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Perfect is the Enemy of Good

As I sat looking at my computer screen I hesitated to push “Publish.” My first website, created by me, for my writing and coaching services. When I pushed the “Publish” button, a wave of anxiety rushed over me. What if it isn’t perfect?

What if I wrote the wrong thing?

What if I don’t get my point across completely in the article I need to write?

What if the website doesn’t look professional enough?

What if I don’t brand myself in the right way?! (There is a lot of pressure these days to brand yourself just right on the web)

That was 10 months ago. I am still anxious at times thinking about how my website could look better or how I should tweak this or that. But the reality is, what I have created is pretty dang good for never building a website before. If I waited until it was perfect, I would have never pushed the “publish” button.

Perfect is the Enemy of Good.

Perfect Paralyzes

I have grand dreams and grand plans. I know where I want to go, but I am often paralyzed by fear. I fear that if what I do is not perfect, then no one will see (fill in the blank) or it won’t have the impact that it could have if it were perfect.

Often I mull over decisions I need to make. I know that what I need to do, should do, and ultimately want to do, but often my own fear of failure stops me from moving forward.

If I waited until everything was perfect, I would never do anything. No one writes the perfect article or song. No one has the perfect website. We are all constantly trying to improve on our craft. Wording can be updated. Websites can be reconfigured. Paragraphs can be reordered.

Don’t be caught doing nothing because you are worried it is not “perfect.”

Instead, move forward with good enough. I’ve learned I can be excellent in what I do without hinging on being perfect in what I do. I can give it my all each time and know that good is good enough. You can give it your all and know that good is good enough. As long as you are always trying to improve your craft.

Good is Good Enough

Today, let your “good” be good enough and take steps towards your dreams. Create action steps to accomplish your goals. Don’t let the fear of it not being perfect stop you.

Remember, perfect is the enemy of good.

What are you not doing today because it isn’t perfect in your eyes? Tell me below!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

Why Your New Year’s Resolution Will Fail

The New Year’s Resolution. The time of year that everyone sits down, writes unattainable wishes, and then forgets about them by the time February hits.

I’ve already seen those that consistently go to the gym complain about the New Year’s Resolution crowd that is sure to join them starting today, Monday.

I’ve been there. I know you have been there.

You have the best of intentions and you just know that this is your year. You are going to achieve your resolution.

In the past, I was the same way. One year I decided I was going to work out 6 days a week and was going to stop eating fast food as much. Yet when the time came to make that change, I did not have the structure in place to achieve those goals.

If you are like me, then you have had the following New Year’s Resolutions:

-Lose 10 lbs.

-Write a book.

-Be more intentional with your significant other.

-Be more intentional with your kids.

-Not have your phone in your hands certain times of day.

The New Year is a great time to for a fresh start. A clean slate, a new calendar, new goals.

The New Year is a great time to for a fresh start. A clean slate, a new calendar, new goals. Click To Tweet

Why Your New Year's Resolution Will

It’s not that you don’t want to be successful. You made the resolution for a reason, on some level it is important to you. Yet when it comes down to it, only 8% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions are successful in achieving their resolution.

The odds are not in your favor friend.

Only 8% of those who set NY Resolutions will achieve them. Click To Tweet

What normally happens is you are super excited and in that excitement to make healthy changes, you plan to do too much or don’t have the structure in place to achieve your goals. You might not pace yourself, making incremental changes that lead to lasting change, so the changes you do make you are not able to sustain for the long haul.

The reality is you have created habits over a lifetime. When you are trying to change those habits, it takes purposeful planning and attainable action steps.

Another reason you may not be successful is you may not have told anyone your goals. If no one knows your goals, they can’t keep you accountable. To achieve a resolution you have to put structures in place in your daily life.

While many will not achieve their New Year’s resolutions, you can defy the odds.

Here are 4 steps you can take to help your New Year’s resolutions become a normal part of your daily life.

Write Out Your Goals and Your Why

Goals are great. We love hearing an inspirational quote about achieving goals. These are some of my favorite quotes:

“Don’t let life change your goals. Achieving your goals can change your life.”

“Action without planning is fatal, but planning without action is futile”

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Henry David Thoreau

Feel inspired? I know I do. The reality is that goals are great, but if you don’t have a reason as to why you have set the goal, you won’t achieve it. You will have a set back or hit a bump in the road, and you’ll give up.

