Wednesday, February 15, 2012

12 Steps to a Life Free from Excuses

Over the past weeks, months even, I have accomplished less than I'd hoped. I haven't met my goals in writing or life in general. I get discouraged and distracted. And above all, I have lots of excuses for why things aren't getting done. I've been sick. I started a new job. My family has put extra demands on my time. I've committed to large projects with less help and support than expected. And the list goes on. Many of my excuses are valid challenges, but I've allowed them to keep my goals out of reach.

I've come to a conclusion that I'm posting here to keep me accountable. Here it is. I don't want excuses. I don't want anything to validate me being ineffectual for God. I want to be so surrendered and dependent on Him that it doesn't matter what's going on in my life.

I heard this quote attributed to David Brainerd recently and it's become my prayer. "God let me make a difference for you that is utterly disproportionate to who I am."

I'm weak. I can't do this on my own. Thankfully, God doesn't ask us to do it on our own. As a matter of fact, 2 Corinthians 12:9 says: But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
Amen! I'm ready for a power surge!
According to Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Isaiah 40: 29-31 promises: He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
With these truths in mind, I'm making the following resolutions.
12 Steps to a Life Free from Excuses:

1) Begin every day in the word of God with a focused quite time. (And no, a prayer in the shower doesn't count.) But don't stop there! Pray your way though your day.

2) Honor your family. (Make time to help kids with homework, keep drawers stocked with laundered clothes and cupboards full of clean dishes, spend an hour with hubby, even if it means sitting beside him while he watches yet another episode of Man vs. Wild)

3) Write everyday no matter what. (Even if a few hundred words is all I can stay awake for.)

4) Eliminate time wasters. (Remove the game apps on your phone. Turn the TV off. Seriously limit facebook time.)

5) Use lists, schedules, reminders, alarms, times and notes to manage time and responsibilities.

6) Learn to say "no". Don't take on any new commitments. Eliminate unnecessary activities.

7) Prioritize. Put first things first.

8) Work in a way that will earn a "well done, good and faithful servant". No lazy, half-hearted effort. No distracted wandering mind. Put your all into it and get it done.

9) Make reasonable Goals and don't allow distractions or interruptions to excuse you from being effective and accomplishing those goals.

10) Don't procrastinate. Thinking ahead is not one of my strengths. I say, "I'll do it later" way too often.

11) Get enough sleep. Sleep is the first thing to go when I get too busy, but I invariably get sick when I'm sleep deprived. Getting an extra few hours of work done today is not worth the foggy head I'll have next week while I'm fighting off another cold or flu.

12) Forgive yourself. Tomorrow is a new day. 

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