Category: Inspirational/Motivational


Sunday Inspiration: New Year Resolutions

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.” Php 3:13 NKJV

Be honest: How many of last year’s resolutions did you keep?

They say, “Procrastination is the thief of time.”

We keep promising ourselves we’ll do better. But “resolutions” only happen when you’re “resolute.” That means having a mind that’s made up.

So here are four resolutions you need to make up your mind to keep this year:

(1) Take time for what really matters. Get up earlier in order to read your Bible and pray before entering the day. Make more time for your family. Start exercising and eating right. Take better care of your body; it’s God’s temple (See 1Co 6:19).

(2) Tackle one thing at a time. Taking on too many things at once dilutes your focus and makes it harder to stick with things. When you start too much, you finish too little. So start where you are and build on your successes by mastering and maintaining one thing at a time.

(3) Start small. Don’t try to swallow the whole enchilada in one bite; baby steps are the name of the game. Talk in terms of what you will do instead of what you won’t. For example, instead of saying, “I’m not going to be so critical,” try saying, “Today I’m going to look for something good in everyone I meet” (See Php 4:8).

(4) Record your progress or lack of it. You can’t manage what you can’t measure. By facing the truth you’ll see how far you’ve come, and what you still need to work on. The Bible says, “Throw yourself into your tasks so…everyone will see your progress” (1Ti 4:15 NLT).

Source: http://www.jentezenfranklin.org/daily-devotions/new-year-resolutions

Make 2018 the Year of the Right Regrets

8 Ways to Avoid the Wrong Regrets in 2018

Like most people, my biggest regrets in life have been the things I didn’t do as opposed to things I did do.

One of my biggest regrets was not studying abroad in Australia while I was in college. I’d waited too late to inquire about it, when I had only one semester of school left.

This was a big regret because I’d always wanted to go to the land Down Under ever since I was a little girl.

Since I didn’t get to go in college, I tried to make up for it several years later by taking a month-long vacation to Australia as a gift to myself for my 30th birthday. 

The Cons

There were a lot of reasons not to go on the trip. 

Like the fact that it cost a good chunk of money. 

And that I was in the midst of a new relationship.

Or that I would have to go by myself since none of my friends could take off that much time from work.

The Pros

But there were also a lot of other reasons for me to go.

The trip would occur during my birthday. I’ve always wanted a summer birthday, and in the Southern Hemisphere I’d get to have one.

I’d be gone during winter break, the same time my students at the college I worked at would also be away. Therefore I wouldn’t put an extra burden on my co-workers.

I had enough time built up to take off 7 weeks from my job at the time (and still had an extra 10 days of vacation left over). 

Also, being single with no children made travel and travel planning easy. It could be another 18–20 years before I’d have that kind of freedom again!

Not Letting the “Maybes” Cloud My Judgment

I can remember my initial thoughts when trying to decide to book the trip or not. They went a little something like this:

“Maybe I should wait until I’m married and go to Australia on my honeymoon.”

OR

“Maybe I should wait until I’m retired when I have more time and money.”

I quickly pushed those thoughts aside. 

I knew there was no guarantee I would even be physically able to go when I retired. 

And why in the world would I want to wait on some man to take me when I can do this now?

So, I hopped online, did a little research, and found a very reasonably priced flight. 

I still wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for a month-long excursion, but I had 9 months to figure it out.

I gave myself a few days to sleep on the information I’d researched. And then I booked my trip.

No Regrets (Except One)

I’ve never regretted my decision. 

In fact, if I hadn’t done it then, I would’ve spent the past 15 years regretting it. 

My only regret? 

Not doing it sooner.

8 Ways to Avoid the Wrong Regrets in 2018

1. Don’t settle for “good enough.”

“Most people settle for ‘good-enough.’ Their diet, dating partners, job, income, and relationships are all merely ‘good-enough.’ But since their choices are common, that’s what their life becomes.” — Anthony Moore

I could’ve settled with my “maybes.” 

I could’ve blindly accepted my initial thoughts of deferring the trip until I was married or retired. 

And I could’ve rationalized those thoughts were a “good enough” plan.

But guess what? Fifteen years later I’m still not married and I’m not even close to retirement. 

In fact, since then, I left the security of a job with retirement benefits to start my own business (something else I don’t regret).

While today I’m probably the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life, undoubtedly due to leaving a 9–5 job working for someone else, I know I wouldn’t have the energy I had when I was 30 to do all the rock climbing, hiking, and snorkeling I did in the heat of the Outback and the waters of the Great Barrier Reef.

Every day I’m so glad I didn’t settle for “good enough.”

I encourage you not to settle for just “good enough.”

2. End the wrong relationships.

So what about the relationship I’d just started a few months before going to Australia? It ended one week after I returned. 

