Smell the Roses

It’s a brand new year and it feels like it’s off to the races already. It wasn’t even January 1st and folks were posting their New Year’s resolutions on Facebook.  My publisher was ringing my phone trying to get me to focus on marketing for Lent when I was focused on Christmas. Social media, smart phones, and the relentless advance of time and technology presses us to keep up, move faster, and get more done.

I, for one, protest.

As a single parent, for years, I moved at the speed of light, you might say. Every minute was packed with things to do and places to go. I ran myself ragged trying to do it all.  I prided myself on being able to multi-task. Until, one day, I ran myself into the ground. 

My kids saw it coming.
“Smell the roses, Ma,” my youngest would warn.

When we reviewed my to do list, a wise young one asked “I don’t see play time on here anywhere.”

Out of the mouth of babes, right?

I knew it was time for a major shift in perspective and behavior. You know how they say “Father knows best”? Well, our heavenly Father does know best and he knows how to slow us down. Physical ailments, migraines, and over-strained muscles are our body’s way of telling us something needs to change. But do we listen?

When was the last time you really savored a meal, took a relaxing, hot bubble bath or sat down in your favorite chair to read a good book? If you’re raising kids, when did you last make them a home-cooked meal? Read them a good book? Or take time to play a game? If you’re single, how many nights a week are you out of the house? Do you wake up every morning tired? Do you have time to exercise and keep in shape?

I may be in the minority and that’s okay. But I have learned: God’s pace is S L O W and His voice is quiet. When I slow down enough to hear that still small voice, I gain clarity on my priorities. When I am more motivated to do the will of God than the fear of getting so much done, I accomplish what really matters to the heart of my Lord.

It is a trade off.  I may not be up with the latest news, Hollywood gossip, electronics or sports teams. To be honest, I am more interested in hearing what God wants to whisper to me than what the world is trying to shout. My mother likes to kid me by saying “Oh yeah, I remember. You don’t watch television.” It’s kind of a joke around our family now.

So, what do you think about the pace of life? Are you moving at the speed of light these days? If so, are you really enjoying life?  I know I still struggle with going against the rushing tide. What do you do to slow down and smell the roses? Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!

Start the New Year Right

Happy New Year, everybody! Can you believe it is 2014? I’m so excited about accomplishing new things this year. I can’t wait to see what adventures this year brings. How about you?

What are your goals and dreams for the New Year? Need to lose those 20 pounds you’ve been carrying around? Get your financial house in order? Or maybe declutter the junk in the house you’ve been accumulating over the years?

Now I’m a big believer in goals and have been setting them since I was a child, believe it or not. There is something about having a vision for my life and a goal to work towards that gives me energy and motivates me to move forward in life. Achieving a worthwhile goal builds my confidence and gives me an inner satisfaction.

In case you missed my post on setting goals last year, I talked about making SMART goals. A good goal must be:
S – specific – clearly stated
M – measureable – must be quantifiable
A – achievable – must be realistic
R – relevant – must be important to you
T- time bound – set a date to accomplish it by

A second major component to achieving our goals is we need to have a PLAN. It’s not enough to state our goals out loud, publish them on Facebook, or note them in a journal. Without a plan to implement our goals we will fail miserably. I’ve heard it said “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Make sense?

I break my life into 5 major areas and create a goal for each of those areas. Let’s say, in the area of fitness, I want to lose 10 pounds by the end of the year. The next thing I need to do is list 3 – 5 action steps I am going to start immediately to accomplish each goal. Action steps for losing the 10 pounds might be:

1. Take a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day.
2. Ask myself if I am really feeling hunger before I eat something.
3. Reduce the amount of fats, sweets, and salt I consume by half.

The third component of achieving my goals is the most important. Without this component, we will surely fail. We must learn to develop the power of Faith. I must BELIEVE I can accomplish what I set out to do and that God is going to give me the grace to do it. Faith is  KEY to accomplishing anything good in life but it must be backed up with action steps and of course, prayer.

So, write and share one of your goals with me. If you need help defining your goals, write me and I’ll help you out. Until next time, keep looking up!