Fortitude, Personal Development

Goal Setting Myths

the-goal-setting-guide

Today is a great day to set a goal for yourself. We often need motivation to do hard things, so setting a goal can provide the push we need to get it done.However, we are also easily discouraged when we fail at achieving our goals, and that failure makes it harder to try again. To give ourselves the best chance to achieve our goal, we will be wise to heed the following advice from Michael Hyatt. Below are a few myths about goal setting that I find especially helpful. What is your goal?

1. Your past determines your future.
This is false IF you are willing to change your approach. Challenge this myth by changing your belief about yourself and the outcome you desire.
2. Safe goals are the best goals.
Boo hiss. Safe goals are not compelling. There’s a powerful link between the difficulty of your goal and your performance, satisfaction, enthusiasm, and happiness. Go beyond your natural urge to play it safe and set a big, hairy, audacious goal.
3. You fail if you fall short.
This is only true if you only measure the gap. Measure the GAIN instead and focus on how far you’ve come. When you look at why you fell short, you’ll likely find ways to improve. Recognize your progress and be encouraged & motivated to stick with it. The only true failure is not trying in the first place.
4. Writing goals is not necessary.
Ever build a house without blueprints? Ever travel without some kind of itinerary? Then why trust your goals & dreams to memory alone? Write goals. Period. Post them where you can see them often. Internalize them, see your future self with the goal accomplished, and be regularly spurred by the thing you committed to.
5. Specificity doesn’t matter.
Remove all the guesswork in a vague goal by specifying HOW, and WHEN for example. Goals like “exercise more” or “lose 20 lbs.” are not specific enough. Answer how and when you will do these things, make a plan/ schedule where you can mark of intermediate milestones, and set yourself up for success!

faith, Family

7 Ways to Communicate Love

communicating-love

Love is the most important part of life.

We all tend to agree on that, but we can rarely seem to agree on what “love” actually means. 

Here are some of the most famous words ever written about love.

Within in them, God is giving us a timeless road map for building stronger relationships. Below are seven very simple and practical ways to put these words into action in our daily lives and our relationships.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Here’s how we put love into practice (it’s simpler than you might think):

1. Love is patient, so in our rushed world, be patient with people.

2. Love is kind, so in our sarcastic and often rude world, show genuine kindness to people.

3. Love is not jealous or proud, so in our self-focused world, put the needs of others ahead of your own.

4. Love keeps no record of wrongs, so in our world full of grudges and bitterness, choose to offer grace.

5. Love rejoices in the truth, so in our world of dishonesty, always tell the truth and fight for trust in relationships.

6. Love never loses faith, so in our world of skeptics and cynics, choose to believe in the presence of God and the power of love.

7. Love endures through every circumstance, so in our world of quitters, stay committed and never give up on yourself or your loved ones!

Dave Willis of Stronger Marriages recently wrote a book called The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships where he started by looking at everything the Bible (the ultimately love and relationship manual) has to say on the subject. He gets full credit for this article. 

Fitness, Nutrition, Personal Development

6 Things Healthy People Do Every Morning

healthy morning

No matter your season of life, or the season of the year, it seems we are all VERY busy. We are so busy that one of the first things we sacrifice from our crammed schedule is self-care. We all know it’s important to take care of ourselves, but there is a lot of noise out there about what is really necessary to optimize our health. While there is certainly no cookie-cutter solution for everyone, below are six healthy habits that will set you up for success on your healthy living journey. Try incorporating them into your morning routine to make the rest of the day feel less chaotic.

  1. THEY EAT VEGGIES AT BREAKFAST

If you take time to eat breakfast (and you should), are you eating what you need to really feed your machine? I promise you can do better than toast or bowl of cereal. Aim for a balanced breakfast that includes protein, fiber, fat and a variety of colors from real food to keep you satisfied and prevent mid-morning cravings. I love knowing that my breakfast is jam packed with super healthy real food ingredients to jump start my day. Try these simple Spinach Egg Cups for a grab-and-go option.