Even though it was heartbreaking, looking back I’m so glad the relationship didn’t work out. (What a regret that would’ve been if it had!)

Don’t wish you hadn’t wasted time in an unhealthy relationship. 

Instead, start the year knowing you can make it on your own and you’ll be available for an even better relationship before or by the end of the year. 

3. Say no to opportunities that don’t support your life mission statement.

Speaking of relationships, I’ve written before about how I had to make the decision to end a relationship a little over a year ago because I recognized it didn’t allow me to fulfill my mission in life. 

Having a life mission statement in place will help you to say no to choices you’ll regret later. 

4. And say yes to opportunities that do support your life mission statement. 

A life mission statement will also help you say yes to some pretty cool things you hadn’t previously challenged yourself to.

Even if nothing materializes from these opportunities by the end of the year, you can know it wasn’t time wasted because these things will have led you further in fulfilling your mission in life, which may lead to something even bigger and better down the road!

5. Learn something new.

Don’t let another year pass having not learned the one thing you’ve always said you wanted to learn. 

Instead, end the year knowing you’ve developed a new skill. 

I personally have always been a big believer in lifelong learning and continually encourage my clients to embrace also it.

Just recently I started learning Italian. I hope by the end of 2018 I’ll be somewhat proficient in it.

I may never have an opportunity to use it in my future. But at least I’ll have further developed the language center of my brain and added a new skill to my repertoire. 

(Even if the only thing I learn is how to say “food” in Italian [“cibo”], I know I’ll be able to survive getting lost in any future trips to Italy!)

6. Start that side hustle or passion project.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb

If there’s something you’ve wanted to start, whether a hobby, a side business, or a passion project, what are you waiting for? 

Just start!

Don’t put any pressure on it to be perfect or even successful. Just let it be a creative or fun outlet for you from your everyday routine. 

Let it evolve and be open to what it might grow into organically.

For instance, a few years ago I started writing a blog about my adventures in stand up paddling and the spiritual parallels of those adventures. It was really just a place for me to record and preserve my thoughts. I didn’t promote it at all. 

My little side project turned into my 2nd published book, which eventually helped fund my recent mission trip to the Amazon jungles of Brazil.

You never know what can happen with your own passion project. And you’ll definitely never know if you never start.

7. Turn your side hustle into your full-time gig. 

If you start to see some momentum with your side hustle and discover a market for it, it may be time to consider turning it into a full-time gig. Especially if you already know how to think like an entrepreneur.

It was much easier for me to start my own business after working it part-time for 9 months before going full-time with it. 

But, eventually I had to pull the trigger and take a leap of faith because I knew it would never be the right (or perfect) time to leave my job and pursue my business full-time.

While being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, if you’ve got the desire to do your own thing and you’ve calculated the risks and counted the costs, this year may be the year to give it a go.

If it doesn’t work out, you may have some regrets, but you won’t die.

And you’ll never have to live with the regret of never having tried. 

You may even experience freedom and success like never before!

8. Develop your positive self-talk.

You’ll never be able to accomplish the above if you keep listening to your negative-self talk

What if I had listened to my “maybes”? 

What if I had told myself I couldn’t go to the other side of the world by myself? 

Well, I don’t have to wonder “What if?”

Instead, I have memories of the places I visited, the beauty I experienced, the wildlife I saw, and the people I met. Some of whom I still keep in touch with to this day. 

When you start to hear the negative thoughts that are determined to keep you in just a “good enough” existence, re-frame them with positive self-talk. 

Stepping Out in Faith

Shortly after I’d stepped out in faith and booked my dream vacation to Australia, things started to fall into place. 

I found a fun part-time gig to help me earn a little extra money for the trip. 

Also, I received a sum of money previously owed to me which covered the remainder of my cost for the trip. 

And remember how I said I was able to take 7 weeks off of work and still have 10 vacation days left over? This all occurred because at the time I worked for a state university and for two years in a row we didn’t receive a raise. 

To compensate us for it, we were all given 20 extra vacation days on top of our annual 3 weeks’ vacation time for salaried employees. 

Add in to that amount the holidays we all got off during winter break and I had it made!

I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family before leaving for Australia. 

Then I spent my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Down Under. 

Finally, I was able to have a week for some much-needed rest and time to readjust my internal clock before returning to work, just in time for the students’ return to campus.

Without the vacation compensation, I probably wouldn’t have had so much time to really relish the experience. 

The timing turned out to be perfect and “the stars aligned” for it to all work out. But I had no way of predicting all those things would happen. I didn’t have a crystal ball telling me it would all work out. 

I just had to take a chance while at the same time being smart about it. And I’m all the better for it. 

Now I have no fear of traveling alone (or doing anything else alone for that matter). 

I have more knowledge about the history of one of the most fascinating continents on earth and a new respect its native people, the Aborigines. 

