Sunday, March 29, 2009

Goals Are More Important Than You May Think

The following is from the book 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller. (To find out more about Dan Miller and his 48 Days products, click here:


   Any stage in life can be an exciting time with many opportunities or a dreary time of confusion and entrapment. You may not be able to change your circumstances, buy you can decide that the circumstances won’t dominate you. You do have choices...

   So spend some time determining specific, worthwhile expectations that will make your life more meaningful. If you don’t have a written plan for your life, it may feel like you’re driving a car without having your hands on the wheel.

   On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran the first under-4-minute mile in recorded history. Doctors said it could not be done—that the human heart would explode with such exertion. Six weeks later an Australian runner duplicated that feat. Approximately 1 year later, 8 college runners at 1 track meet all broke the 4-minute mile. What changed? Did humans suddenly evolve to be faster than ever before in history? Not likely. What did happen is that the level of expectation changed. What was believed to be impossible was proven to be possible. Most of us operate under clear beliefs about what we are able to accomplish. If those beliefs are changed, the results change as well…

   Are you a goal setter? Do you typically set goals at the first of the year? If not, why not? Goals give you a starting point and a destination. It is the easiest way to give meaningful direction to your life, which releases you to effectively use your talents.

   Identify 5-year goals then work backward to what you need to do today to make deposits in where you want to be 5 years from now. Be specific, creating quantifiable benchmarks to track your deposits of success. Saying you want to be a better mommy, have a better job, or learn a new language is admirable, but without listing steps of measurable, specific goals, you will not move toward any specific action. Then another year will pass without any real change.

I, Clarissa, can personally attest to this. For years I would write such goals as “grow spiritually”, “learn a new language”, “read two books a month”, and so on. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that I began to write down how I planned to achieve these goals. It was then that I started taking genuine steps to attain them.

For example, instead of saying my goal was to “grow spiritually”, my goal now says “pray for at least 30 minutes a day as well as read and study God’s Word for 30 minutes a day”. Instead of the goal “read two books a month”, now my goal says “read at least 1 chapter from a book per day”.

I don’t understand why, but physically writing down your goals seems to do something to the psyche. Maybe seeing them on paper makes them more of a reality than just contemplating on them? The Bible says, “And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it (Habakkuk 2:2 KJV).” I decided to make my vision plain by taking a few pictures and pasting them to a piece of paper followed by a scripture from the Bible. It was a simple act, but as big and wild as my vision may be, what I once thought was unattainable now feels quite the opposite.

What are your goals? What is your vision? Will you make it plain, and if so, how?

Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance (Habakkuk 2:2 GNB).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Do You Like Yourself?

I’m currently reading Start Where You are by Charles R. Swindoll. He says the following on pages 68-69:
“Allow me this direct question: Do you know yourself? And one more: Do you like yourself? These basic stones must be in place, or no superstructure of meaningful accomplishment can be erected.

If you have hopes of raising your gaze toward leadership, let me urge you to start here. It may take great effort to gain a secure sense of self-esteem. It may involve pain. But in the long haul, you will be grateful you paid the price. Not until you enjoy peace with yourself, not until you know and like the things that make you what you are…”
Not until the above will you be able to withstand returning to the person you once were. You will not be able to avoid wanting to please others or succumbing to what others consider what is best for your life. Nor will you be able to stand against those who oppose what you are attempting to do or who you are attempting to become. And forget about conquering any obstacles that come your way to stop you.

Basically, you will not be strong enough to overcome any person or thing that attempts to hinder your progress in this time of change. Remember, change is not easy. Not only is it not easy for you, but it isn’t easy for those around you as well. The person that they’ve come to know is slowly disappearing before their eyes. If that person isn’t disappearing, the circumstances you’re placing yourself in are not logical or reasonable, and in their eyes your actions are causing you more harm than good. Out of concern for your safety, they suggest, cajole, rebuke, criticize, question, etc., until you return to what they consider as some form of normalcy.

The irony is that they are going against what both they and you wish for your life: your striving to become a better you.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (Genesis 1:27 KJV)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

You've Been Blessed With A Gift

The following was said by the character Mack Taylor on the TV series CSI:NY

"You have been blessed with a gift...You can choose to live in a place of fear or you can believe in the best version of yourself."

Ok. In the context of the show, this quote wasn't referring to life changes, but I thought it was so appropriate. Life changes are difficult. I think I read somewhere that it's like riding a roller coaster, and I agree. There will be ups and downs, twists and turns, and some surprises around the bend. You can choose to be the person that glances and looks at the roller coaster but will never take a ride (i.e. living in a place of fear) or you can choose to be the person that decides to get on (i.e. believing in the best version of yourself).

Let's ride the roller coaster so that when the ride is over, we'll be able to say, "That was well worth it."

For I know what I have planned for you,' says the LORD. 'I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. (Jer. 29:11 Net Bible)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Sadness is a Part of Change

Not the most joyous of topics (no pun intended), but sadness is a part of change. More or less, change means that you are experiencing a loss. There are some things we have lost and were indifferent about, while others caused pain or grieve. When sadness happens, don’t become concerned or wonder what is wrong with you. The change you’re experiencing causes grief because you’re leaving behind what is familiar, what makes you comfortable, and to a degree, what makes you who you are. However, the question to ask yourself is, “Are you really the person that you want to be or are you the person that you pretend to be in order for others to like you/to blend in/etc?” Loss (whether of a job, a friend(s), your health) can feel like a terrible thing, so go ahead and cry. Let your emotions out, but try not to let them out on others. Just don’t get stuck in your sadness, for it can turn into hopelessness. Without hope, you can forget about living life. You’ll continue to walk through life day by day performing the same routines, but living life will be a different story. Accept the sadness, deal with it, learn from it, and then continue on becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Here are two articles on sadness and change:

Dealing with Change – 6 Steps

Sadness and How to Overcome It

And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. (Luke 1:45 KJV)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How Are You In Setting Goals?

Do you have trouble when it comes to setting goals? Maybe this link on the Mind Tools website can push you in the right direction...

Personal Goal Setting

Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people. (Eph. 6:18 KJV)