I am delighted to have my friend Marva from SunSparkleShine visiting on the blog. This girl knows her way around a plan and a strategy! I hope her words are encouraging as you seek to make all your minutes matter.
It is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I’m not sure about that but I can tell you if I had a dollar for all the times I had good intentions when starting a project, I’d be a rich woman. Now ask me about how good I’ve been about following through with those good intentions, well, that’s another matter.
You see, I’ve always had good intentions to follow through on my good intentions. And that’s just the problem, isn’t it?
So, I replaced my good intentions with goals.
‘Cause that’s what a good strategic planner does.
I love, love goals. Goals are what get me to the finish line. Having a clear view of where I’m heading gets me going every time.
But what happens when you’ve given up on good intentions and you don’t have the energy to keep working toward your goals?
You keep going, that’s what.
I know it sounds super simple and a little blasé but let me explain a bit more about where I’m coming from.
It happened almost every year.
I started my year with really good intentions, terrific goals and lots of zeal. I would write about my goals, teach others how to set goals and generally keep the flame going. Then about summer things would get interesting with two pre-teens, no school and a mom who loves to keep all the things going – that would be me.
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my kids – it’s the reason why I left my leadership position in the public sector to start my consulting career. This way, I can manage my time and move things around according to the needs of my family.
Summer ends up being lots of fun in the sun. So, you can understand why by September, I’m either pulling my hair out from all the things that have backed up while I was frolicking, or I’ve run out of steam to keep everything going. Or both.
Maybe your story looks a little different but if you’ve ever had to juggle multiple priorities and didn’t know how to keep going, I have a feeling you can relate.
In the process, I’ve learned some hard lessons from trying to do it all, but all is not lost, because these have led me to the best tips on how to keep going when I feel like giving up. If they help you at all, please pass them on to a friend.
3 Lessons from Trying to Do it All
Balance is a myth
My attempts to find balance in my life often left me feeling like a failure. ‘Balance’ suggests that time is distributed evenly to all my responsibilities and activities, but that’s not realistic, is it? Some things need more attention depending on the season I’m in – like in the summer when I switch my focus to spend more time with my kids than in workshops and meetings.
So, if you’ve been trying to achieve balance and wondering why it’s not working out, it’s not you. There’s much more freedom in identifying your priorities and pursuing those than in seeking balance.
I don’t have to do it all
As a go-getter and a do-er of many things, it’s easy for me to think I have to keep all the plates spinning. No, I don’t. Jesus rested, delegated and trained capable men to carry on his work long after he was gone – and He was the Savior of the world – I’m not. It’s an act of faith when I choose to focus on the thing God puts before me each moment and let Him take care of the rest.
The year goes by so quickly and I lose precious time when I waste the minutes. That’s why I choose to mind my minutes so that my moments matter. In other words, I’m paying attention to how I spend my time, so that I can have time for the things that really matter to me. This is the heart behind my Time to Shine time management course and if you’re all about filling up on the things that matter most to you (instead of running on empty), I’d love for you to join me.
But before I go, I promised to share the tips on how to keep going.
3 Tips to Keep Going when You’ve Lost Steam
- Remember your why
There was a reason you set out to accomplish what you planned. Sure, you want to improve certain aspects of your life, ministry or business. But why? Take time to reflect on your why and allow the how to follow.
- Reflect on the journey
While you might not be exactly where you’d like to be on your journey, I bet you’ve come a long way. Gratitude for how far I’ve come (instead of focusing on how far I have to go) always inspires me to keep going.
- Recommit your plans to God
Trying to accomplish goals on your own strength leads to burn out. Instead, pray and commit your plans to God and let Him guide you to your next steps.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. – Proverbs 16:3 NIV
I’d love to hear from you on how you keep going when your good intentions and goals have lost their luster.
Marva Smith is an island-living, sun-loving, Christian wife and mom. She has successfully transitioned careers, welcomed reinvention and is always on the lookout for what God is doing next. She enjoys showing women how to sparkle and shine for God by living fully and abundantly right where they are (John 10:10). You can find her writing about her life and faith on her website SunSparkleShine.com as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. Get a free copy of her e-book You Were Made to Sparkle here.