I no longer have a fear of bugs. (Sleeping on the ground in the Outback where the spiders are the size of your fist will help you overcome your fear pretty quickly!)

I encourage you to commit to at least one of the 8 ways to avoid the wrong regrets in 2018. 

If you can commit to all 8, you’ll likely end the year with only the right regrets.

And who knows where those will lead you in the years to come! 

If you want to make 2018 the year of the right regrets, subscribe to my 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan to start setting the right goals for your future!

Sunday Inspiration: Get Out of the Box

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

He brought me…into a large place…me, because he delighted in me.” Ps 18:19

A respected counselor says:

“First you crawled; then you learned to walk and the world grew bigger. Then you rode a bike…drove a car…bought a plane ticket. Suddenly the horizons were limitless. Then doubts crept in: I can’t (you fill in the blank)…and your world shrinks a little. I shouldn’t take that trip…I’ll never find my way around…I’ve too many responsibilities. And it shrinks a little more…[until] you’re sitting in a little box with the lid tightly affixed. No experiences, no lessons, no life. Boxes can be comfortable…but no matter how cozy you make it, it’s still a box. They come in all shapes and sizes. When we let unrealistic fears hold us back we can be fairly certain we’re climbing inside another box…and sooner or later we’ll run into the walls. Find one small I can’t in your life, and take the lid off the box…try for a minor impossibility…apply for that dream job…start pursuing your vision…Poke the top off your box. Stick your head out and look around. Find a fear and turn it into a ladder. Get out of the box of doubt and insecurity and into the freedom of courage and belief.”

If you let it, fear will cause your imagination to run riot. But “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power…love and of a sound mind” (2Ti 1:7 NKJV).

A sound mind restores your perspective and helps you see things from God’s viewpoint, where all things are possible. Today He wants to give you the courage to climb out of the box and bring you “into a large place,” because He “delights” in you.

Source:  https://lacykitkat.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/get-out-of-the-box/

Are You Where You Wanted to Be at The End of 2017?

In January, I wrote a post entitled “Where Do You Want to Be At the End of 2017?

I shared with you my goals for the upcoming year, along with three challenges to you the reader:

  • Try something new you’ve always wanted to try and make it happen this year.
  • Find at least one way to step out of your comfort zone this year.
  • Set at least one goal you want to achieve by the end of the year.

Today, I’m asking myself, “Am I where I wanted to be at the end of 2017?”

The answer to that question is yes, and no.

Because, as we all know, life happens which can sometimes mess up our plans.

“If you want to make God laugh, tell Him about your plans.” Woody Allen

2017 Goal Re-cap

Sometimes, either goals don’t happen, they get altered, or they get delayed. This happened with some of the goals I shared in my post in January.

The 2017 Goal That Never Happened

First, my goal to experience tiny living didn’t happen for various reasons. It’s still something I want to do, but will have to become a goal for sometime in the future.

The 2017 Goal That Was Altered

Second, my goal for my very first mission trip got altered.

Originally, I was supposed to go to Brazil in March with my own church where we would travel down the Amazon River on a boat and sleep in hammocks while making stops in small communities along the river to help with everything from construction and home visits to ministry.

Unfortunately, my church didn’t have enough people signed up for the trip to make, so I got assigned to a different group for a mission trip scheduled for July.

This trip would still go to the same area, but instead would involve teaching jungle pastors at a small, makeshift conference center overlooking the Amazon River. Instead of the experience of staying on a boat while traveling to various villages, the pastors of those villages came to us.

When Changes Occur for the Best

This actually worked out much better than the original plan for several reasons.

One, after an unexpected complication from an unexpected surgery in late January and an extended recovery time, I wouldn’t have been physically able to go on this trip in March. But by July I was doing much better.

Two, the type of work this particular trip required was much more in line with my gifting and my skillset. God was able to use me in the best way possible.

Three, when I arrived in the jungle, I saw the boat I would have stayed on had I gone in July, and I realized, that trip would have been too far outside my comfort zone!

The challenge of no A/C, sub-par plumbing, limited electricity, and learning to communicate with those who speak a different language was just the right amount of discomfort I needed to learn to appreciate from my first mission trip.

I was in what’s called the learning zone (the area where you’re outside your comfort zone but not so far outside it that you panic and therefore are unable to learn anything from your experience).

One of the 2017 Goals I Accomplished

Finally, I was able to accomplish my goal of helping more people in my business get unstuck in their careers and find a new direction that complemented their passions.

But even that goal was delayed because of my surgery. But I accomplished it and have the same goal for 2018.

Are You Where You Wanted to Be At the End of 2017?

Now I’m asking, are you where you wanted to be at the end of 2017?

If not, why?

The good news is, there’s still some time left in this year. And, come January 1st, you get a clean slate of 365 days to work with.

What’s one new experience you want to have in 2018?