2. THEY HYDRATE

Since your body gets dehydrated overnight, drinking water when you first wake up is a great idea. And proper hydration is crucial for glowing skin and maintaining healthy muscles and joints. I like to add lemon to my first big glass of water to wake up my digestive system. Fill up your water bottle for the day and plan to refill it a few times during the day. There are too many benefits to being well hydrated to list here, but suffice it to say that you need to drink lots of water.

3. THEY SWEAT IN THE MORNING

If you are like me, there are way too many easy excuses to skip exercising after work. Many people find they’re most successful with exercising if it happens before heading to the office. I love getting my workout done at home in the morning with the help of the greatest library of workout videos available streamed to any enabled device. Most take only 30 minutes to do and require little or no equipment. If home workouts, the local gym, or going for a run in the morning isn’t for you, find another way to get moving in the early hours of the day. That could mean parking farther away, taking the stairs or exercising at your desk. Just 15 minutes of moderate-to-intense activity daily can help you reach your healthy living goals.

4. THEY MAKE A GAME PLAN FOR DINNER

Not only is meal prepping a huge time saver but it also ensures you always have a healthy option on hand. Before leaving the house in the morning, make a game plan for dinner by defrosting proteins or using a slow cooker to do the work for you. It’s also helpful to find a recipe and write down your shopping list so you can pre-order your groceries (we love the Kroger ClickList) or swing by to pick them up on your way home. My go-to healthy eating resource, 90/10 Nutrition, offers a meal planning service and integrated shopping list app that makes it easy to plan your trip to the grocery store.

5. THEY TIME BLOCK THEIR DAY

Whether it’s emails or social media, there are plenty of distractions that can be obstacles to getting everything done. That’s why time blocking is a great tool. Review your top to-dos, and set aside a specific amount of time for completing them. Make sure your health priorities (such as a midday workout or meal-prepping) are in the plan, too. Schedule your morning routine like you do any other important appointment.

6. THEY REST

It’s important to ensure you’re getting enough sleep, but remember to account for the time required for your morning routine. Include a few minutes to relax I love to take some quite time to journal my prayers. Don’t feel guilty for taking a few minutes to enjoy your coffee, read the news, mediate or take a walk. Set yourself up for success by allowing for some rest time every morning.

Fortitude, Personal Development

Failing Forward

failing forward

I like to read books. I read to learn much more often than I read for an entertaining story. Sometimes I get through a book that really speaks to me. Failing Forward is impactful to say the least. I highly recommend it for your personal development regardless of age, career, personality, etc. You can benefit from the encouragement in this book. However, if you aren’t likely to read the book, maybe you can read my notes on it here along with some personal commentary from my experience.

First let me just say that fear of failing is a big deal for me. I’ve struggled with it my entire life. I was the kid that was so afraid to try something new because I didn’t want to fail at it. I sure wasn’t going to let anyone see me fail if I could help it. I would first study, watch, analyze the thing, play my moves over and over in my head until I was certain that I could do it and do it well. If not, I would practice in secret until I got it down, then reveal to all that I could do it as if it were no big deal. I captured the story about learning to ride a bike in a short video HERE. Kinda funny.

The issue didn’t disappear over time just because I supposedly grew up. In fact the mindset of fear and aversion to failure just grew deeper and more difficult to overcome in some instances. I’m certain that my fear to risk has stunted my career and limited my potential as a leader. But not all is lost my friends! This old dog is still learning, still working on me so I can be my best for those people who count on me the most. If you can relate, keep reading and I hope you find some inspiration and encouragement to fail forward.

The following is taken directly from Maxwell’s book. It’s a summary of my favorite lines. 203 pages reduced to one short list. You’re welcome.

