Want to Reach Your Goal?

I know you are wondering WHY are we talking about reaching our goals when the year is almost over, right?  We set our New Year’s Resolutions and are closing in on the end of the year……….have you reached any of your goals or did you ditch them about three months into the year?  I actually do two sets of goals – yes, I am a glutton for punishment.  LOL.  The first ones are on New Years and they are usually more about me personally.  Then in June, I set my business goals because this is when the fiscal year for Thirty One starts.  It actually is a good time for me to reflect on my personal goals too and jumpstart them if it is needed – which it usually is.
Sometimes, reaching our goals isn’t just about knowing what steps to take. It is more about how we handle the discouragement, the fear and the stumbles on the way to our goal. I don’t know about you but when those bumps in the road come, I am usually ready to call it quits but there are times when I persevere.  What’s the difference in those times?  It is mostly about my willingness to face the obstacles and overcome them.  There must be something to it because research shows most successful people actually think differently on the path to success – and their mental toughness helps them to be resilient in the face of frustrations and obstacles.
Here are some ways to boost your chances of reaching your goals…

 

1. Know your “why” and be specific.

We talk about this ALL of the time.  The truth is purpose will fuel perseverance. When you have a strong “why” behind your goal;  you are more likely to stick with it when the going gets tough.  The more specific you are, the more obvious your action steps become. Vague goals will produce vague results.

2. Plan it on your calendar.

Have a realistic plan to achieve your goals.  Pull out your calendar.   Block time (whether 15 minutes for a small goal or a whole day for a big goal) to brainstorm how you will achieve the goal and plan your timeline.  You schedule medical appointments, maybe even gym time and other activities – why not schedule time to plan and implement the steps to reach your goal.  Identify potential obstacles and figure out a plan to help you avoid them.  Identify and put in place the things you will need to reach your goal.  Is it a healthier grocery shopping list? An automatic withdrawal from your paycheck so you can boost your savings by 25%? No matter what it is, plan for it so it will happen.

3. Clarify what needs to change AND be honest with yourself.

Do you know why most people fail to reach a goal?  They underestimate what it takes to reach it.  The bigger the goal, the bigger the commitment. “I want to work out three time a week” is a good start, but when? What will need to change to make time for this goal?  Most of all be honest with what has held you back from reaching this goal in the past.  Fill in the blank of this statement, “I hate to admit it, but ….”  Now, make a goal to address the BUT!   For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to lose weight,” the goal becomes, “I’m going to find healthy ways to cope with my stress/insecurity/anxiety other than eating.”

4. Make it fun.

Have you ever noticed when you have positive emotions, you feel better?  Research shows positive emotions have lots of health benefits. Positive emotion can help you set better goals, see more options to get to the goal and persevere in the face of adversity.  Why not ask a friend to join you, take a class or join a group focused on the goal, and brainstorm ideas for making it fun or creating a game out of it.  When you work together, you can encourage each other on those tough days.

5. Give yourself permission to be imperfect.

Okay, this is probably the hardest thing for me to do!  What about you?  Perfectionism is actually rooted in fear – fear we’re not good enough,  fear mistakes are the end of the world, and falling down means never getting back up.  Does this sound like you?  Buying into fear means you are less likely to ever get started.  Give yourself a break!  It is okay to make mistakes and stumble on the way to your goal.  Then when it happens, simply ask:  What is the lesson for me to learn? What will I do differently next time? Use your failures and mistakes as learning tools.

6. Pinpoint the milestones and how you’ll celebrate.

Anticipation is a happiness trigger. It produces positive emotion which keeps you moving forward. Rather than having just one big milestone – the finish line – create multiple milestones along your journey to the goal. Plan for them along the way.  Treat yourself when you hit one.  Most of all, be sure to share the milestones with people who will celebrate along with you.

7. Fear is inevitable, but it’s not a stop sign.

The biggest obstacle to creating meaningful goals and taking consistent steps forward is fear. Refuse to stop just because fear rears its ugly head. Instead, question your fear. Ask, “Well, what if that happens? What will I do then?” Push through your fear by being brave enough to face it, imagine it and make a plan to handle it.

Whether you are trying to finish off the year by reaching one of your New Year’s Resolutions or are already planning for the New Year, these steps will help you to reach your goal.  Share you goal with us, let us celebrate your milestones and encourage you when you hit the bump in the road.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Overcoming Negative Internal Chatter

Thank  you Rachel Wojo for today’s message…

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:5, ESV).

The morning alarm sounded. I batted thin air, trying to shut off the noise without opening my eyes. Suddenly, it hit me. An epiphany that yes, I had overslept!!! By 45 minutes!! I’m guessing you can relate to the pandemonium that followed. I rushed 5 kids through an exceptionally abbreviated morning routine and somehow managed to pull up in front of the school only 15 minutes after the bell rang. I remembered the “I-love-you’s” and breathed a huge sigh of relief.