What’s one way you can step out of your comfort zone in the new year?

What goals do you want to achieve in 2018?

Don’t let time get away from you. Learn how to achieve all of the above with my complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan by subscribing to my newsletter.

The 12 Most Purposeful Things You Can Do This Christmas (Re-Post)

Two Christmases ago, I found myself coming out of a year and a half long period of limbo in my career.

I had been struggling all that time to figure out what direction I should go with my business.

Should I continue what I was doing? Should I quit and go back to working for someone else? Or should I do something altogether different?

After having done the life-changing and career-changing activities I’ve outlined below, it all became clear to me what my next move was: shift the mission of my business to support my personal mission.

Once I did this, everything started falling into place!

As a result, I created a personal branding program using the same approaches I used on my own to get unstuck in my career.

Now it’s become my most popular program among my clients and audience. I’ve had the opportunity to present it to a variety of groups including freelancers, artists, other coaches, corporations, and even pastors from remote villages in the Amazon jungle!

Here’s some very nice feedback from one of my program participants:

“Hi Lori, I met you last year when you spoke at a coaches training event and I have to admit your session was by far the best. I love how you blend your passion for adventure and helping people find passion in their work life. After you spoke I felt more confident and enthused about my own career path.”

The 12 Days of Purpose

The holidays are a great time to discover what your purpose is in this current season of your life. Especially if you are contemplating a big change for 2018, including a job or career change or promotion, a start-up business, a retirement, etc.

Because the program I’ve created has helped so many people, I’m sharing an outline of it as my gift to you this holiday season.

(NOTE: To purchase the on-demand video program in its entirety, go to Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic. 45% of the proceeds go to support the non-profit Justice & Mercy International.)

You can work through it over the holidays in order to start your new year off right, or at any other point in the year when you need it most. Enjoy!

purpose
 

 

Phase I: Clarify Your Purpose

Day 1:

Spend some time reflecting on what kind of person you want to be and to be known for (think in terms of traits instead of accomplishments).

What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?

And most importantly, why do you do the things you do? (Recommended reading: Start With Why by Simon Sinek.)

Day 2:

Take an inventory of your strengths, limitations, accomplishments, and how your skills benefit others.

List the things you’re good at, the things you’re not good at, your biggest failures and the lessons you learned from them, and your reasons for why you like to do the things you do best.

Day 3:

Be open to constructive criticism.

Ask your friends, family, co-workers, clients, etc. what they perceive to be your strengths and weaknesses.

Note the things that show up as patterns and the things that surprise you.

Day 4:

Based on your own personal inventory and the feedback from friends, write down what you think makes you unique from other people who do what you do.

See if you can think of additional things that make you unique.

Day 5:

Determine what makes your audience unique.

Who are they (recruiters, potential clients, fans)?

What do they care about?

What’s their biggest challenge or need?

How do your skills meet their need?

How can you serve them with your abilities?

Phase II: Articulate Your Purpose

Day 6:

Once you’ve determined why you do what you do (Day 1), write out your “WHY” in the form of a vision statement.

A vision statement is your goal of what you want to accomplish with your skills and abilities.

For example, the paNASH vision statement is:

“I believe you can find the courage to discover and pursue your passions despite the obstacles you may face. I want to see you actively pursue your passions with flair (‘paNASH’) and confidence, along with responsibility to your purpose in life.”

Day 7:

Write your mission statement.

Your mission statement is HOW you plan to carry out your vision/your WHY.

For instance, the paNASH mission statement is:

“To serve, educate, and encourage you by assisting you with the discovery and pursuit of your passions in a way that honors your purpose and your own vision for success, while amplifying who you are personally and advancing you professionally.”

Day 8:

Craft your Unique Selling Point (USP).

In 140 characters or less, create a statement that summarizes the unique impact you have on your audience.

The paNASH USP is:

“Putting your passion into action!”

Phase III: Package & Present Your Purpose

Day 9:

Make sure you’re able to back up your message with a summary of your credentials and accomplishments.

This can be in the form of a resume, a LinkedIn profile, client testimonials, reviews, letters of recommendation, etc.

Day 10:

Post your message on your social media platforms, your web site, your business card, and other professional collateral.

Day 11:

Foster and maintain relationships with strategic partners and your audience.

Share your purpose and expertise in a variety of outlets, including blogs (your own and others’ where you can guest blog), article posts on LinkedIn and Medium, media interviews (print, online, radio, and TV), comments on others’ posts, etc.

Day 12:

Most of all, learn how to present your message and purpose with confidence and professionalism.

This is something that of course takes practice. Ask for feedback on your presentation with friends, close colleagues, and mentors. Then apply that feedback to improve your message.

To purchase the on-demand video program in its entirety, go to Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic.

45% of the proceeds go to support the non-profit Justice & Mercy International.