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Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Be Ready to Change in Your Mom Role



I just read a post I'd made in Facebook that came up on my memory wall. 

________________

Me: "I feel a little crazy with both kids home." (they were home from university).

Kids: "Why aren't there any cold cuts? I'm hungry, when is dinner? I need to go glasses shopping, I need new contacts..."

Me: $1000 in eye care spent in three days. 
____________________


In the partly empty nest, we flip flop in our role as mom. I was glad to have a sense of freedom when they moved out, but they expected the same old mom when they came home for weekends or holidays. That was something to get used to. What boundaries would I set?

Well-before that, I knew my role was changing. A book on the seasons of parenting tipped me off to change from mentor to cheerleader--to step back and not helicopter. 

But I've found, no matter what we think, we get surprised. Our child develops their own independent attitude--one with traits we might not like.  They may make decisions we don't agree with. We are tempted to set them straight.

We also can't expect all children to be the same. How we deal with our child depends on the personality of the child. My son has needed far more prompting and assistance than my more self-assured daughter.

Not everyone will understand why I do what I do, and that's okay. 

From Dr. Phil Show

I recently watched a doctor Phil show that disturbed me as I don't feel the mom had come to terms with the idea her daughter had grown up and that she needed to change her parenting style.

Yes, the daughter may have had a brain issue which caused her angry outbursts (her birth mother had taken drugs while pregnant), but the parents way of dealing with her now as a teen was, in my opinion, clearly part of her rebellion problem. 

The mom had rules you might give a five-year old. It was well past time to change her parenting style. From observation, I felt this mother may have been stuck in fear of losing a role she loved. 

One thing the mom wanted to control was her teen's cell phone activity. I know it is an oxymoron when Dr. Phil says to protect your teen by being aware of what they're doing online, but at the same time to not rip away their independence. It is a fine-line. 

This mom would take away the teen's phone which is why she rebelled in many cases.Taking away technology today is like rolling up the sidewalk and breaking off a teen's social life.

For most of us--adults too--technology use is a must. There is no differentiation between using it for work and pleasure. Teens need it for school work, to get messages from classmates and friends, and to use it for fun. 

I could be wrong, but I sensed the mom wanted to control the teen perhaps too much or in the wrong ways, which may be partly due to her not wanting her own role as mom to change. But her role must change. 

If you're a mom feeling a lot of tension between a teen or early 20-yr old, look at your parenting style. There comes a point when you need to trust the training you've done with your child and let them go. You need to take the role of pray-er and trust God to direct your child. 

A child who makes decisions on their own will learn from them. They will develop confidence when things go well, and learn to do things differently when things don't go well. 


Making decisions is the way God develops character in all of us. By backing off and trusting God, you will find more peace and freedom. 

When you feel frustrated ask God to show you if you are taking on worry you don't need to. Ask God if you are being too controlling. Set some boundaries about how far you will step in with opinions. Let your child grow up and separate from you successfully. 

Above all, show love and approval more than distrust and disgust. 




Monday, August 05, 2019

Miracles, Fasting, and Word Pictures



Miracles happen at the same time as travesties hit. It's hard to understand God at times. 

I won't go into detail of the events that led me to write that statement just now. All I know is we can be giddy over one person's blessing and deeply grieved over another's tragedy all in the same day. 

Recently, it dawned on me I should back away from my daily bootcamp commitment for a month. It is like work to me. Daily I have to decide if I'm going to attend or not. I have to shuffle other responsibilities and paid work around it. 

With it being summer, I have plenty of yard work to complete and I want to do some day trips with my husband. Recognizing this gave me the push to cancel a month of membership to take a break.

Fasting 

Often, in life coaching, we urge clients to fast so they can hear from God clearer. I realized today that my August away from from the gym WILL be a fast of sorts--I'll be fasting bootcamp. While I have enough to concern myself with otherwise, the deeper issues of my heart will have more time to flow. 

When I step back in mindfulness, I can often hear God's leading better. New ideas emerge.

I'm looking forward to this period of fasting. I will need to be intentional about seeking God, studying and will need to jot down notes. 

