. I suck at decision making when my emotions are involved. Giving up my wants for the unknown takes me out of my comfort zone, but I’ve learned that sacrifices are always for the better. We are not sacrificing something in order to make life worse for our self or others.

sacrifice and values

I know from experience how difficult sacrifices can be, so I’ll share with you the most important lesson I’ve learned, “Let it go.”. The harder and longer you hold on to something physically, emotionally, and mentally, the more difficult it is to move forward. If I hadn’t spent so much time grieving, and being bitter about whatever it is that I had to give up, I probably would have had more happiness, joy, and energy for the things I was making sacrifices for.

Being broke for years while I worked full-time and paid my tuition for graduate courses would have been a much easier process had I not spent those years crying about living in cramped, moldy smelling basement suites. Instead of gratitude, I was miserable. I hated my job, I hated where I lived, and I hated not being able to socialize because I had no money to do so or needed to stay home and tend to school work. An attitude of sacrifice would have allowed me to see that I was giving up something I wanted in the present for something that would better my life in the future. In other words, I forgot to enjoy the journey.

Let “it”, whatever “it” is, go. Grieve briefly and move on to what ever it is that will take you closer to where you are meant to be. Trust the process, trust God.

…but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

 

 

 

Personal Spring Tune Up 2016

 

Spring Self_Tune Up
Source: Pixeltango

It’s April, and where I live that still means snow, wind, and toques. However, April also means happier moods thanks to more daylight hours, warmer weather, and the anticipation of the end of snow for at least a few months. It’s wonderful to watch the city transform from dark and white, to brown, to green and colourful.

Each Spring I do a massive decluttering of my place. During Winter months I tend to accumulate a lot of unnecessary things that get tucked away on shelves, in baskets, cupboards, wherever I shove items, that’s where they stay until a pile topples over or I need to find something I hadn’t needed all winter long.

The beginnings of this season usually involves home owners dedicating their weekends to readying the garden and lawn; and getting their vehicles prepped for Spring. I was thinking this morning about how we tend to prepare our possessions for a new season, but we don’t often prepare our bodies and minds for the changes in nature.

I don’t handle our Northern winters very well, especially because I am dependent on public transit. Nothing kills your joy faster than walking after dark, in dirty snow, bundled up for the cold weather. So when Spring arrives I look forward to new activities and revisiting old ones. This takes some thought and preparation.

Your Turn!

The following can help prepare you for a great Spring and Summer season; don’t let another year go by where you coulda’ shoulda’, woulda’, but didn’t.

Deep clean your home and your vehicle. Great weather means great company and nothing helps people clean faster than knowing someone is coming to your home. Here is a website with a variety of tips, schedules, and information on getting organized and maintaining a clean home. If your vehicle is a mess of fast food containers, empty coffee cups, and paper products; then a spring clean up of the inside of your car is a good idea. Set aside a few hours to clear everything out and take it to the car wash where you can clean both the inside and outside.

What’s your yard, garage, and shed looking like? If it’s a mess, schedule time to tend to these areas. It is absolutely necessary to schedule a date and time to get these things done otherwise we will always find other things to do or procrastinate to the point where we are no longer left with choices. No one likes fines from by-law officers for something like not keeping up your yard, a task that would have only taken at most an hour.

http://springcleaning365.com/

SPRING-IS-NEAR

Rejuvenate your body. If you’ve neglected your body all winter or want to get prepared for more physical activities, it’s important to ease back into it. If you are going to pick up running or switch to outdoor running, be prepared in order to decrease your chances of injury and increase your opportunities for success. Here is a link to Runners World online where you can find information on training, dressing for the weather, and footwear. The link to Olivas Trunk Unlocked leads to a great article on spring cleaning your body.

