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It’s April! Can you believe that three months of the year are already over?
How are you doing with those goals that you set in the new year? Are you crushing them? Are you checking them off your list one by one? Are you inching closer and closer to that ultimate goal?
Or maybe you’re like me who’s had to recalibrate more than once since the beginning of the year to get back on track. I was a bit under the weather recently and it threw my entire morning routine off course. No more getting up at 3 a.m. to write (and just as I had gotten it going again after the Christmas holidays).
Instead, I was sleeping in until 8 because I didn’t have the energy to do much else. I didn’t even want to go to the gym. Now that I’m trying to refocus and get back to my routine, I’m finding it hard not to be a little discouraged.
I was so prepared at the beginning of the year. I made my first 12-week plan based on the book 12 Week Year. I had my new planner and my to-do list with all the plans for this blog. I was so sure I’d be much further than where I am now.
A little voice in my head keeps saying, “Maybe you should just give up. You’re really not cut out for this. Just stick to software development. Why strive for more? You’ve been doing it for twenty years, why rock the boat with this writing stuff?”
A little part of me begins to agree. Maybe I should throw in the towel. Maybe I’m really not cut out for this writing thing at all. I mean, being a software developer is a good career, never mind that it’s not as fulfilling as it used to be. Maybe I SHOULD stick to what I already know.
But deep down I know I can’t stay here, in this place of discouragement. I have goals and plans that NEED to be accomplished, not just for my benefit but for the benefit of others. I have unique experiences that I need to share, that somebody else out there needs to hear.
I can’t give up. I must remember why I started this blog in the first place. The reason why I spent the last year learning new things. The reason why I chose to go to bed by 9 p.m. and get up at 3 a.m. so that I can write. It’s my BIG picture, my purpose, my “why”!
My “why” involves wanting to live a life that makes a difference, a life that reflects the reason why God created me and sent me to earth in the first place. It “why” Involves touching others with my personal story in a way that leads them to a Loving Father and encourages them to do all they can to pursue their own purpose.
My “why” involves wanting to be an example to my family, especially my children and encouraging them to do all that they can to live the life they were created to live.
WHAT IS YOUR “WHY”
Your “why” is your purpose. Why you do what you do. Is it because you want a better life for your family? Is it because you want to live and not just exist? Do you want to leave a legacy, to have touched the earth in some unforgettable way?
It’s the reason you get up early in the morning and the reason you go to bed late (or early in my case) at night.
Your “why” is wrapped up in your God-given purpose. Those hopes and dreams He placed in
Your “why” inspires you to do better, become a better person. It’s your unique story. Only you can fulfill your “why”. It’s the reason you exist. It determines the choices you make every day, what you say yes to and what you say no to.
But sometimes we grow weary with the challenges we face as we go after our dreams and we forget the big picture. We become discouraged and consider giving up because those dreams seem so far away. But I assure you, you are not alone. So many others have gone before us. They pushed past the discouragement and achieved their dreams, you can do it too.
So if you’re are discouraged, remember this one thing, your “why”. Here are three ways to help you to do this.
REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS SAID
God had a plan for you long before you were born (Psalm 139:16). It’s your purpose, your “why” and He’s already given you everything you need to successfully do all that He has sent you to do.
He knows that you can do it because He knows what He placed inside of you when you were created. He is not going to call you to do something that He did not give you the ability to do.
Remember what God has said concerning your life and visualize it again. Begin to see yourself as He does and remember that He’s rooting for you. He knows what He has placed inside of you, He knows that you can do it.
And if He thinks you can do it, who are you to say otherwise?
REVIEW YOUR VISION BOARD
“All things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.”Steven Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
A vision board is a visual reminder of the life you want to live. The life you were created to live. It is the end result of all you are doing now to accomplish your goals and dreams. It is the mental creation of your “why”.
A physical vision board is usually made of clippings of words and/or photos from newspapers and magazines. There are also a number of apps that can help you create a virtual vision board.
I’m a techie so my first vision board was a virtual one. I prefer the physical vision board though because I can place it in a place where I see it daily. If you don’t have a vision board here are some great tips for creating one.
When you become discouraged, stand in front of your vision board (remember it should be where you can see it daily), and envision the life you want to live. Imagine what your life would be like when your vision becomes a reality.
Think about what it would be like when you can spend more time with your family or work from anywhere in the world. Or what it would be like when you are in a better financial position to help others in need.
What if you would make your “why” a reality?
If you’re struggling to find a way to map out your road to success, why not create a vision board to match your goals. You can design it with anything you like and it will help keep you inspired. In life you always need a vision so why not design it your way?
REVIEW YOUR PERSONAL PURPOSE STATEMENT
Often, when I become discouraged, it’s because I am trying to do too much and I become overwhelmed. It’s usually because I’ve been saying yes to the wrong things and not saying no enough. I’ve lost focus of what’s important to my “why”.
Reviewing my personal purpose statement helps me to remember what is truly important to fulfilling my purpose. It helps me to refocus and set the right priorities.
When you become discouraged, review your personal purpose statement and remind yourself of the things that are important to helping you fulfill your purpose.
Regroup and refocus on your top priorities and make a plan to tackle them one by one. Remember, your purpose is important and it is unique. if you don’t fulfill it, not one else will.
If you haven’t yet created a personal purpose statement, check out this post for some tips.
So the next time you become discouraged, stop and remember why you started it all. Remember God’s plans and promises for you and that they are great plans. Then, take a look at your vision board and your personal purpose statement and imagine what life would be like if you could make your “why” a reality.
You can’t give up now, someone is waiting for you to become who you were created to be.