A Word Picture Arose

Recently, as I've been working on a number of projects, a term popped up to describe how I feel about my role. The word God gave me is CONDUIT. 

God seems to be saying I am his conduit--a person who is a go-between, an extension of his love to others.  

I was formally trained to be an administrative assistant. Some of my work in that area is a natural gifting. When I go to work for finding a solution for my son, husband, or so on, I am being their administrative assistant. But when add in prayer, I am more than an administrative assistant, I am a conduit.  

I have always been a CONNECTOR of sorts, but this term CONDUIT is a little more descriptive. I've already done a bit of a Google search on Bible studies on the theme. I'm sure more will be revealed in the days ahead. 

I suppose I'll ask God to show me people and places where he wants me to be his conduit in the days ahead. 

Have you ever been given such a word picture for your life?  


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Pause, Pray, Listen in Your Daily Tasks


I was about to host a group for a pool party and lunch. No matter what others say, I knew some would look around to "see" my house inside. For that reason, I've resisted entertaining. I hate housework. But I decided it was time to stretch and share the home and yard God has blessed our family with. 

So I made a list of over 20 tasks to accomplish from cleaning the patio chairs to wiping down my kitchen cupboards that were looking worn. It was like spring cleaning, though by now it was the middle of summer. 

For three weeks, I poured myself into the exhausting task list. It was incredible. Now that it's over, it's hard to imagine all I did. 

Anyhow, a speaker I admire and listen to regularly pointed out we should focus on what God calls us to and if we stretch beyond his calling a sure sign is frustration. 

I repeatedly asked God if I was stepping beyond.

I was reminded, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."  I was reminded what God calls me to do, he enables me to complete. 

Pause, Pray, Listen 

I used the pause, pray, and listen routine through these three weeks of chores. I told God I didn't want to stretch beyond his plan, but that I surely needed him for motivation and energy. 

During the three weeks, using this method, creativity poured out of me. God was at work, allowing me to see what I needed to see, helping me find what I needed to find, and helping me complete the tasks. I think there was only one task left undone--wiping down the track of the back door guests would use. I suppose I should do that soon.

It's a good way to live--seeking God's agenda daily. Staying within the lines of his plan. Sensing frustration is not of him. Keeping my mind and energy strong by depending on him to strengthen me. I recommend you follow these guidelines too. 




Monday, June 24, 2019

Stay Close to Jesus/God even When Building Your Business



So many speakers suggest we are in a holding pattern, perhaps being tested, perhaps building character for that one day big assignment. 

That kind of thinking helps many, but reality is, not all will get bigger assignments. If they decide today is just training ground, will they miss the value of today? 

What if today contained your biggest assignment? What if all the other years of happiness, education, grief, and struggle culminated together so you could do one important thing today. You may know what that important thing was or you may not see it. 

Don't spend your time waiting for something bigger. Do all you can do today with the energy you have. Trust God to use you. 

How do you start your day? 

I start mine inviting God into it. I ask him to plan my day and put his thoughts into my mind. 

One woman said she runs her life by checklists. She's driven. But, alas, by Monday, she feels flat because even her spiritual life and weekend has been merely something on a checklist. She's more or less running her life on maintenance mode while supposedly building her home business. 

Do you live that way? Driven by checklists and evaluations? 

I'd like to suggest if it isn't working for you, if you don't have peace that comes from knowing God, that you remind yourself of these Bible truths: 

"But seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these. things shall be added unto you." (Matt 6:23)

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." (John 15:1-4 NIV)

This verse is pretty clear that your checklist will get you no-where without giving the vine (Jesus) authority to direct you. Take time to be with Jesus/God every morning. Be flexible to change your schedule. One day all you do will no longer matter. What you do for God will matter. Do your best right where God has placed you and learn to live by the checklist God impresses you with. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Christian Woman, Are You Flexible and Surrendered?


Being flexible is an important trait to develop. With technology's rapid advancement and the affects social media has on culture, ways of doing business and living life are changing rapidly.  

