Keeping the fire lit

Each December, we all start thinking about how the upcoming year is going to be the year. You know, the big one. The self transformation year, the year we are better, the year we become zen, the year we take that vacation, the year our business takes off. It's going to go flawlessly, because we are adding lemons to our water from now on! We are focused and we are shaking essential oil on everything we own! Starting January 1st, we mean business! Does that sound familiar? Of course it does.

We all get fired up about starting over! We get fired up for about 6 weeks and then life hits. We had a long day at work or the kids were sick or it’s snowing and the dvr needs cleaned out. Everything comes crashing down due to lack of planning and we don’t know where the day went. Slowly we slide back to excuses and old habits. We didn’t write anything down. We didn’t create an action plan, a vision board or even a checklist. Does that sound familiar? Of course it does.

I spent too many days going through this cycle. I never wrote anything down aside from my training schedule. I literally planned one hour outside of work for each day. What happened to all the other hours? I am not sure. I am certain a good chunk of it was spent unwisely. By unwisely, I mean getting sucked into reality t.v and scrolling mindlessly for hours on social media. After that, I would wash it down with self loathing and feeling bad about my own life, because I just spent hours looking at the highlight reel for people I didn’t even know.

It didn’t take me long to realize the solution to this self inflicted epidemic in my life. I was not only, the problem, I was the solution. What could I do differently? My daily habits needed to become useful and well established.

I started with eliminating my social media and eliminating my reality tv obsessions. It has been liberating. It still is. I had to come up with other ways to fill my time. I needed to fill my time with permanent things that would serve me, my family and others. I was and still am certain that God put me here to do something a little more constructive.

I started beginning each day with reading my bible. I started thinking about the first ten percent of not only my fruits but, my time. Why did I not think to start my day this way sooner? Bible and coffee, then yoga (I have to warm up now), then everything else. The rest of the day starts after those very important things. It really has made a difference in my day to day life. The day starts with gaining wisdom, direction and peace. I want answers, I get them.

My husband has been a big advocate for reading self-improvement books and continually challenging yourself to get better. He is actually the person that suggested I start a cooking blog. He suggested I read Business Boutique by Christy Wright. I had heard Dave Ramsey talk about that book on his podcast too. I was wanting to try to do something constructive, but I didn’t know where to start. I had already failed at starting a business two times (I didn’t write anything down, I didn’t plan, the DVR wasn’t going to watch itself). The thought of trying this seemed impossible, terrifying and exciting. I went to the bookstore. I bought the book and an awesome planner. I started reading the book. I had plenty of time on my hands since I went rogue on social media and shut the tv off.

Each chapter had an action plan and it needed to be put on paper. I began writing things down. I started coming up with a plan. I started creating tasks with real deadlines. I am competitive by nature. Each day, when I am looking at my planner, those unchecked boxes, drive me crazy. I can’t tell you how much satisfaction I get when I check the box as completed! I feel accomplishment, real, satisfying accomplishment. Writing your tasks and plans down is extremely important if you want to succeed. Once it’s on paper and you have a visual, it is more likely to become a reality. Also, you don’t forget. Set it next to the t.v remote if you have to! Then, it can stare at you while you binge watch Netflix. You can feel it's glare burn against you!

It has surprised me how much I have been able to accomplish now that I am paying attention and actually planning how my time is spent. All of these small tasks lead to fulfilling the big tasks. I have hit every goal I have set over the last six months by managing my time. Time does not manage itself. In fact, time and money are similar, both will disappear to places unknown if we do not manage them. Time is our most valuable resource. We have to manage it wisely. We will never progress in anything if we do not manage our time. An idle mind is the devil’s playground. I get it now. Getting sucked into the normal, everyday mindless activities puts limitations on our destiny. It limits us from doing the thing, God has created us to do! We have to actively seek out ways to fulfill our God given destiny. We have to stop waiting. We have to write it down. We have to make a plan. We have to take action. This is how the fire stays lit.

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