http://oliviastrunkunlocked.com/2015/05/22/spring-clean-your-body/

http://www.runnersworld.com/shoe-guide/runners-world-2016-spring-shoe-guide?cid=OB-_-RW-_-CHRR

http://rw.runnersworld.com/training-plan-finder/

Another important way to prepare your body is to eat seasonal fruit. If you are able to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables and shop at farmer’s markets, great, if not, then the grocery store chains will have to do. The good thing about buying in-season produce is the cheaper price. Spring and Summer seasonal foods are often on sale or the prices are lower. I know I’m looking forward to cherries, peaches, nectarines, grapes, and watermelon. These items are quite pricey where I live. During the off-season peaches and nectarines are $3.99/pound.

https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/nutrition-through-seasons/seasonal-produce

whats-in-season-spring

After eating heavy foods all winter, the body might be in needs of a cleanse. There are a lot of exaggerated claims made by companies who sell body cleanse and detox products, but the truth is there is no need to go to extremes to cleanse the body when switching to a healthier eating regime. If you do decide to do a program, I recommend looking into The Masters Cleanse and Wild Rose D-Tox. With the Master’s Cleanse you are limited to 10 days of a mixed lemon water drink whereas the Wild Rose D-Tox allows you to eat a variety of foods from a list; you won’t ever be hungry on the 12 Day D-Tox program.

http://themastercleanse.org/

http://wildroseproducts.com/en-CA/kits/d-tox-program

If you’re not into cleansing and detoxing, but know that your body is in need of a change from a diet of heavy foods, and processed goods a great place to start would be clean eating. This link will give you a simple breakdown of the clean eating lifestyle.

http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/food-health/food-and-health-news/what-is-clean-eating/

Check your finances. Sunshine means spending lots of time on patios, going to sporting events, and bring-a-side-dish bbq’s. This also means spending more money. Take a look at your spending habits from the past 3 months. Aside from necessary bills and payments, what did you spend most of your money on? If you aren’t happy with where you spent your money during the winter, try making changes for spring and summer. Try making a budget, it is easy to over spend during the warmer months when there are a lot more recreational and social options available.

http://www.daveramsey.com/home/

spring planning

Closet Check. It’s time to switch clothing and bring out items you haven’t seen or touched in several months. Try on your clothes to see if they still fit. It’s annoying when you plan to wear an item only to find out that you’ve either gained or lost weight during the winter or what you thought was a great item last year no longer looks good to you. If you no longer want the item, get rid of it. Save your closet space for things you will actually wear.

Bring out all of your summer items and put away the winter gear. I have a large Rubbermaid container where I place out of season items. This way everything is in one place and I won’t have to go searching for it 5 months from now.

http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/wardrobe-basics/wardrobe-basics-checklist

Spring List 2016

Get Creative, Get Going. No need to be house bound when the weather is great. Tap into your creative side, or dust of your bucket list. What are some things you’d like to do or try this summer? Be intentional by writing it down, or take a step further by writing it down and making a commitment by registering or paying ahead for these activities. Maybe you want to do more golfing, or run in a foot race. How about an overnight or weekend trip? It might even be something as simple as starting a garden in your yard. The choice is yours.

http://www.mylifelist.org/

https://www.bucketlist.org/

http://www.raptitude.com/2009/09/how-to-make-a-life-list-youll-actually-do-a-comprehensive-guide/

However you choose to spend these next few months, may it bring you peace, good memories, and personal growth!

 

Yes, you CAN do it all !

you can do it

Over the past couple of years I’ve been hearing a lot of women say, “You Can’t Do It All”. This is an expression and belief uttered by many women. I’m here to say the opposite, “Yes, You Can Do It All!” If you’re wondering how it’s possible to do it all, I’ll tell you how; you need to be realistic.

 

Sometimes women aren’t realistic, they want to do things that they are not ready for, not good at, not qualified for, or don’t like doing. There are women who are in happy marriages, with children, who manage to do it all. They exist, you might even know a few. Or better, you might even be one of them.

All Includes

As females we are gendered to be competitive with each other in the nastiest of ways. We are taught to compete against each other, but not against men. I’ve encountered many jealous, catty, and spiteful women in my lifetime. I often wondered why they needed to put me down, or become manipulative in trying to end my goals. I wanted so badly to tell these women that I have my own goals and I will reach them without having to personally attack another women, lie, steal, cheat, or be part of a mean girls group. It has meant that reaching my goals has taken longer, but when you do something with dedication, honesty, and integrity while helping others along the way; it will take time.