Many people work via the cloud either from a home office or remotely in some other way.  You can take your tablet or laptop to work by the pool (although it's hard to see the screen in the sun) or to the local coffee shop to browse or complete work for pay.

Old boundaries have changed. It's no longer a 9 to 5 kind of life for many. For myself, as a freelance writer, I often do my best writing at night. When I did transcription for a company on the west coast, my projects arrived at noon my time. Then I worked until at least 8:30 each evening.  The downside of this new way of living and doing business, is many individuals are always on call. Those with cell phones and many contacts they've given their cell number too feel as though others think they can text at any time. So setting new boundaries is important. I'll list a few ideas later. 

Do Your Ideas Fit?

Being flexible means being open to new ideas. That shift can be hard for many. Some of us had preconceived ideas about life and now find those ideas don't fit. The first thing we need to do when we find this kind of dilemma is to check our flexibility level, then check our barriers to change. Then we need to simply surrender our preconceived ideas and submit them to God. 

If you're a Christ follower, you can be sure God is still in control of your destiny. He knows how jarred you feel at times. He knows the path he wants you to walk. 

Humble is Good

I have found, as an older woman now, that I don't know everything though I sometimes think I do. I am okay with saying "I don't know."  I'm okay to let things play out instead of trying to force my agenda. Life as a believer in Jesus requires constant surrender if we're to walk through the fast-paced life ahead of us well. 

Being flexible doesn't mean we discard everything we've done to-date--our education or the attributes and relationships we've developed so far--in order to take on a completely new role.  Rather, it means building on what we already have and who we are. God's word tells us wisdom comes with age. Someone needs your wisdom.

I'm convinced God wants us to grow and change with the times and to fill new niches as he opens them.  When one path doesn't seem clear, keep one window open to it.  Let God decide when it is time to close it completely or to unfold something bigger. 

Check your thinking on this flexibility issue by answering these self-coaching questions: 
  • Do you welcome change?
  • Are you convinced God is still in control of your life? 
  • What flexibility has God required of you lately?
  • What expectations need to shift? 
  • What in your life skills can you build on?


Boundary Setting

Being flexible doesn't mean you throw caution to the wind and stay available to everyone. Boundaries are still important. Sticking to your morals and values as spelled out in God's Word is important. 

My husband and I are still owners of a landline. I had a cell phone for the children's key years where I'd need it to let them know I'd arrived to pick them up. My husband has a cell phone covered by his employer. We made the decision not to give out our cell numbers to everyone. Hair dressers, service people, physicians and the like can leave messages on our landline.  I use a tablet and a laptop. I input my appointments into outlook on my laptop. It works for me. 

After the children graduated university, I rarely used my phone except for taking the odd photo. So I gave up my phone and save about $80 a month in so doing. 

I am not constantly available as many are and I love it. It's a boundary I've set. I'm not saying my way is the right way, it's just what I've chosen to do for now.

Here are a few more boundary setting ideas you might consider:
  • Decide what things are upsetting to you and be aware they are areas you may be weak and need to set a guard. That means, preventing yourself from being exposed to these areas more than necessary. I don't watch the news or read the news on the Internet because I know it brings me down. 
  • It's okay to let voicemail answer the phone.
  • It's okay to have caller ID.
  • It's okay to say no to invitations or to only agree to what works for you. For instance, a party I've been invited to will be 2 to 10 pm. That's longer than I want to spend so I will go for 2 hours only. 
  • Be wary of great ideas others have. I have a saying I follow, "Just because I can doesn't mean I should." You don't need to copy what others are doing or be a part of everything. 
So my encouragement to you is to stay flexible. Stay encouraged. Set boundaries.   Surrender to God. Stay humble.

Let me know what windows you may be looking into right now, if it's appropriate.

 "put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator" (Col 3:10 ESV). 

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Do You Believe God Puts Thoughts in your Mind?


Most Christian women I know pray and try to hear God's voice. But I wonder how often they really trust the thoughts that come to their mind as being from God? 

Do they trust their gut, their insight, their hesitation, or their motivation to act?

These are ways God speaks. 

