Year of Intention
This is the year of INTENTION. I feel like I’ve only gotten a glimpse of what God has in store for me, so now it’s time to focus like never before. While we may not share the same goals, one thing is for certain, a dream will always remain a dream unless you are willing to take some risks. More importantly, a dream backed up by purpose and prayer is an unstoppable combination. It took me thirty-one years on this earth to have enough faith and determination to go after my dream of being an author. THIRTY-ONE YEARS! It’s time to stop talking about it and do something. It’s time to stop sitting on the sidelines feeling envious of others when all you have to do is put some action behind your ambition. It’s time to be bold!
There are practical things we can do in order to be more productive and intentional about our goals. I’ve shared a few below and I hope it gives someone some motivation to make this year their best year yet. Whatever you are hoping for, praying for, and believing, for, remember that faith without works is dead (James 2: 14-26). We can quote scriptures all day long about how good God is and how He’s in the business of blessing folks but let’s not forget God is not Google. It’s time to put in some work!!
Sometimes we have to choose between people and our purpose. I know for a fact that if certain people were still in my life, I wouldn’t have been able to discipline myself last year. Often times we connect ourselves with people who are merely distractions. It’s not always easy to identify that when our hearts are involved. Only you know your situation but take inventory of the people in your circle because they indeed have influence on you.
Identify the distractions. Distractions aren't just limited to people. You’d be surprised by how much we can get done if we actually spent less time doing things that add no value to our lives. I didn’t realize just how much time I spent watching television until I started the process of writing my first book. (Take it from me, if you have DVR, record it and watch it later. If you don’t have a DVR, you aren’t missing anything! Most of what comes on television these days is contrary to God’s word anyway.) Set yourself up for success by identifying what distracts you from your purpose.
Don’t confuse socializing with networking. Last year I couldn’t always hang out with friends. I couldn’t always accept every invitation to go to dinner either. Sure I went sometimes because we all need a break from time to time, but I was intentional about making sure I met deadlines. If that meant staying home on a Friday night, that’s what I did.
Start networking and connecting. I can remember a time when I was too afraid to go to events by myself. No more! I met some amazing women last year who are kind, uplifting, and eager to support others. Remember, God did not give us a spirit of fear, so seek out opportunities to network in your community. You’re bound to meet some amazing people who will inspire you.
Don’t rush into something without doing your homework. Sometimes excitement can get the best of us and we move too quickly on things. There is value in investing in yourself whether it’s taking relevant courses in the industry you’re in or simply using Google to get the answers you need. The more you know, the more educated decisions you will make.
Stay true to yourself and your talents. God gave you the ability to do what you do in a unique way. Own that! You don’t have to conform to how someone else does something just because it works for them. Sure you can learn from others but don’t get hung up in being a mirror image of someone else. Be teachable but stay true to yourself.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. I think setting specific goals are important but life happens. For me I work a full time job in addition to writing, so it gets a little crazy sometimes. I hate to push things back but sometimes I just have to do what I have to do. When things come up, we can choose to waste precious time complaining or we can focus on adjusting as needed. It’s up to you.
Take a good look at your finances. I think it’s extremely important to look at your finances before starting a business. Taking a good look at your spending, your credit score, and whether or not you can afford to start a business is important. I’m not a fan of taking out loans or creating debt but make sure you make an educated and wise decision before taking off. Your dream is not denied if you need to save up this year and execute later. Just make sure you do what you can afford.
Don’t compare yourself to others. I don’t believe in competition. Period. We all bring something to the table and there is no need to measure our success by comparing it to someone else’s. Was my book a best seller? Not according to Amazon. I could beat myself up about that but I choose not to. I could compare myself to others authors I know who have been Amazon best sellers, but what good would that do to my confidence or my purpose? When we compare ourselves to others, it’s almost like we turn a blind eye to what God has blessed us with. We should always be supportive of others as well because their blessings don’t take away from your own.
I saved the best for last....
Your faith is your secret weapon. I think we sometimes complicate things out of fear. We hesitate to even try and then when the first set back happens, we run for the hills.
Well, I’m pretty sure every successful person on this planet has experienced tough times.
Set backs are inevitable in this life.
Mistakes are going to happen.
Not everybody is going to like you or support you!
You might even shed some tears wondering how your dreams are going to come to reality (I've been there).
Keep feedingyour faith. Trust in God. Make sure you partner with God first before anybody else. That is my main priority this year. I want to make sure that I don’t get lost in my ambition and forget from whom my blessings come from. If we can hold on no matter what is in front of us and believe that God is in it with us, we cannot fail.
Originally Posted: Monday, January 11, 2016