When you write out your goals, make sure you follow the SMART model. Is your goal Specific? Is it Measurable? Is it Attainable? Is it Relevant? Do you have a Time when you will complete it?

Action: Write out your goals and your compelling why. Also, set an initial deadline for your goals.

Tell Someone Your Goals

Rarely is anything achieved when it is kept to oneself. We need encouragement and accountability from one another. When it comes down to it, when it starts to become difficult, we need others to kick our butts back into gear.

Action: Tell two people your goals

Create Action Steps and Put it in Your Calendar

Goals will stay goals on a piece of paper unless you create action steps. The action steps that you create need to be specific to your goal.

Want to lose weight? Then you must decide how you are going to work out and when you are going to work out. And then make appointments with yourself in your calendar.

Want to write a book? You have to put all of the pieces together, from research, to development, to time to write.

Want to spend more time with your kids? Decide what that really means to you, then come up with a plan.

Knowing how you are going to get from point A to point B is the only way you will achieve your goals.

Action: Create appointments with yourself as to when you will work on your goals and what you will do during that time.

Hire a Coach

Sometimes, no matter what you try to do on your own, you just will not achieve your goals. This is where hiring a coach comes in.

Often the very thing you need is a person who is far enough from your current circumstance to ask the right questions to help you gain a greater level of self-awareness to set the right goals with the action plan that you need. These insightful conversations will leave you with concrete action steps to take before your next coaching appointment.

You would hire a coach to help you achieve your weight loss goals at the gym, why not hire a coach to help you achieve other goals that are important to you?

If you want to achieve your goals but aren’t sure how to get from A to B, then its time to connect with a coach.

Action: Hire a coach.

You can be a part of the 8%. It won’t always be easy; in fact, it will get to the point where you will want to quit. But don’t. Don’t give up on what you wanted. Look at your Why. Remind yourself why you set that goal to begin with. It takes courage to make a goal, tell someone, and then chase after it.

What are some New Year’s Resolutions that you have set in the past but failed in accomplishing? See mine in the comments below!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on TwitterPinterest, and LinkedIn.

How You Can Thrive This Holiday Season

I was at the end my proverbial rope.

It was the middle of December and I could not wait until it was January.

In fact, I was so stressed that I wanted to sleep for the next eleven days, but I knew that couldn’t happen. Apparently it would have been frowned upon by my husband and child. And potentially my mother, mother-in-law…well, you get the picture.

The holidays are full of joy for most, hard for those who may be spending them without a loved one, and stressful for all. The holiday season really begins in the middle of October, planning and preparing for Halloween, and lasts all the way through the New Year. If you don’t plan it well, instead of it being a joyful and fun time of year, it can be stressful and full of regret.

The holidays are full of joy for most and stressful for all. Click To Tweet

I finally got smart (well, smarter than I was at least) and decided to plan out our time. Starting in November, we have family birthdays, my best friends birthday, Thanksgiving, my birthday, my husband’s birthday,  Christmas parties (and holiday parties, not to be confused with Christmas parties), and New Year’s. And of course finding a time to meet with Santa (the kids, not me…maybe).

 
Instead of spending two months in pure chaos, I decided I was going to thrive this year.
Instead of spending two months in pure chaos, I decided I was going to thrive this year. Click To Tweet

Here is how you can thrive this holiday season:

Planning Traditions and Parties

First thing you need to do is pull up your calendar. I did this a couple of weeks ago and decided to make appointments for myself and our family. That is how I get everything else done, so why change a proven method? You will need to do the same.

First let’s start with Traditions…

Does your family have traditions? When I hear the word traditions I used to think it had to be something elaborate. Traditions are the things we do every year around specific events.

Since we got married and had kids, there are several things we have done each year that I had not really considered traditions, until last year. These are things we love to do and always cram them in. This year, I made a long list of the things we have done in the past and decided on a few we would do this year:

Baking for our neighbors

We don’t see our neighbors often and this is a fun way we can interact with them. My husband loves to make toffee and caramels while I love to make cookies. We have our oldest daughter help with the cookies, until she gets bored, but she loves handing the goodies to our neighbors!

Decorating sugar cookies

This one is for the kids. I like to make the cut out cookies and then give the kids everything they might need, or want, to decorate the cookies. We usually give these to family members (because grimy little fingers).

Santa

Yep, we go see Santa. In fact, this year we will be going on December 9th if anyone wants to come with us!