Recently, I was sitting at my computer working on a writing project when a specific person came to mind. 

Researching that person on the Internet, I discovered she'd passed away four years ago! In that instance, I could only believe God put her on my mind so I'd pray for her family. I felt troubled all day about it. 

Another person came to mind. I wondered if she'd unfriended me from Facebook, so checked. Sure enough, she had. Obviously, I'd offended her. 

I felt awful and could write more about that here,  but that's not the point. The point is the thought that came to my mind was correct.

Yes, I know the enemy can put thoughts into our mind too which is why we need to pray he doesn't. And, we can be guilty of letting our lips fly loose (through our fingertips) and get ourselves into trouble. We need to constantly be aware of the power of our written words. 

These two instances have reminded me more, though, of the Power of God. This is how he speaks to us and how he uses us--he puts ideas into our minds. 

We don't always know what we're to do with the thought. The unfriending one bothered me for many hours. But all these thoughts serve as life lessons. Maybe character is to be checked. Maybe a reminder to check up on friends still alive lest they pass away too soon. Maybe a call to action. 

I sometimes say I trust God but not myself. I think these examples are helping me trust myself a little more.  

Friday, April 26, 2019

A Slump Was Bound to Hit

Papers to be Sorted

I feel I haven't been consistent posting on this blog. I prefer to wait for inspiration before just spewing ideas, but time and again, the inspiration hasn't come. 

Today, has been a blah day. I told my husband "I feel flat." I suppose it means emotionless with the balance tipping more to the depressed side. But I'm not depressed and I know I simply have to walk through this slump

This evening, I got an update from another blogger who described her own slump. I related to what she wrote. I felt a small sense of relief. The message was it's okay to have blah days, to not be driven or productive, to feel disappointed or intruded on. It's part of life. 

Bear and Share Your Truth 

No matter how much positivity we want in our lives, there's a time we need to bear and share our truth too. Doing so can help others who need to hear about the imperfections we face. 

Try Being Authentic

While one of my goals is to stay positive and to seek to inspire others, I know the power of authenticity too. So I hope you find this post authentic. 

I experienced the power of authenticity today in the blog post I read. The writer's disappointments made me feel okay with my own. 

My Slump

Here is what had occurred this week: One of my five passions or goal areas is to look after my home and family. I set aside yesterday to finish sorting and purging old papers. I want to get several indoor projects done before the weather finally cooperates for yard work. 

I tended to laundry and got a lot accomplished. One of my spiritual challenges is to pause, pray, and act on what I hear God say. I prayed while I worked and stayed open to his direction. I felt close to God all day. I even had no tinnitus. It had been gone for 2 days straight and I hoped I was healed at last. 

I posted photos of my work on Facebook and enjoyed the responses. I made stuffed pork chops for our family dinner, and got to bed early. 


After Papers are Sorted

I anticipated returning to the gym Friday to meet up with a wonderful group of women I've gotten to know the last 2 years. I stagger my gym days so my body can recover.

But I'd had trouble sleeping and when my alarm rang, (There was a witch and demons in my nightmare!)

I hit snooze four times. When I got up I noticed it was dark and raining. My tinnitus was back, I felt de-energized, and I didn't feel like working out at the gym. But I kept my commitment. 

When I arrived I faced a shortage of parking (enough to put anyone in a bad mood). Once parked and inside, I notice the group was made up of mostly the new women. My heart sank.

You see, this gym group was an answer to a long period of prayer. It provides me with both a workout and socialization. Over time, the women and men have bonded. We know each other's names and bits about each other's families. We do coffee times together. 

The group is always open to new members. We all know that. We were all new at one time. But recently, due to an advertised deal, about seven new women signed up. Seven all at once! Do the new women want socialization or to be left alone? Only time will tell. 

Wednesday, I felt good about warmly chatting with a new member. I was using my spiritual gift of encouragement. I even mentioned it to a Christian friend. 

But today, many of the regulars weren't there, but seven new women were. Everything felt different. Our once-intimate group had grown and changed. I felt glum.