But as I pulled away from the curb, a wave of self-reproach folded over me. “How could you do this? What kind of mother sleeps through her alarm?” The belittling questions streaming through my mind overwhelmed my heart. “You shouldn’t have laid back down for ‘just a few minutes.” I felt powerless to stop it. Negative internal chatter over a rough start to the day threatened to ruin the entire day.

You’ve been there, haven’t you? Whether it was one small decision you wish you could change or a bigger mistake that couldn’t be reversed, the ticker tape of your mind rolled with continual adverse thoughts. One thought led to another that led to another and before you knew it, you felt consumed by the tornado of pessimism.

Maybe you’ve read all the quick fixes on thinking positive thoughts. But thinking positively requires more than just stopping the negative swirl of the mind. It requires digging deep and making a choice. The choice to set your mind on truth. Making that choice is often contrary to feelings, isn’t it?

Today’s Scripture focus helps us understand the power in our choice. Paul, the writer of the book of Romans, explains that when we choose negative thoughts? We are setting our minds on temporary issues that die. Things that fade away. But when we choose to place our minds on the truth of God’s Word, it creates a lasting impact. Our temporary world of thoughts is peaceful, and life is breathed into our souls.

Whether the issue is worry, anxiety, fear, anger or self-confidence, the truth of God’s Word must be our guide to replacing negative internal chatter. The simple choice of setting our minds on the truth of God’s Word in place of our fleshly temporal thoughts contains the power to change not just a single moment or a day, but our entire lives!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Give Yourself Permission to Make a Change

 

Change – it’s not something which is easy for me – or most people.  I am again learning how I can’t change the past, I can’t go back an get a new beginning.  BUT what I can do is start a new start today and make a new ending.

At the ripe old age of 61 with MS kicking my butt a lot of days, I wonder if it is to late to make changes.  I think back to the many changes I made in my career – I started out looking at law school to fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves, then it was off to Atlantic City to work in the hotel/casinos.  As my addiction progressed and finally sent me to my knees, a new passion emerged and my life as a social worker was born.  A career I would not change for the world.  I learned so much and it gave me a chance to make difference in the lives of others.  I know I am squirreling…..

How often have you asked yourself if it is too late to change careers and pursue something you are  more passionate about.  The truth is “It’s never too late,”!  If you feel led in a new direction, make a plan to transition and go for it!

Whether you are in your twenties, or  in your sixties — it is never too late.  Life is too short to settle and be unhappy.  So whether you want to change jobs, save a relationship or start planning for retirement – DO IT!  I know, easier said then done, right?

The first thing you need to do is LET GO of the idea it’s too late to change the course of your life.  Stop comparing yourself to others and where they are.  Give up the shoulda, coulda and woulda.  The world pressures us to believe everything has to happen in a certain time frame, and when we want to go a different route, FEAR steps in.  It can feel as though it is “against the rules” to follow a path outside the norm.  Who is to say what the “norm” is?   Fear will keep you stuck where you are, thinking it is wrong to change your mind about what you want in life. God will often lead you in a new direction when you have learned all you were supposed to learn at a particular stage of your life.  Have you learned everything you could for your current stage of life?

Our experiences develop us into a unique person and our path doesn’t look like anyone else’s and it shouldn’t. Believe it or not, the mistakes you’ve made – you can learn from them and use those lessons to make a change sometimes for the better..

Is it time to reconsider the things you had decided it was too late to do?  Why not rekindle your desire for change.  Give yourself permission to dream a bigger dream,  walking a divinely inspired path which is uniquely yours.  It’s not too late to try something new.  In fact, life becomes stale when you get stuck in a rut.  I know, it’s tempting to give up on the idea you could have what you really want in your life, but you don’t have to give in to temptation. Your journey becomes richer and more joyful when you remain open to your possibilities.

Here are some things it’s not too late for you to do:

  • Change careers
  • Go back to school
  • Fall in love
  • Apologize to someone you hurt
  • Forgive someone who hurt you
  • Plan a trip to your dream destination
  • Have children (even if it’s biologically impossible, the child you were meant to have may be waiting to be adopted by you)
  • Start saving for retirement
  • Get fit
  • Start taking better care of yourself
  • Turn your finances around
  • Deepen your relationship with God
  • Change your attitude or your perspective on life

Today is a NEW day and I am letting go of the thoughts of “it’s too late”.  Just for today, I am going to focus on the positive and where I want to be in my life.  I am going to open my mind to new possibilities. I’m going to take a step in the direction to achieve my potential.

Share with us, what you decided it’s too late to do.  Then tell us what steps you are going to take to move toward it? You are not alone… We can do this together.

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!

