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. 


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. 


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


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. 


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. 


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.)
Next might come a long process of visualization. I'll touch on that in another post. 
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."  
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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

What Annoys You about Your House and Should it?

Since moving here in 2010, there have been many repairs and updates needed to our home. We've replaced some windows and doors. We've redone the back deck. We put a bay window in one room and had a built-in shelf installed. We put up new garage doors. The list is long. I became good at identifying problems and finding solutions. The problem is, all these renovations can overtake my mind. 

Self-improvement shows can be problematic.  I feel pressure to constantly upgrade like I see on TV. I am bombarded on social media. I gain glimpses of my friends' homes and compare mine. Savvy marketing ensures I see lots of home improvement products advertised.  

Another trend is minimalism. Now I am supposed to get rid of things. 

As a result, sometimes my mind races toward what needs to be improved, changed, cleaned, repainted, or let go of. I tend to get bogged down with what is wrong with my house or flooded with feelings I should spend time hunting for things I should get rid of

But I don't want to live that way any more. I want to relax and live in our home, accepting it as is, and just be. I want to feel more relaxed in it, not critical of it. 

So I've been declaring a mantra when those home improvement thoughts arise. I say: 

It's good enough. 

God reminds us to be careful of living our life based on someone else's standard--you know that anonymous person you think will show up and judge your home. Matt 6 also gives us this advice 

"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  For where your treasure is, 
 there will your heart be also."

Treasures can be things like our home and its contents, but it can also be thoughts stored in our minds--the things we give our attention to--our attitude toward our possessions or the things we strive to attain (like perfection).

Treasures aren't wrong. God blesses us with good things. And, he asks us to be stewards of what he gives us. We are supposed to take care of things. But we need to be careful about imbalance seeping in.