Staying Positve and Focused on Your Goals in a New Normal

“Make the decision to start NOW! Right where you’re at. It’s better than waiting and never starting at all”


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Transcript

Staying positive and focused on your goals in a new normal … That’s what we’re talking about today. You may be thinking that’s easier said than done. Right now is the right time. It’s the perfect time to slow down to speed up. Take this time as a gift. Make the most of it, that’s all we can do right now. 

Staying positive and focused on your goals in a new normal. We all know that our normal will never look the same again, but we do have the ability to decide what we want our new normal to look like, and we also have the ability to continue to pursue the dreams and goals in our hearts. We don’t have to stop dreaming. 

Think back to January for a moment. Did you have a goal at the beginning of the year that you haven’t really done much with? Do you have something nagging in your heart that you want or feel called to do? Don’t let the current circumstances become your excuses. There are so many things we can do to get ready or push toward our goals even while we’re at home. Make the decision to start NOW! Right where you’re at. It’s better than waiting and never starting at all:

Many times we make the excuse that it isn’t the right time and that we need to wait, so we put it off and never actually get back to it.

Here’s what I don’t want you to wait for …

  • Don’t wait for the right time … It won’t come.
  • Don’t wait for approval from others … Some will never give it.
  • Don’t wait until your kids are older … They’re watching you NOW!
  • Don’t wait until you’re ready … you’ll never be fully ready to start!

Right now is a season of the unknown and kind of feels like a season of pain as well. We hate pain, don’t we? It’s uncomfortable, and sometimes it’s scary, and it makes us feel helpless or hopeless, doesn’t it? But is it really the pain that we hate? 

I was listening to a podcast by Craig Groeschel this morning, and he talked about the fact that we don’t really hate pain. We actually hate pain without purpose. I reflected on that and realized that is the absolute truth! Think about it, many of us, including myself, will put ourselves through the pain of a marathon just for the reward of crossing the finish line and saying that we did it. The emotions and endorphins we feel afterward make all the pain of race day worth it. Many of us have gone through the pain of childbirth, not just once, but multiple times for the reward of having that precious child placed into our arms. Without that pain, we would never get to experience motherhood. Some of us even went through the pain of getting a tattoo or a piercing as a memory or significance of something. That pain is optional, but we love expressing ourselves through art or bling!

Pain doesn’t always equal bad. We will put ourselves through the pain when we know there’s an outcome that matters. Many times, there is pain in purpose, and God uses that pain — our pain — for a purpose. He doesn’t cause the bad, but he can use it for the good if we allow him to. I love what Craig said while I was listening to him. He said, “Sometimes God packages the pain for our purpose.” He uses it to shape us and make us ready for the greater calling he has for us. Sometimes we’re not ready for the job we are supposed to do, and we need to be molded, we need some refining time to get ready for all he has in store. How can we not have hope in that? 

If we look at what is going on right now, and we see all the pain and hurt, it’s hard to see a purpose in it all, isn’t it?

It’s leaving us confused. Many of us had events, vacations, sports, churches, weddings, and many more things just flat out canceled. Our full and busy lives as we knew them were canceled, gone, in a blink of an eye. What for? Some of us have lost jobs, found ourselves in the hospital, and many are losing hope. Here’s the encouragement in this. Sometimes the greater the pain, the greater the purpose! We can’t see it right now. We honestly may never understand it. We can’t always see God working in our lives, but He is, and there is a purpose in it!

I look back to December 2018 when I slipped on black ice and severely broke my ankle. At first I was mad and sad and didn’t understand. Why me? That day I even debated running on the treadmill because it was lightly snowing outside, and I didn’t want to be out in it. I wasn’t worried about ice, it was too warm for there to be ice. But it had cooled  just enough the night before to freeze some of the pools of water that had formed, and the light snowfall covered it up so we didn’t know what lay beneath. 

When the doctor told me that, not only did I need surgery to repair it all, but I would be out from running or anything active for 6 months, my heart sank. What is this all for? Inside I was screaming, this isn’t fair!!! Why me? But on the outside, I chose to remain positive and find the silver lining in this injury. I knew it would take me off track from my pace and race goals, but I could use this time to learn how to simplify and lean into what God truly had in store for me. I tore apart my right ankle, so I couldn’t even drive for three months. 

My life as I knew it was flipped upside down … just like it is now in this pandemic. But when we’re given lemons, we choose to make lemonade. We let God use our pain for his glory. I know he didn’t cause me to break my ankle. Actually, I kind of think it was the Holy Spirit nudging me to run inside in the first place. But I can’t go back and ask myself, “What if?” He didn’t cause the bad, but he is turning it into good. And he can do that in this season if we let him.

So how do we find hope and joy in the chaos, when everything seems to be going wrong or we are feeling hopeless?

How do we get back up and brush ourselves off so we can go again? I encourage you today, take this time to let God mold and shape you and take you out of our comfort zone. Let him lead you into the fire of refinement so you can come out stronger and be ready to do what he has called you to do! 

