We’re still marching through this partial government shutdown over here.
It’s become more difficult to remain positive and upbeat, but we make the effort to verbalize the things we’re grateful for throughout the day. One of those things is that my husband is home, able and willing to make delicious breakfast meals for us (mine always includes bacon). Thanks to a dear friend, I was gifted the Magnolia Cookbook by Joanna Gaines and the pancake recipe – with cheese – has been a delightful upside of the stressful and seemingly unending shutdown. We’re taking all the wins He provides.
And while it can be stressful and hurtful in the waiting, I’m finding ways to keep feeding my soul. One of those ways is seeking out personal development that helps me stretch myself and step more confidently into who I’m called to be.
Last Tuesday, I hopped on a 50-minute webinar led by Paul Scanlon, thanks to my dear friend S.
She encouraged me to tune into his Instagram account in the fall of 2018 and the things he was sharing. Almost every day I wanted to comment, share or amen, because of what he posted. So when I learned that he was hosting a FREE leadership webinar in January, I was like – of course.
The webinar was great! It was him sitting in his – basement?- office wearing a puffy red jacket with his man bun atop his head, speaking to us like we were friends. Or rather, like he wanted to help me win in 2019. I took a blank 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper and filled both sides with notes. (Our pastor says, “notetakers are world-changers”.) And then friend S and I hopped on Face Time and broke it down further to personalize it to our own lives and spoke encouragement over one another.
Because the content was so powerful and I’m trying to keep my posts to 1000 words or less, I’m splitting this particular post into two parts. Strategies one through five – and how they landed in my soul – will be here in this first post and strategies six through ten will be shared later this week.
S T R A T E G I E S: THE FIRST FIVE
01 REDUCE DRAMA
Not just the obvious drama where people are yelling and acting a fool, stealing peace from you, but the more subtle drama that we tend to put up with because of who we love and live with, who we work alongside and even the people who raised us.
If you have some folks on your inner circle who more often stir up the drama in your life than they help you return to godly peace, then you need to deal with this.
For me, this is currently learning how to love people I’m bound to by marriage, but who do not necessarily see or appreciate my awesomeness. It’s a bumpy road. And rather than escalate the insensitivity or hurt feelings to the next level, I’m learning how to check myself before the drama escalates.
02 HABIT STACK
After reading the book, The Power of Habit (you can read my post here), I better understand why some of my goals have seemed impossible to reach. And I think I have more compassion for why many folks refuse to set goals for themselves.
Goals can be daunting when you don’t have the right habits in place to reach them.
Scanlon reminds us to focus on habits over goals and break down the big things into “boring, mundane, routine, incremental” choices each day which will lead to living a great life.
I’m convinced that the habits I hone this year are going to help me do great things for God this year.
03 LEARN TO SAY NO
I do not struggle with this one as much as I used to. It’s definitely been a journey over the past 14 years to get me here, but in the past few months, I’m learning how to say no without apology, excuse or explanation.
It’s just “no”. Because I truly believe that if saying no leaves room for me to say “yes” to the things that truly matter.
04 FIND OUT WHAT YOUR SOUL LOVES & GIVE IT MORE THIS YEAR
Y’all! I drew hearts in the margin next to this one.
If you’re new around here, consider hopping over to peruse my “About” page because this site and blog are all here with the purpose of encouraging folks to take time and make the margin to tend to their souls. Go read that page really quickly, it’ll help you understand the why of this space, the calling I believe God has put on my heart and then why this point coming from an experienced teacher like Paul Scanlon made my soul smile.
05 DON’T STAY LOYAL TO AN OLD VERSION OF YOURSELF
Scanlon warns us to be willing to “uncouple” ourselves from those who want us to stay the old version of ourselves. The person they’ve gotten used to.
This for me was a person they could control, rule over my heart with fear and manipulation or isolate me and make me feel like who I was wasn’t good enough. And then the craziest part was when I finally got clear-headed about what was happening and attempted to walk away, I was called a “quitter” or my faith was questioned.
My radar is up for this one. I’m growing and changing – for the better, with God – and so anyone or anything that shackles me to the old Regina (who needs to be put to rest) will meet with resistance and experience distance between us.
And let me just say this. When you move away from those type of people, God will bring along more people who are willing to be in your life and help you morph into who He intends for you to be. And they will be genuinely happy for you.
So very good and simple too!
Which of these strategies will you most consider elevating to priority status to help you have the 2019 you long to?