Walk Down Christmas Tree Lane (or the likes)

We have two awesome neighborhoods in our town that decorate their houses for the holidays. We grab coffee and hot chocolate, bundle up, and make an evening of it. It is so much fun to see the creativity and all the beautiful lights.

Action: Make a list of your favorite traditions and put them in your calendar.

Now let’s talk about Parties…

Parties, parties, and more parties seem to fill up the months of November and December. I make sure to know in advance when birthday parties or dinners are happening. My people are extremely important to me and I want to make sure they know it!

We have a couple of good friends who have Christmas parties. I make sure to find out the dates so we don’t plan something when they are happening.

My husband’s birthday is 4 days before Christmas so I always make sure to make his birthday a big deal and separate from any Christmas activities.

And of course my birthday, which I would celebrate all month long if I could, but apparently I have to share with my husband and Jesus.

Action: Between the traditions that are important to you and your family, and holiday parties, make sure you put them on the calendar. This gives you the opportunity to make sure you do not have too many events going on in a two week span, but ensures you give yourself some down time.

Learn to Say No

Boundaries are important even during the holiday season. You will be invited to events and others will place expectations on you that are unreasonable. I’m going to say this in the easiest way to be understood as possible…

Just. Say. No.

This season is busy and stressful enough. Often I wonder how I get through it. I learned this gem last year. If it doesn’t fit into my priorities, or if it adds to my stress, then I say no. You must know what your priorities are and be able to say no when it is going to cause undue stress on you.

Action: Know your priorities in advance so you can say no.

Don’t Wait to Buy or Make Presents

One year we waited until Christmas eve eve to buy my in-laws their gift. This was not intentional, as we knew what we were going to buy, but couldn’t find it. The day before we were to be at their house we went on hunt to find it. And we did, by 9 pm.

Make your list NOW of everyone that you want to bless by giving a gift to. If you are going to make it, plan a time now to make those items. If you are going shopping, plan a time for when you are going to go shopping.

With a little bit of forethought and planning, you won’t be scrambling to get gifts for your loved ones.

Action: Plan out your gifts now and get going!

In Conclusion…

The holidays can be stressful, but they don’t have to be. Put in the effort on the front end to plan out the next month. Your blood pressure and family will thank you.

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

The Misconception of Multi-Tasking: 3 Steps to Prioritize Your Tasks

Multi-tasking. The ultimate skill stated at every job interview. Up until recently, it was believed that multi-tasking increased productivity. Studies now show multitasking wastes a significant amount of time.

The definition of multi-tasking: performing two or more tasks simultaneously

The idea is great in theory, but not in practice.

A great example, one that affects my kids, is when I’m trying to do something on my phone the same time my 4 year old is asking me for something. Usually the end result is me saying “what did you just ask?”

Multitasking does not allow for you to focus all of your attention at the task, or person, at hand. This is especially true if you are trying to listen to someone and simultaneously trying to write. Your brain does not have the ability to do comprehend both at the same time. You go back and forth between the two tasks at hand.

Overwhelmed. Drained. Disoriented.

These are words that can describe how you feel after you finish “multi-tasking.”

The good news is, we have the ability to move between multiple tasks and then come back to the task we were already doing. That is indeed impressive. Where we get it wrong is when we go back and forth between tasks without accomplishing any one particular task. It takes longer to complete each task when you go between tasks. When you focus on one task and then move to the next, it does not take as much time.

To be more efficient with your time, prioritize your tasks at hand.

The Misconception of Multi-Tasking- 3 Steps to Prioritize Your Tasks

3 Steps to Prioritize Your Tasks and Time

  1. Make a list of what needs to be accomplished.

Having a list will help you to see the entire picture. I have a running tab of to-do’s at work. When I look at that list, I can determine what is most important and focus on that one task at hand.

I sit down every morning, whether at work or at home, and create my to-do list. This helps me focus on what must get done.

  1. Decide what needs to be done first

Look at your list. If it takes less than 2 minutes, do it right away.

Now that those items are off your list, you have a list before you that needs to be accomplished. Every item on your list has a level of importance. Re-order your list in regards to when it needs to be completed and order of importance.

  1. Get ‘er done

Go through your list one by one and

Get. It. Done.

Focus on one task at hand and accomplish it efficiently.

I’ve heard lately from many people that they dread making phone calls, for any reason. If that is you, put those calls first on your list so you can cross them off.

In Conclusion…

The idea and concept of multi-tasking is held on a pedestal as one of the best qualities to have, especially in an interview. When looking at how to manage your time, to be the most efficient, focusing on one task until it is complete is the most efficient.