The Lesson of a Beekeeper

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message…

A beekeeper once told author F.B. Meyer how some of the young bees are nurtured to ensure their healthy development. The queen lays each egg in a six-sided cell, which is filled with enough pollen and honey to nourish the egg until it reaches a certain stage of maturity. The top is then sealed with a capsule of wax.

When the food is gone, it is time for the tiny creature to be released. The wax is so hard to penetrate that the bee can make only a very narrow opening. It is so narrow that in the agony of exit, the bee rubs off the membrane that encases its wings. When it finally does emerge, it is able to fly.

The man telling the story said that a moth once got into the hive and devoured the wax capsules. As a result, the young bees crawled out without any effort or trouble. But they could not fly.

When a crisis hits or a pit seems to swallow me whole, I want out – fast! I look for the nearest exit that will allow the easiest escape. But sometimes the easy way out or the simplest solution is not God’s plan.

God loves me enough to teach me that the purpose of the pit is to purify and then to restore. God is in the restoration business. He is not interested in my comfort as much as He is committed to my character. And sometimes it takes an excruciating struggle to emerge with a lesson that can only be learned in the darkness. Some things simply cannot be learned in the light. It is through the struggle of the trial – the journey out of the pit of darkness that the very best part of us takes flight.

Two of my favorite words in the Bible are “But God.” Those two words create an eternal backdrop that changes everything.

  • Everything looks different when God comes.
  • Everything is made right by His presence.
  • Every problem is resolved when God is factored into the equation.

To survive and succeed in life, we must refuse to fix our gaze on the “little things” that are meant to divert God’s purpose. If we really want to become a strong warrior, our glance must be on the circumstances of life and our gaze must be on Him. When we instill that spiritual discipline as a reality, life becomes the joy God meant it to be.

  • Stress will give way to peace.
  • Doubt will give way to faith.
  • Fear will give way to trust.
  • Darkness will give way to light.
  • Defeat will give way to victory.

Does that mean we will float through each day without facing trials, defeats, enemies or impossibilities? No – it simply means that the backdrop against which we view those dark moments will be replaced with the truth that God is enough.

When the stress of life threatens and it seems you can’t go on, rest in the truth that the same God who called you will provide everything you need to accomplish His purpose in your life.

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

Worry Wastes Life

Thank you  Sharon Jaynes for today’s message…..

Not all fear is bad. It is good to be afraid of sticking your hand in a fire, crossing a busy street with your eyes closed, or jumping off a cliff. That is good healthy fear.

Bad fear is fear of present circumstances and future events that may or may never happen. Being too afraid to step out and do what God has called you to do. Being so worried about the consequences that you throw trusting God out the window. That’s an unhealthy fear.

The Holy Spirit will warn you with a healthy sense of fear to protect you, but He will never stir up worry to stymie your faith. I’ve often heard it said that worry is a down payment on a problem you may never have. And it’s true! Rehearsing your troubles before they even happen causes you to experience them many times, whereas you were not meant to experience them but once—when or if they actually occur.

Most of the biggest challenges you will ever face will be the result of things you never even thought to worry about or even crossed your mind. They will blindside you on a Thursday afternoon at 2:00, when you never saw it coming. You will not even have known that you should have worried about the possibility! (Now, don’t let that get you worried.)

We waste valuable time and forfeit the thriving faith when we allow “what ifs” to hold us captive.

  • What if I’m embarrassed?
  • What if I’m rejected?
    What if I fall flat on my face?
  • What if I fail?

What if one or all of these things do happen when I step forward in obedience? I’ll live. God will be right there with me.

Here’s the bigger question: What if I don’t step forward in obedience? What if I ignore God’s prompting? I might miss out on one of His greatest blessings of my life.

Do you believe God loves you? I’m thinking you just answered yes. Then why do you worry that He doesn’t have your best interest in mind? He will not allow or initiate any circumstance in your life that is not filtered through His sovereign love for you. You will make it! Life might not unfold as you imagined, but when you place your hand in His and trust in His love, you will survive and most likely thrive.

Paul had an incredible attitude about the “what ifs” in his life. He had the mind-set of bring it on. The Pharisees couldn’t stand him, but they found his attitude made it impossible to stop him. They threw him in prison and he said, “That’s OK. Give me some parchment and ink. I’ll write some letters to the churches. I’ll write to them about how to have joy in all circumstances.”

They chained him to a prison guard and he said, “That’s OK. I’ll tell him about Jesus. As a matter-of-fact, I’ll bring his whole family to Christ!”

They threatened to kill him and he said, “That’s OK. I’ll get to go to heaven and be with Jesus. What could be better?”

Paul faced his fears and booted them out the door with the love of God. What do you do to a guy like that?

He wasn’t worried or concerned about his future. Paul was at peace with whatever happened on his faith journey because He trusted in the character and love of God. And with a faith like that, the natural consequence is to live bold. And that’s what we can do today

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!