15 Steps to Failing Forward

  1. Realize there is one major difference between average people and achieving people. The difference is their perception of and response to failure. No matter how difficult your problems, the key to overcoming them is not changing your circumstances, it’s changing yourself. Changing yourself is a process that starts with a desire to be teachable.Three-feet-from-gold
  2. Learn a new definition of failure. “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison  Regard failure as the price you pay for progress.
  3. Remove the “you” from failure. James Allen – “A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thought.” People who don’t give up keep trying because they don’t base their self-worth on their  performance. Take responsibility for your failures, but don’t take them personally.
  4. Take action and reduce your fear. Don’t wait for motivation to magically inspire you to act. Just do it. Exercise, eat right, love sacrificially, kick a bad habit, whatever the thing is, DO IT without motivation and then it happens. Your motivation comes AFTER you do the thing and makes it easier for you to keep on doing it. act into feelingYou are more likely to act yourself into feeling than feeling yourself into action. So act! DO whatever it is that you know you should do.
  5. Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility. If you always do what you’ve always done, then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. “Ninety percent of all those who fail are not actually defeated. They simply quit.” – Paul J. Meyer “It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of our responsibilities.” – Sire Josiah Stamp
  6. Don’t let failure from outside get inside you. Failure and success is an inside job. conquer2The battleground is between your ears. If you want to achieve, you have to win the war in your thinking first. “Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. This is true not only of physical challenges, but mental and emotional as well…I believe real and lasting limitations are created in our minds, not our bodies.” – Roger Crawford.
  7. Say good-bye to yesterday. You will not be able to be your best today until you say good-bye to yesterday. Today may be your day to turn the hurts of your past into a breakthrough for the future. Don’t allow anything from your personal history to keep holding you hostage.
  8. Change yourself, and your world changes. If you are not happy with your job, your family situation, or life, look at what you can change in yourself before trying to alter your circumstances.  “The circumstances of life, the events of life, and the people around me do not make me the way I am, but reveal the way I am.” – Sam Peoples Jr.
  9. Get over yourself and start giving yourself. A major cause of negative thinking and poor mental health is self-absorption. Generous people are rarely mentally ill. If you tend to take yourself too seriously, give yourself and others a break. Recognize that laughter breeds resilience.
  10. Find the benefit in every bad experience. trust_the_processWe tend to overestimate the event and underestimate the process. Every fulfilled dream occurred because of dedication to a process. To achieve your dreams you must embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing you’re probably not really moving forward. Journaling is good for this.
  11. If at first you do succeed, try something harder. Risk must be evaluated not by the fear in generates in you or the probability of success, but in the value of the goal.
  12. Learn from a bad experience and make it a good experience. Ben Franklin – “The things which hurt, instruct.” Your attitude toward failure determines your altitude after failure. When a person has the right mind set, every obstacle introduces him to himself. “Learning is defined by a change in behavior. You haven’t learned a thing until you take action and use it.” – Don Shula
  13. Work on the weakness that weakens you. Take a sober self-assessment. Real success lies in experiencing fear or aversion and acting in spite of it.

Top 10 Ways People Get in Their Own Way

Poor People Skills Learn how to get along with other people. Period.

A Negative Attitude Learn to make the best of any  situation.

A Bad Fit Sometimes a case of mismatched abilities, interests, personality, or values can be a major contributor to chronic failure.

Lack of Focus People lacking focus are not too busy, but have priorities out of whack.

A Weak Commitment The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because your stopped trying?

An Unwillingness to Change If you resist change, you’re really resisting success. Learn flexibility, or learn to like living with your failures.

A Shortcut Mind-Set If  you continually give in to your moods or impulses, then you need to change your approach to doing things. Set standards for yourself that require accountability. Suffering a consequence for not following through helps you stay on track.

Relying on Talent Alone Adding a strong work ethic to talent is like pouring gasoline on a fire. It’s explosive!

A Response to Poor Information “Expect only 5% of an intelligence report to be accurate. The trick of a good commander is to isolate the 5%.” – General Douglas MacArthur.

No Goals Many people don’t have goals because they haven’t allowed themselves to dream. No dream= no desire. If that describes you, then you must look deep within yourself to determine WHY you are on this planet. Once you know that, you’ll know what to shoot for.

14. Understand there is not much difference between failure and success. Having a sense of purpose is the fuel that powers persistence in the midst of adversity. “Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” – George Washington Carver

15. Get up, get over it, and get going. It’s what you do after you get back up that counts. Nothing of value is achieved without taking risks. Winning usually follows losing.

