Creating a vision and a strategy is simple, but changing our life requires changing our heart, and that’s the difficulty. So much of what we call our daily tasks are actually daily apologies. Sometimes we literally say, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that. I have to pick up the kids so I can’t pray for an hour…I have a bad knee so I can’t exercise regularly.’ We say, “I’m sorry, I don’t have time to go to the library twice a week for research…I’m sorry, I could never speak in front of a crowd.” Our heart and mind have a fortress of excuses that protect us from taking on responsibility. Have you ever considered that we sparingly use the term I’m sorry as a means of asking for forgiveness for something we’ve actually done wrong? We often use that phrase to excuse behavior that we deem necessary. Often, the phrase I’m sorry, is not a show of humility but a show of passive aggression. We passively apologize for not cooperating and then aggressively turn our backs on the actions that would bring us the wealth and health for which we prayed. In those moments, we are violently tearing down the promise of our future. You’ll never get that day or opportunity back, and in an era when business markets turn on a dime – when you never know how long you can freely use the internet at current costs, refusing to seize the day can actually be closing the door on a dwindling list of options. Thus, when you apologize for not submitting to what needs to be done, you are, essentially, apologizing to the woman you could have become had you honored your vision.
Changing your habits is changing your life. Lovingly discipline your mind and body and refuse to give in to excuses. Each time you indulge the flesh it softens the flesh. When you skip a workout, the body softens a bit, the blood circulation doesn’t yield the same detoxifying benefits, and it loosens your mental convictions, weakening your commitment. While I believe loving your body includes scheduled days of rest, rededicating a day of work to an unscheduled vacation day is usually a loss of integrity. In contrast, each time you push yourself to fulfill commitments, you reap the harvest of a new mindset and eventually a new life.
Awake One-Hour Earlier
Dedicate an hour toward activities that work toward your goal. For example, take a quarter hour to pray, a quarter-hour to read an article, and twenty minutes or so to stretch and exercise. Remember the specific activity is secondary. Just be consistent with whatever activity you choose. The most important thing is training your flesh to do what you command. It’s about conditioning and using action to strengthen your faith. Each day, the activities will build your confidence in your ability and worthiness to do and have what you desire.
Wake the same time and do the same things each day. While your weekends may look different than weekdays, find the patterns and the schedule that helps train your flesh. Just as the body adjusts to accommodate pregnancy or grows muscle to accommodate new fitness demands, your mind will also grow with new discipline over time. The body will begin to crave water breaks at noon. It will begin to assume that it’s time to do Pilates before the kids get home from schooling. It will crave salad or fruit and will begin to refuse the second piece of birthday cake. Routine really is a champion’s secret. It’s how the rich get richer. While there are some mavericks that just wing it day to day, the titans show discipline in their schedule and routine.
Failure needs no help, but success requires a team. Lack of accountability is a one of the greatest sins in business. It’s born out of a cunning need to make room for dropping the ball. When you own your business, you don’t punch a clock, so no one has to know that you’re surfing the web and posting on Facebook, when you should be finding new clients. Building a group of professionals with whom you periodically report your progress will keep you honest. Pay what you need to for specialists, business consultants and professional support groups to help you overcome the tricky deceit of the flesh! It’s like having the burden and expense of owning a car. You have the car note, insurance, repairs, and gas – but the thought of being without personal transportation is even more of liability. Make the investment to gain accountability and watch it drive your success.
This is not an excuse to go shopping. You are your brand, and you need to look like the success you profess. It isn’t fair to expect people to see past your chipped polish and wrinkled dresses. Discipline yourself to submit to self-care activities as part of your routine. You’ll feel better, and you’ll never know just how much looking happy and healthy helps in making the sale.
Play & Kindness
Knowing how to manage stress is crucial for men, women, boys, girls, and beasts. It’s as much a part of your responsibility as eating your vegetables. Schedule time to play with children, or play a lighthearted child’s game (e.g. jump rope, Jax, hide & go seek, dodge ball, paddy cake, running/racing, etc.). Enjoy interacting with others in fun and freedom. Another fun method of stress management is performing an act of kindness. Studies suggest that doing, receiving, and witnessing an act of kindness triggers positive chemical responses in the brain. Relieving someone else’s stress can actually relieve your own! At the end of the day, being successful is aptly demonstrated with a simple act of kindness.
For more information, read Chapter 6 of my new eBook:
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