Once home, I didn't know how to spend my time. The sun of yesterday had disappeared.  My same old body aches and pains were back. The rhythm of spiritual sensitivity to God's instructions was missing. I didn't have a plan of how to spend my time in a fruit-bearing way and even if I did, the tinnitus and body aches were intruding on my focus. 

Add into the equation is my 14-year-old dog who has some senility. She barks loudly at times for no reason. Sleep is her go-to but she wants to sleep near me and follow me around when I change locations. My patience is being severely tested. 

I felt unproductive today and most of us don't like to feel that way. 

It's after 10 pm now. My dog sleeps next to me now in the bedroom. I brought my laptop up so I could type this post and maybe do a few other things to end my day. 

I know good days will be here soon enough. This long winter will eventually end. New projects will be tackled in time. God is still in control. 






Thursday, April 18, 2019

Dealing with Misunderstandings on Social Media




I hate feeling misunderstood. I hate it when someone puts a social media post out, I fall prey to comment, and they get offended. 

I was blocked this week for making a joke. I guess she didn't think it was funny. 

Another person I sought to show compassion to took her post down. Did I cross a line with my comment? Did I say the wrong thing? Did she simply have second thoughts about being so vulnerable online? I truly was trying to let her know at 1 am that she was not alone, I was awake too, I would listen if she needed it. Was I wrong to post a reply to her "I'm lonely" post? Will we feel weird now when we see each other in person? Now I feel bad I tried to reach out. Does that ever happen to you?

When Our Words Backfire 

In this modern age of Internet interaction, when we put something out in internet land, having it backfire is a risk we take. The poster takes a risk, and I take a risk responding. Equally, I take a risk when I share. It's important to be ready for backlash of being misunderstood. 

More than once I've made what I think are humorous comments to people, and it hits a nerve with them. They don't see it as a joke, but as a poke. They get angry with me. At times, I look inward and wonder if I'm really a bully pretending to be funny, or just a nice person trying to be a friend. Many times I feel hurt by being misunderstood because really, I just want to be everyone's friend. 

Recognize when to Leave

There are trolls out there too. And, generally snide or evil people. They post things to cause arguments for fun. They often choose inappropriate moments to do this and do so in a forum where proper explanations can't be given. It's important not to engage, but to walk away. 

My Reactions

I've deleted posts when I haven't liked responses too or when I've regretted making the post. I've turned the status to "only me", at times, so I still have the feedback visible to myself. It's a way to stop further comments or look-y-loos. 

Many times, a person just wants their feelings validated. I dislike it when I put something out there and someone doesn't validate me but implies I'm wrong or unchristianlike. They might do this because they're not of a similar personality as I, their circumstances differ, or because they don't know the bigger story. So my problem is: Why did I need someone's validation to my situation? Why wasn't I ready to receive contrary advice?

Relationships have become complicated. My self-esteem can easily be shattered if I dwell on what I think has happened. No one wants to feel someone doesn't like them. No one wants their efforts to care or encourage to be called judgemental. No one wants to be told they've done the wrong thing or don't have a right to feel as they do. 


Rather than let this stuff sabotage my happiness, peace, or self-esteem, I'm practising letting things go and not being guilty of making mountains out of molehills. I'm trying to not become prey to offence because often that is the bait of Satan. 

Instead, I take it to God. I ask for his input. I try to put it out of my mind and practise affirming myself instead. 


Open to Correction

Sometimes we need to be corrected. If we can't handle occasional correction, we remain immature.

When these types of events happen, I'm going to ask God:

1. To show me the TRUTH of the matter. 
2. To help me let it go. 
3. To keep giving me wisdom to stay out of trouble. 
4. To renew my peace when it becomes tested. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Mindset and Goal Setting Lesson 3



As mentioned in this post, there are many ways to go about goal setting. 

Various ways of going about it are described in this post. 

Pace and Motives 

The whole point of goal setting varies by individual. Go at your own pace and do what works for YOU.

I don't believe in filling my life with striving. I'm not an over-achiever. I'm content with a slower pace. I'm content with letting God lead. I'm content with letting someone else initiate activities. I'm content with what I call "organic" growth. 