  • Finalize your Goal
  • Order your plans.
  • Risk failing by taking action
  • Welcome mistakes
  • Advance based on your character
  • Reevaluate your progress continually
  • Develop new strategies to succeed

You made it! You read this far because this subject struck a chord with you. Or maybe because you are determined to not read the whole book, but wanted to get the high points. Either way, mission accomplished.

Family, Fortitude, Personal Development

Why Am I So Angry?

By Wanda Walborn

Violence levels are on the rise in our nation and world, and the Church is not exempt from its impact. As those who love God, how do we address anger as a natural part of our soul care and then help others diffuse the anger in their lives too? There are many forms of anger, so don’t be too quick to assume that you are not an angry person.

Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure and antagonism aroused by a sense of injury or wrong. Healthy anger can act as a powerful force for producing change in our lives at every level. It can be a gift that signals things are not OK.

What Does the Bible Say About Anger?

There are three types of anger mentioned in Scripture. The first type includes a stewing or festering that brews just below the surface and doesn’t come out. The Greek word for this type of anger is parogismos used in Ephesians 6:4, exhorting fathers to not provoke their children to anger.

The second type of anger occurs when something important to you is threatened or damaged. The Greek word is orgizo used in Ephesians 4:26—“Be angry (orgizo), but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger (parogizo) and give no opportunity to the devil.” Paul is saying to feel the anger but not to sin by refusing to deal with the festering anger below the surface, which gives the devil a place in your life.

The third type of anger is what Galatians 5:20 refers to as “outbursts of anger” or “fits of rage.” The Greek word is thymos, or rage, which passionately erupts and then cools down quickly, whereas the orgizo is indignation that gradually builds and settles in.

Five Signs of Indirect Anger 

Many people don’t think they have a problem with anger but are sarcastic, passive aggressive, numb, depressed, or apathetic. Each of these expressions is an indication of indirect anger.

1. Sarcasm

The word sarcasm means “tearing of flesh.” It is intended to cut a person but is covered with a façade of humor.

2. Passive aggression

Passive-aggressive people pretend everything is fine. Then they say things to others, often acting like a victim, to get other people to confront or speak for them, because they can’t approach the person with whom they have a problem. This type of manipulation is calculated and driven by anger.

3. Depression

Depressed people turn their anger inward rather than choosing to express it outwardly. In an attempt to keep the peace, they push down all negative feelings to avoid hurting the people around them.

4. Numbness

People who feel numb have shut down emotionally to survive. Long-term chaotic or abusive situations cause them to close off emotionally to cope. They no longer feel joy or pain. They live in a constant state of numbness, and their anger has become frozen.

5. Apathy

Apathy is a sign that passion and hope are gone. Not caring is the only way a hurting person endures the pain. Apathy is a logical conclusion to an emotional issue. Rather than caring and feeling continual hurt, fear, or powerlessness, a person chooses not to care so he or she can function in everyday life.

angry_mom

Imperfect Parent

In 1992 I became pregnant with our fourth child. My anger toward the other three children surpassed the usual irritations or annoyances of typical childish behavior, and I found myself overreacting to almost everything they did.

If they spilled their drinks at the table, I went into a rage. If they started whining at the grocery store, I would take them into the bathroom or car and spank them. They were just tired and needed compassion, but what they got was frustration and an anger that forced them into unhealthy obedience. I felt disrespected, humiliated, and exposed as a bad mother because they wouldn’t listen to me, and I used my power to make them pay.

As I look back now, I realize I felt shame over their behavior. It makes no sense that I expected an 18-month-old, 2-year-old, and 4-year-old who were tired and hungry to handle a long day that ended at the grocery store without complaint. But I did. My parenting revolved around what other people would think and not about what my children needed.

This feeling of shame intimidated me into silence, and it wasn’t until I heard a sermon at church that it was OK not to be OK that I felt a dam burst inside of me. I finally determined to be honest about my feelings and seek the help I needed.