Do you normally “multi-task”? If so, what does that normally look like for you? Share below!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

How I Lost an Hour of My Life

When I looked up at the clock, I could not believe an hour had passed.

Not often do I get time alone to do whatever I want. However, when I do, I usually utilize the time to be productive or participate in some self-care. I have a to-do list a mile long. This list includes things that have to be done and things I want to do. Some of these items on my list are important yet extremely not urgent that I don’t often have time to do them.

I was excited to have some time to myself.

How I Lost an Hour of My Life

Then It Happened

I had plenty of time on Monday night as the kids were in bed and my husband went out with a friend. I had two small items to accomplish and my third item was to read a book that I have wanted to read for a long time, yet continued to put off.

I really thought this time was going to be awesome. No kids climbing on me or asking me for anything. No husband climbing on me and asking me for things. Just me!

After the two items were completed, I sat down to quickly check social media.

First I checked out Instagram, looking at the great quotes and cute pictures of my friends kids.

I then went on to Twitter and even scheduled some tweets for later in the week.

Then I landed on Facebook. I am a part of a few online communities so I made sure to check out the posts in those groups along with my normal news feed. I commented and got caught up. Before I knew it, an hour had passed.  I had unintentionally lost an hour of my life.

For someone who prides them self on being a good with time I sure screwed that one up.

iphone social media

The Reality

Then I started thinking about how often I am on social media and how much time it consumes. I find that if I am bored or simply need a mind numbing break I grab my phone. In all honesty, I know that I have been on my phone too much if my thumb is hurting at the end of the day.

In a report from 2009 published in the New York Times, the average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words of information in a single day. If the amount of bytes consumed has increased six percent each year, which means today the average American consumes 48 gigabytes of content in a day. This will continue to increase with the use of technology and social media use increases with Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Periscope.

What does this mean? It means I am consuming a lot of mind numbing information each day. Everyone has a message or is trying to sell something. That is great, and the “world” needs to hear your message. But not every single person needs to hear your message. I don’t need to hear everyone’s message. At times I think I do, but the reality is that taking in all of that information is all consuming, and not in a good way.

Everyone has a message to share, but not every message is for you. Click To Tweet

The Plan

To try to combat the time suck that social media can be, I am going to put limits on when I can be on social media. I know this will be hard as my go-to when there is down time or when I am bored is to grab my phone to see what everyone else is doing.

This is my very loose, and modifiable, plan.

-If I am at home with my family, I plan on not being on social media from 6:00-8:00 pm on weeknights.

-I am going to limit when I am on social media during the day.

-On Sunday and Wednesday nights I will plan social media posts (automation so I don’t lose more track of time).

-I am going to limit when I am social media, and my phone in general, on the weekends.

In Conclusion…

I do not have this figured out in any way, shape or form. I know I need to work on it so that is where I start. A greater level of self-awareness and a plan to move forward. The online world should never be a replacement for real life that is going on in front of you. Hopefully, next time I have some time alone, I won’t be wondering how I lost an hour of my life to social media.

Do you find yourself “wasting” time on social media? Share below how you combat social media as a time sucker!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

P.S.- Continue the conversation on Facebook! I would love to hear how I can help you on your journey. To receive up to date content, sign up to receive my free 7 Steps to a Prioritized Life on the home page and posts will be delivered right to your inbox.  If Facebook isn’t your favorite social media site, you can connect with me on Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

5 Steps to Assess Your Strengths

I am never as frustrated in my work or in life when I have to focus on my weaknesses. I don’t thrive on being creative (painting at least) or being left alone for long periods of time. When either of these things happen, I’m usually miserable.

Often, we think we are supposed to work on our weaknesses instead of our strengths. I believe that we need to do just the opposite.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The following questions usually come up in an interview:

  • Tell us your greatest traits
  • Tell us your strengths
  • Tell us about your weaknesses

My all-time favorite line when it comes to explaining one’s weaknesses comes from the TV show The Office. If you work in an office setting, then odds are you can resonate with the show.

In an interview for a promotion, Michael Scott is asked about his strengths. This is his response:

The desire to work on our weaknesses, I believe, comes from the idea that we can be anything we want to be. That we must improve on the areas we don’t have much talent in so that we can be well-rounded. I think we need to stop focusing on being well-rounded and start focusing on our natural talents that are our strengths.