We have to be willing to take this time and find the purpose in it. Use this time to reflect on where you were before and where you want to go. Take the time to find what your new normal looks like or what you want it to look like. We will never go back to normal as we once knew it … but does that have to be a bad thing?

Think back to January 1 when you were planning what your year would look like. Did you set some goals for yourself? New Year’s Resolutions? Did you pick a word for your year that would set the tone? I did all those things. I had a goal set for each season, and my word for this year was vision. I had no idea just what that would mean to me or look like! Obviously, it’s already evolved from what I thought it meant back in January!

The definition of vision is “the faculty or state of being able to see; the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom.”

The word vision is significant this year because it is 2020. So what does 2020 vision mean? Normal vision is 20/20. If you have 20/20 vision, it means that you can see the same line of letters at 20 feet that a person with normal vision sees at 20 feet. If you have 20/40 vision, then it means that you can see at 20 feet what someone with normal vision can see at 40 feet. 

On the contrary, if you have 20/15 vision, you actually have better clarity and acuity than the normal person and can see at 20 feet what a person with normal vision can only see at 15 feet. And, additionally, you are considered legally blind if you have 20/200 vision, which means you can see from 20 feet what a person with normal vision can see at 200 feet.

This word, vision, is a powerful one.

Vision is about being able to think about, or plan for, your future through a combination of imagination and wisdom. Where there is no vision, the people perish. Vision is crucial to creating momentum in your life, and vision is essential in this season that we are experiencing currently.

After running a marathon, you don’t just go out the next week and run another one! Okay, so some crazy runners do … and I have to admit that I may have contemplated it, but that’s not normal nor healthy. You have to give your body time to rest and recover. After a race, many elites will take a couple of weeks or a couple of months completely off before they begin to train again for their next race. Why? Because they know the importance of slowing down to speed back up.

Asking some simple questions can help us create a vision for our life. Where am I feeling led? What do I want to accomplish? What legacy do I want to create this year? Ask yourself those same questions. Where are you feeling led? What do you want to accomplish? What legacy do you want to create this year?

It’s perfectly fine to slow down to speed up, and it seems that this season is all about doing just that. It’s better to be intentional in our planning than to just do, do, do all the time. Have a purpose. Find a purpose or reason behind your vision. Do you want to know a secret? When you have a true purpose or why, it’s also easier to stick to it!

Are you ready for some applications? Are you ready to take some action? Grab that journal for a time of reflection and game planning.

Here’s what I want you to do today:

  • Reflect on the year and your goals so far. What have you accomplished? Where are you at with your goals? Are you frustrated, ready to give up on them? Why? Do you need to shift them or make adjustments because of what is going on in the world right now?
  • Decide what you want to keep or change. What do you want your new normal to look like? What were you doing before that you had to stop that you don’t want to add back in? What were you grudgingly doing before that you can’t do right now that you now are thankful for and want to continue?
  • Write down what you want your legacy to be. Why does your dream matter most to you? What would happen if it came true? What would happen if you didn’t make it happen? Who does it affect? What impact do you want to have on your kids, your spouse, your community, the world? What lessons are most important to you that your kids know before they graduate? How can you be their best role model?
  • Create a mini plan to get going on that vision. What are a couple of things that you could start today that would help you move toward that goal you want to accomplish? Don’t think one large leap from building to building. Think about baby steps, little stepping stones, that will lead you toward that vision. Small wins are what keep us going. Maybe it’s picking up a personal development book that will help answer some of your questions and help you develop into the woman God can use. Maybe it’s turning off the TV an hour a day and taking that time to work toward a goal you have. 

Take out that journal and write down what your goals were at the beginning of the year, where you’re at now, and where you want to go. This season is one of the best times to slow down to speed up. So slow down. Listen to what God is trying to say to you right now. Decide what you want your family life to look like!

Poet Jonathan Swift said, “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” Isn’t that so true? Others may not see what you see. They may not understand what you know. But that’s okay! Your vision for your life is unique to you. God gives us each different desires, passions, and callings. If we were all the same and had the same ideas, what a boring world it would be! 

If you have something nagging in your heart today, maybe, just maybe, that is God pulling on your heart, asking you to step out in faith because he has something bigger for you. He wants to use you for his glory. Be obedient in those moments, when you feel that pull. In His will is the best place to be. He will carry you through!

Are you ready to take your goals or dreams to the finish line even if they have shifted in this season of unknown?

Find something of purpose. Find something worth fighting for. Decide what legacy you want to leave and draw a line in the sand. I want to encourage you today to just start! It’s the only way you can make things happen.

  • Don’t wait for the right time … It won’t come.
  • Don’t wait for approval from others … Some will never give it.
  • Don’t wait until your kids are older … They’re watching you NOW!
  • Don’t wait until you’re ready … you’ll never be fully ready to start!

Make the decision to start NOW! Right where you’re at. It’s better than waiting and never starting at all!! You are worthy, and it’s your time. I believe in you!

 

Step into the fire and come out stronger!

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