When I told my husband about my over-the-top behavior toward our children, he initially passed my anger off as just a reaction to a bad day. I continued to confess to him my actions toward the children when he wasn’t around to show him how bad it really was. Thankfully, he didn’t respond with more shame but encouraged me to talk with our senior pastor (the one who preached the sermon about not being OK), and I began to meet with him and his wife for the next four months to deal with the root of my anger instead of the symptoms.

The interesting part of the story is that my husband was the associate pastor of the same church. I was a pastor’s wife and treated my children that way. How shameful! I believed the lie that I should be perfect as the pastor’s wife; therefore, my children should be perfect too.

anger.is_.danger

What’s Under the Anger?

During my prayer counseling sessions, I learned of six emotional causes underlying anger. Anger is what presents itself to others, but the primary emotion is underneath the anger. Understanding these six causes helped me identify the hurt and deal with it.

1. You’re afraid.

Fear can be a strong emotion causing people to feel weak, vulnerable, and powerless, so they rise up in anger to push people away and regain a sense of control. The rush of adrenaline that accompanies anger makes a person feel strong and hides the hidden terror.

2. Your opinion is invalidated.

Everyone wants to be heard whether in a business meeting or at the dinner table. A person’s opinion is simply his or her viewpoint on a topic. To criticize someone’s viewpoint or, worse yet, ignore the person completely, can cause anger. This is often seen in autocratic homes where one parent is always right and children aren’t allowed to have different opinions.

3. Your way is blocked.

This attitude is where road rage stems from—“Get out of my way!” Whether a person’s car is cut off on the freeway, or the budget is cut dissolving the business plan, or a 2-year-old is told no, anger results. It is probably the most volatile of all the underlying causes because it erupts spontaneously.

4. You’re hurt.

When a person is hurt, the offense is either turned inward, leading to despair or depression, or turned outward, leading to anger and bitterness. When turned inward, the person seeks to contain the anger by taking it out on him/herself, and self-rejection and self-hatred results. Turning the hurt outward can lead to blame and seeking revenge toward the person who hurt you. The healthy response to hurt is to feel the sadness, loss, and pain of the wounding.

5. Your personhood is attacked.

Name calling and inappropriate comments about your gender, ethnicity, sexuality, or beliefs fit this category. Oftentimes, these comments are made sarcastically or with a joking tone to get a laugh. Outwardly people might smile or play along, but inwardly the very core of the person has been touched, and it hurts.

6. Your expectations are unmet.

The angry person flies off the handle because of an unfulfilled expectation that is never spoken to the person receiving the anger. The angry person assumes the expectation is obvious, so he or she doesn’t need to communicate it directly. It should just be known. This happens in any relationship with assumptions and poor communication.

Anger leaves a wake of pain. The next time you get angry, pause for a moment and sift through these six areas to identify the underlying cause of your anger. It can help you communicate clearly and avoid many arguments and disagreements in your relationships.

How Do I Get Rid of My Anger?

We can’t rid ourselves of anger because it is an emotion; however, we can learn to appropriately deal with the real issue underlying the anger so it doesn’t fester or spew in unhealthy ways to hurt people around us. Here are five ways to self–check your anger level for your personal soul care.

1. Acknowledge the way in which anger generally surfaces in your life—aggression, passive-aggressiveness, sarcasm, numbness, apathy, depression, or rage.

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify the underlying issue as the source: fear, invalidation, blocked goals, woundedness, attacks on your personhood, or unmet expectations.

3. Ask for help so you don’t suffer in silence. Telling a close friend, spouse, or counselor about your anger disarms its power in your mind.

4. Grieve the loss accompanying the pain to process all the feelings surrounding the incident.

5. Choose to forgive the offender. Forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation for those who have hurt you and may not ever involve a conversation with the other person. Rather, forgiveness eliminates bitterness from forming in your heart to torment you and cut off intimacy with God and those you love. Satan is a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Let us not allow our unresolved anger to be the entry point of our destruction.

It’s been 24 years since I came clean with my husband and began to deal with my anger in a healthy way. I still feel anger, but it doesn’t control me as it once did. You too can be free from anger’s grip. Go beneath it and diffuse it.