The book, Strengths Finder 2.0, gives you an access code to complete an assessment which produces your top five themes, or strengths, out of a list of thirty-four. Obviously, this assessment does not, and cannot, take personality nuances in to consideration. However, it does take into consideration that the strengths are a list of raw talents and as you build upon them, and invest in your talents, they become your strengths.

34strengths

Here five steps to assess your strengths:

1. Buy the book. Take the assessment.

I bet you don’t even know what your strengths are though. Am I right? If you don’t know, then I encourage you to spend the $15 to get the book which has the assessment code. $15 may give you a level of self-awareness you did not know was possible.

There are a few short chapters (if you can really even called them that) which introduces the premise of the book and the assessment.

The code for the assessment is in the back of the book. You should set aside 35 minutes of distraction free time to take it.

2. Review Your Strengths

Once you have taken the assessment, the program gives you a printout of your top five strengths. There are several PDF reports that are created based upon your assessment. Here is a list of the 34 themes with a brief description.

Along with these reports, the book has practical information in it, including how to get along with coworkers who have specific strengths.

3. Your Real Life

Take some time to think about how your strengths play into your real life. Not just your work life, but the things that you enjoy. The things that you are good at.

For instance, one of my strengths is Achiever. This means exactly what it says. I like to achieve things. I set goals for myself, I challenge and motivate myself. I will write down an item I have already completed on my to-do list simply so I can mark it off.

Sounds like I have a problem, right? I probably do…

4. How does your job connect with your strengths?

Now think about your strengths as it relates to your job. Do you find that you use your strengths in your job? If you struggle with your job, it may be because you are working out of your weaknesses and not your strengths. At least that is the case for me.

I’m currently in a position where I am not using my strengths. Some days I go home weary and frustrated because I am not fulfilled each day. Although I am learning valuable skills, I am not working out of my strengths.

Luckily I work in a place that had us take this assessment. The plan is to evaluate everyone’s strengths and to begin to assign tasks, when possible, to utilize their strengths.

5. Pick a Strength You Want to Improve Upon

After reviewing your five strengths, and thinking about your real life, it’s time to think about what strength you want to improve upon. For example, if one of your strengths is communication, you could figure out which form of communication you are best at and begin working on that.  There are some great suggestions in the book on how to improve upon your themes.

Focus on improving your strengths. Find joy in what you are good at. Focusing on your weaknesses can be frustrating and tiresome. There is no need to drudge through life focusing on what you aren’t good at.

Focus on improving your strengths. Find joy in what you are good at. Click To Tweet

In Conclusion…
Knowing your strengths is just one step in figuring out the type of life and occupation you want. When I took the assessment for the second time, years apart, it was interesting to see the differences. As I looked back as to how my life has changed, the strengths then made more sense. Knowing your strengths is one piece of the puzzle that will give you a greater level of self-awareness to live the purposeful, prioritized life you want.

Do you know your strengths? If not, go find out!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

11 Leadership Quotes to Make You Think

Quotes from individuals who have gone before us down the path of life are inspiring and instrumental in shaping who we are. They shape who we become. When we read and digest information, it helps shape our worldview on that particular subject.

I wrote a book on servant leadership as my final project for my Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership. To date, it was one of the most difficult projects I have taken on. Instead of it sitting on my hard drive, I have decided to have the book edited to self-publish on Amazon. I have had the draft edited but have not yet done the revisions. I guess it is time for me to take my own advice, make appointments with myself, and begin to work on those revisions.

In the book, I discuss the difference a leader can make by being a certain type of leader. I talk about the difference between leading and managing. Communicating clearly, empowering followers, and showing the way are what set apart mediocre leaders from great leaders. I think the book is chalk full of good information and hope you do to.

Those in positions of leadership need to be intentional about their own development as well as the development of their followers. Being a leader is not a position that should be taken lightly. Unfortunately, we have all seen the individuals who have somehow made their way to leading organizations who probably should have minimal interaction with the others.

The task of the leader is to get his

Leadership quotes can inspire us to be better leaders. Below are 11 leadership quotes to make you think. Some of these are in my book, others will be added.

11 Leadership Quotes to Make You Think

  1. Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. —Stephen Covey
  1. You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader. —Multiple Attributes
  1. Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it. —General Dwight Eisenhower
  1. The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant. —Max DePree
  1. Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy. —Norman Schwarzkopf
  1. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. —John Maxwell
  1. What you do has far greater impact than what you say. —Stephen Covey
  1. You manage things; you lead people. – Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper
  1. You don’t lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case. —Ken Kesey
  1. The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. – Henry Kissinger
  1. The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office. – Dwight D. Eisenhower

These quotes are all great. However, a quote is no good unless we understand how to apply it appropriately in our leadership context.

