KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON GOD AND YOUR GOALS October 13 2014
It's hard to make a checklist and keep it for an extended period of time. You almost have to make a second list to remind you about the first one, but keep it, you must. Sundays are easy to serve God and praise the Lord because we usually go to church and are filled and inspired, but the rest of the week we deal with the world: complainers, gripers, strange people we don't know, angry and irrational people and those are just our neighbors and family members. Just kidding, but you get the idea. It's like knowing what you need from the grocery store and then walking in and forgetting everything. The list is what helps you because you've carefully selected items that were missing or low in your pantry and fridge, and sometimes we give too much reliance on short term memory, which is just that - short, while long term memory takes time to retain. This is where keeping your eyes on God and focusing on your written goals comes in.
When you have time, make a list of goals that you want to achieve, a master list, if you will, of the things you need to organize, and this can include the closets and storage containers, but it might also be categorized into things like 'Goals for the house,' 'Goals for the kids,' 'Goals for me at work,' and 'Goals for me mentally, spiritually and physically.' You can break these into sub-categories. The idea is to have goals that are large and small, but throughout your work day or week, you reflect on things you can do. Did you sign up for that class yet? Did you eat that apple before that bag of chips? Small goals are great because they give you a sense of accomplishment. You don't want to have a goal on your paper that you might not be able to achieve like 'Remodel the bathroom myself,' as this may be more than it entails, but you might include 'Buy new towels.' 'Decide on wallpaper or paint,' 'Price a plumber.' As you check things off your list, don't be afraid to add a few new ones on as the need arises. You're being productive! Now let's focus on God.
'Praise the Lord.' Yes, that's a goal that we might want to include in our spiritual list. You might also want to include reading your Bible more, giving more time to studying God's word, and watching what comes out of your mouth. Keep reflecting on this list also. On average, we have to work on a behavior for about 30-days before we get used to doing it. 'Give glory to God.' Yes, that's another one. If you're not used to getting up and reading your Bible before you start the day, consider leaving a post-it near the alarm clock with 'Read a Psalm' written on it. That gives you the chance to pick a passage that may not be too long when you don't have a lot of time during the week, but maybe you can read more on the weekend. And remember that 'Watch what I say,' goal? Keep that in your notepad and read it when you get to work. At work is sometimes when it's hardest to stay focused. On a separate sheet of paper or in your tablet, you could write out really strong, affirming scriptures that will help you get through the day. The idea is to keep positive affirmations and scriptures flowing throughout the day to sustain you so you have more balance in your life, not just God on Sundays. Yes, you can bring God to the office and the classroom, but it takes work. Remember that list, and if you forget it, Google affirming and positive scriptures,' or read a few Psalms. You can reprogram your mind to stay positive and draw on God's strength. Now back to that list...
'Take up guitar.' Yes, we have to keep nurturing our brains, so taking up a musical instrument or learning a new language is a great way to motivate your mind. You may even want to travel to a new country. Even if you can't afford it, you might consider buying a book on the location so you can read about it, or researching cheap trips you can take now. 'Learn piano.' Yes, add that to the list, too. and keep adding, staying encouraged, reading your Bible and keeping God first. It won't always be easy and you may not always have the time, but when you get home at the end of the day, you'll love those new towels in the bathroom and you can tell your family about the trip you're planning next year!