 

Women often want to do everything right now, all at once. Heaven forbid they should miss out on something and risk seeing yet another female achieve the same things you want. Your inability to do it all can often be rooted in your inability to keep up with the Jones.

 

Does it matter if ‘Suzy With Six Kids’ is able to be employed full-time, take her kids to leisure activities, and make homemade desserts without needing anti-depressants? It shouldn’t. You’re only job is to take care of your own life and your own family. You truly might not have what it takes mentally, physically, and spiritually to do as much as others are able to do.

 

Does it matter that ‘Single Sally’ is able to go to the gym six mornings per week before the sun rises, volunteer two times a week, and hold down a full-time job while having a seemingly non-stop social life? No, it doesn’t matter. Again, your responsibility is to focus on your own life and not that of others.

 

The root of becoming depressed, frustrated, and envious of others who can and have done it all is comparison. Try being happy for those who can successfully juggle multiple things in life without coming undone. It isn’t an easy thing to do. Instead of spiteful comparison, respect the sacrifices these women make in order to have the things in life that they value and cherish.

Can't do it all? Then try your best, that itself is something to be admired and respected.
Can’t do it all? Then try your best, that itself is something to be admired and respected.

A great way to not become obsessed with doing it all is to make time bound goals that are flexible. Break them down into 1: week, month, year, and decade. It also helps to have a 5 year plan as well. When things are spaced out you won’t feel pressured to achieve everything at once.

 

Let’s not forgot about the saddest book of the bible, that of Ecclesiastes. “Meaningless! Meaningless! Says the Teacher. Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The writer of these words sounds hopeless and depressed. I’m not interested in his view of life on earth. Our lives our meaningful, but short. We are only here for our one appearance, so it’s best to make it count.

 

If you want your life to be meaningless then do things you weren’t meant to do. Make no time in your life for things that feed your spirit and your soul. Be angry, be bitter, be boisterous. Demand things you haven’t earned. Treat people with disrespect. Love only those who love you back. Live by the motto ‘an eye for an eye’. Never forgive, but if you do, don’t forget.

 

When you feel as if you have to do it all, remember those women who truly have to do it all. The single mothers who are the sole support for their children. Women on the other side of the world who have to wake up and walk miles for clean water then spend all day in hard labour cooking and cleaning, and doing whatever they can to survive so their children can literally survive as well. They are the ultimate definition of “doing it all” and doing it every day without stopping or risk the mortality of their families. We have a choice as to what constitutes “all”, they don’t.

 

Life is what you make it. This is more than a cliché, it’s a mentality.

 

Ladies, before you decide to do it all, please be realistic and ask yourself some of these following questions:

  1. Why do I want this?
  2. How will this make my life better as I work towards my goal? How will this make my life better once I have achieved this? How will this make the lives of my partner and/or children better?
  3. Is this something that I necessarily need to do now? Can it wait for another year, 5 years, or 10 years? Can’t this be something that places on a bucket list instead, of on my daily to-do list?
  4. What are my weaknesses? Do I give in to the feelings of anger, jealousy, envy, racism, sexism, or competitiveness?
  5. How will I handle my emotions, and my life if I don’t achieve this goal?
  6. Have I been doing all that I can to achieve the things I want?
  7. Am I ready, willing, and able to make sacrifices?
  8. Is this something that I could be at minimum, marginally good at?
  9. Do others, who are not in my inner circle see me as being good at what I want to achieve?
  10. Do I rely too much on confirmation from others instead of measurable results?
  11. Have I included God and much prayer and meditation on His word?
  12. Will my actions cause harm to others?

Additional reading:

Superwoman Syndrome and the Pressure to Do It All:  http://anastasiaamour.com/2014/11/12/superwoman-syndrome-and-the-pressure-to-do-it-all/