When we get to heaven, I don't think God will judge us on how much activity and perfection we put into our life. So I think having the right motives for goal setting is important. 

I also don't believe in deconstructing what we've built to date in order to pursue something new. I prefer we build on the good. 

Goals Provide Structure

I do feel that goals give our life structure. When we have something to work toward, we seem to have greater fulfilment. 

This post address two other methods of breaking down goals. One is the top down method and the other the bottom up method. 

TOP DOWN METHOD 

The top down method starts with a vision you might have for one area of your life. You can see the end result in your mind's eye. 

For example sake, let's say you want to walk or run a 5km race in early summer. Or, just as easily, say you want to read 50 new books by June.  

For each goal, you will then break down a number of steps to take: 

For the race, you may start walking indoors during the winter months. To walk indoors regularly, you may need to block off time on your calendar. You may need new shoes, and walking gear. 

For the book reading goal, you may need to contact friends to ask for suggested titles. You may need to visit your library to choose books or order them in. You may need to purchase others. You may need to log reading time into your calendar. 

Here is a diagram illustrating this point:



Bottom Up 

Bottom up is a method I use often. I believe it is critical to ask God what he wants and then to move at his impulse. I read things, try things, create things, and write things that I feel God has inspired me to do. 

I don't often have a big end goal in mind when I do these things. Over time, I see direction forming. I bear fruit. I see results. I achieve my top vision.

For instance, I started this and another blog back in 2008 after being certified as a life coach. In time, I thought about combining my posts to make a book I could publish on Amazon. I took a writing course and had a critique done on my manuscript. I also worked with a web content company whose editors helped me immensely. 

The critique seemed harsh almost derailing me, but a friend encouraged me to proceed. I did and I have now sold more books than I ever imagined. Not only did I bear the fruit (top vision) of a finished piece, I am earning money from sales of the book.

Now, if my vision had started with a book sale, I don't know where I'd have gone next. 

I call this "organic" growth, but I also realize it is more than that. As a Christian, I believe it is Holy Spirit inspired growth. He anoints us to do the work he has in mind. 

Here is a diagram illustrating this point:


I hope you see value in these two methods and implement them for some of the intentional goals you wish to set. You can use one method or both. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Mindset and Goal Setting Lesson #2

Mindset and Goal Setting Lesson 2

There are umpteen ways to decide what areas of life you'd like to set goals in. 

How you'll do it is up to you. 

WHEEL OF LIFE

There is the common wheel of life where you assess how each area is going and jot down ideas to tweak each. 


BRAINSTORM LIST

There is brainstorming where you simply sit with yourself and list endless ideas. 

Later you will filter out those that are realistic or attainable, and then you will make mini-goals within the themes. 



Post-It Note Method:

Here is something I do from time to time as a brainstorming method. I put ideas on post-it notes, hang them on the wall and daily visit the board. 



NON-NEGOTIABLE LIST

This exercise assumes you know who you are, your passions and responsibilities, what works for you, and what you want in your life. 

Listing your non-negotiables provides a base for adding mini-goals that will serve and support each area. 

Here's mine:  


Set Mini-Goals

Here is a sample of mini-goals I set to support one of my non-negotiable themes:




Goal-setting isn't humanist. God has put you where you are and gifted you for His reasons. It is your job to identify how God might want you to spend your time and energy to bear fruit. 

Goal-setting will help you have a healthier mindset too. 

I suggest you start with where you are and who you are before adding in big goals like climbing a mountain. 

Ask God to direct you and He will present unique ideas to you eventually. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

A Process of Goal Setting and Mindset Work to Help You Move Forward (Lesson 1)

Art by Rosalie Garde 


Many women started the year with hopes of change. Change means growth, and we all want to keep growing, not stay stagnant. We want to build on the good we've already achieved. 

I don't want change for change's sake though. I want change with a purpose. Do you? I want to build on what I've already started. 

Set Goals on Your Passions

I want to set goals for each of my passion areas. My 5 top passions are writing, creating art, enjoying the outdoors and gardening, exercising, and caring for my home and family. 