In Conclusion…

There are so many great leadership quotes from many great leaders. With the internet, quotes are available at our finger tips. As I go back over my first draft, I undoubtedly will add more quotes as they fit into the text.

Do you have a favorite leadership quote? Share below!

Here’s to the Journey!

Stephanie_small (1)

Why You Need to Be Intentional

Do you ever think an event or time that is 5 years away is going to take forever to get here and then all of a sudden that time has arrived?  It’s been five years in a flash? It is something you have anticipated doing. You set goals. You made a plan. Yet in the planning stages it felt like it was going to take forever to get there.

Then one day you look up and time has gone by in an instant. In almost a blink of an eye, the time has passed by.

And you didn’t even realize it.

Where did the time go?

We live at the very edge of development in our town. About four years ago they ripped out the mature trees in the orchard. We thought they were going to be putting in a commercial center. Instead they replanted the trees. I remember thinking how small they were. I remember thinking how it will take them a long time to grow.

This morning when I went to exercise, I walked by those trees. The trees that I drive by every day all of a sudden were mature, full trees.

Where did the time go?

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. I want to make sure we live the story we want.  To live out a purposeful life and invest in those around us.

I want to make sure we live the story we want. Click To Tweet

That doesn’t mean that you quit your job, give up the security of a paycheck to do what you love or spend time with your kids without being responsible. I think that you can find purpose where you are. That doesn’t mean you have to stay in that place forever, but it does mean to look for the silver lining where you have been placed. You can make an impact right where you are at.

Be intentional about the story you live.

When did that happen?

Looking at those trees automatically made me think of my kids. See, right now they are small, but I have a fear that all of a sudden I’m going wake up one day and they are going to be teenagers. And I’m going to ask myself “when did that happen?”

With the end of the school year, people are posting pictures of their kids growing up. I saw pictures of kids that finished junior high or high school. Some were even pictures of kids graduating from kindergarten. And each person said “where did the time go?”

It is not as if each of these people had the thought “I am going to sit back and let time fly by.” I know many of these families personally and they live abundant lives. Yet in the busyness of life, even when they see their kids daily, time still seems to fly by.

What if I get so busy in the midst of life that I forget to look up? Did I forget to engage in a way that I should be engaging with my kids and my husband? Am I investing in what matters?

I’m really big on keeping my priority straight, but even then I feel like I fail miserably. I have my list of what’s important in my life and of course my relationship with God, my husband, and my kids are at the very top of the list.

I say that, yet I’m not sure of my life reflects that. Now it says in the Bible where your treasure (money) is there your heart is also. For me, it is where my calendar appointments are is where my heart is too. As I use my calendar for everything, and I need to be more intentional about investing in the things that truly matter.

Ways to be Intentional

We all have various areas of our life that we place a higher priority on. Here are 3 areas in which you could choose to be more intentional.

  1. Personal Development

Having a high level of self-awareness allows for you to see your flaws, recognize your strengths, and evaluate the areas in which you want to improve in yourself. This could be learning to be better with your finances, deciding to get healthy by exercising and changing your eating habits, or deciding to read a book a month, to name a few.  Be intentional about your personal development.

  1. Professional Development

You are most likely not the expert in your field or even at your office. Knowing where you want your career to end up allows for you to be intentional about professional development. Read articles and books on your career. Get hands on experience. One of the best ways I have developed professionally is by jumping in and offering to help with various projects. My knowledge has expanded as well as my experience. Be intentional about your professional development.

  1. Family/Relationships

The way you interacted with and loved others is how you will be remembered in this life. Your family, your spouse and kids, should be the most important people on this planet. You may have friends that are like family.  Be intentional in the time you spend with them. Plan date nights. Plan dates with your kids. Plan lunches and coffee with friends. Be intentional about the time you spend with your family and friends.

In Conclusion…

I hate the phrase YOLO. Usually that term is connected with temporary things, events. The reality is, you do only live once. This is why you need to be intentional. You need to be intentional about the story you live.

Looking at the orchard today was the best reminder I could have had about how I want to live this life.

What area of your life are you afraid time is going to fly by? What story do you want to live out? Would love to hear your thoughts.

Here’s to the Journey!

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