Then there are personal goals to set regarding my marriage, church and spiritual life, health, self image, bad habits, sleep hygiene, money, and so on. 

Setting goals in all these areas can be time-consuming and overwhelming. I'm a writer. Writing takes a lot of thought and a lot of time sitting at my computer. It's hard to work on all my goals when so much time is devoted to one area. I work from home, so house and yard work stares at me as a constant distraction too. 

For you, it might be your job, business, or children  that take up most of your time. 

With all that comes upon us, we need to start small and build. Our SMART goals may need to be mini sized if we're to not feel overwhelmed. 


SMART GOALS 

We often hear about setting SMART goals. I grow weary of this phrase, at times, because it cycles around a lot. Yet, it's worth revisiting. 

Sometimes I forget what the acronym stands for. That's because different life coaches use different definitions. I like this breakdown that includes a variety of points:

(borrowed from this url
S - specific, significant, stretching
M - measurable, meaningful, motivational
A - agreed upon, attainable, achievable, acceptable, action-oriented
R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T - time-based, time-bound, timely, tangible, trackable

Have you gone through life areas to set such? 
Often, to set good goals requires a lengthy process. You need to identify what type of goals you want to set. You probably have work-business-related goals as well as personal goals regarding your health, wealth, passions, family, home, and so on. The list can be ENDLESS!
You might create your list by identifying what isn't working and you want improvement on. 
You might identify what is working that you want to stretch. (I like this approach because I don't think we should be so dismissive of our life path to-date or harsh on ourselves.)
Visualize 
Next might come a long process of visualization. I'll touch on that in another post. 
Saboteurs
Next, you'll need to consider possible saboteurs and create a plan to deal with them.  

A Step-by-Step Process 
I hope to walk through a few of these steps with you in the next few blog posts. I will be doing this for myself too. 
While I believe in moving at the impulse of God's instruction, I feel my time gets away from me too often. I have prayed that I will bear fruit and see the fruit I'm bearing. Sometimes that fruit is more easily seen when goals are accomplished. 
I don't want to live a life of striving and I don't recommend that for you either. Perfection isn't a worthy goal. Forward movement is. 
Personally, I get whims of ideas about setting goals for my ministry/business. But I haven't written them down or spelled out the SMART goals within them. I hope to do that and writing this blog will help me get there. 
Will You Join Me? 
I'm not just writing this blog for myself, but for you too. First let's acknowledge this will be a process. Tweaks and changes may be made along your journey. 

An Exercise 
The exercise I want to challenge you with today is this:
Pay attention to negatives 
that enter your mind 
in the next day or two. Log them. 
I think you likely know by now that negatives can pop into all our minds. They are our default thinking. Christians also believe the enemy puts negative thoughts and challenges in our way to derail us. We are taught in the Holy Bible to guard our thoughts. We are not to dwell on regrets, hurts, disappointments, worries, and so on. We are not to become anxious or catastrophize. 
When these thoughts for feelings arise at will, we need to be vigilant. We can stop them because we CAN change the channel of our thoughts. 
When the negatives arise, jot them down on paper or computer word program and then dismiss them. It could be something like this:
"Who am I to achieve that?"
"I'm too fat"
"I'm too old"
"There's no use, my family will sabotage me."  
NEXT - STEP 2
After you have your list (or as soon as you jot down the negative thought) reverse it with a positive affirmation. Debunk the lie. 
For the list above, for instance, you could write: 
"Who am I to achieve that?" I can achieve anything God asks me to do. He will strengthen me and give me the tools I need. 
"I'm too fat"  No matter my current weight, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. With God's help, I am working on my health to be fit. 
"I'm too old" As long as I have breath, I have purpose. Age equals wisdom. I will not discriminate against myself because of my age.  As 
"There's no use, my family will sabotage me."  God can speak to my family too. Together, we will work as a team to build each other up. I will let go of what bogs me down and stay in my own lane to serve my goals. 

Feel free to leave feedback here or through email or Facebook to let me know if this has helped you. Stay tuned for more lessons. 

Please see here for Lesson 2.