Keys to Being Productive

I have teenage kids at home for Summer break. While I enjoy their company, I’m in their lives to help them be successful & time management is part of the drill. Here are some coaching points I’m giving them, that might be helpful reminders for you (and PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR IDEAS, as well):

  • Outcome Engineering: looking down the road, what are the big things that need to be achieved? Then develop steps & the timeline that will produce that achievement so it’s doesn’t become overwhelming or impossible by its size or urgency.
  • Incentives: do the work & save the fun as a reward rather than the reverse
  • Daily plan: create a daily routine that integrates the steps for the big projects, as well as the habits you want to foster.
  • Accountability: give someone or a few people permission to ask about your daily plan & progress on the big projects

What are some other things you’ve learned to help you be productive? Thanks for sharing!!

Thrill Seeking!!

Things that are exhilarating to me include: snowboarding REALLY fast, exploring new countries, reading adventure books & endorphins after a good workout. On the flip side, I don’t get excited about repetitious dishwashing, being a taxi mom or the mundane working out that precedes an endorphin rush.

Sometimes our walk w God can mirror these contrasting experiences. There are definitely experiences with God that are far beyond exhilarating & spine chilling. However, let’s never minimize the day to day essentials that cultivate that deep, fulfilling & abiding intimacy with Jesus. Thrills & chills are fun, but nothing can sustain us like our walk with Jesus through daily time in the Bible & prayer!

Turkish Get-Ups

This is a picture my friend took last week when I was showing her how to do a Turkish get-up in the local coffee shop. The purposes of this exercise is to improve ability, strengthen the shoulder & probably make a person look super silly. I say this because whenever I do them, I feel not just a little goofy.

Sometimes, our spiritual development can feel to our flesh like a Turkish get-up. Growing spiritually doesn’t always make our flesh feel comfortable & svelte. But growing spiritually helps us to go through life’s ups & downs with more agility & this also helps to strengthen our core self, grounding us in prayer & the Bible.

Don’t minimize the importance of doing the daily disciplines of prayer & Bible time that foster spiritual growth!

What Do You Repeat?

Do you have mindless habits? All of us have things that we do without giving much thought to them, such as brushing our teeth, driving home, morning routines, etc. It can be really helpful to have these kind of routines, but sometimes they’re counterproductive.

For example, in Luke 10, Martha & Mary had Jesus come to their house for dinner. Based on Martha’s behavior in other stories in the Gospels, it seems like she fell into the routine of cooking, serving & being busy with getting stuff done. All of these things aren’t inherently wicked, but if we allow our routines to sabotage our fellowship with Jesus, then they become more of a hindrance than a help.
Let’s always remember that Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 to seek His kingdom first & we’ll have what we need! Let’s be sure our routines reinforce our intimacy with Jesus rather than distract us in mindless disconnect ūüôā

Jesus & Maintenance 

 
There are lots of things that need regular maintenance: changing oil in the car, laundry, tooth brushing, cleaning the kitchen etc. I also think there’s good value in thinking of our spiritual life with a mindset of regular maintenance. What I love about keeping our spiritual life well oiled is that the dividends always exceed the investment. Whatever time, energy & presence I give to God is always returned to me with supernatural generosity. 

  • God’s presence is always more satisfying than the presence I give to God – praying is super essential!
  • Spending time in the Bible is beneficial in our hearts & souls, helping our thoughts , emotions & decisions
  • Experiencing God in community pays huge rewards, helping us to sense God in fresh & challenging ways

Are You Coming??

  

Let’s GO!!!! Let’s go do something amazing! Let’s join God’s redemptive plan for humanity! Let’s join a divine revolution & JUMP!  
Sometimes we can get stuck in our routines, responsibilities & even ruts. But sometimes, God wants to upset the apple cart & is merely waiting for us to give a small nod, “yes” & that’s when the adventure starts! To be sure, following Jesus has its fair share of thrills, disappointments & shockers. But in my experience, nothing satisfies the core of who I am more than walking with Jesus, whenever He leads, be that in brothels, slums, palaces, prisons, churches, crosswalks & carpools. So when Jesus beckons, may our default answer always me, “Let’s GO!!”

a secret for transformation

Seems like all of us want to grow & improve in at least a few ways. ¬†We want to be more skinny or more muscular. ¬†We want to be smarter, more athletic, less impatient, . . . . . . ¬†All of us have things in our lives that we want to improve. ¬†If there was a magic wand that we could wave to make the wanted improvement appear, we’d go to great lengths to get that wand & ultimately the improvement that we want. ¬†But alas, there is no magic wand.

But here’s the golden ticket for the improvements that we want: ¬†routine. ¬†Yep, the nitty, gritty and daily incremental efforts that we can integrate into our daily routines can produce life changing transformation. ¬†Diets, fads, trends, cool & swanky techniques and mental gyrations often lack the power to improve that comes from just the daily, small decisions that we incorporate into routine living: ¬†

  • A deeper walk with God: ¬†plan to go to bed 30min earlier everyday for two weeks, so you can get up 15min early to read your Bible & pray – spend some time training your body & soul to make spiritual investments
  • being more healthy: ¬†chose to decrease or eliminate a cup of coffee (gasp), the afternoon treat, the evening snack for two weeks; ¬†
  • physical fitness: ¬†chose to walk more (rather than the drive for that close errand, park in less conveninet places that require more walking, take a walk in the evening rather than watch the 30min of TV that turns into 2hours, . . . .)
  • be smarter: ¬†reading is a great path to help us with the smart stuff; ¬†consider joining a book club, get a library card – check out a book; ¬†read something that you don’t agree with or isn’t in the normal interest list (broaden your horizon)

Small but steady changes often create the sustained improvements that can seem elusive. ¬†You can do it!! ūüôā

a tribute to my mom

Since it’s Mother’s Day, it seems fitting to celebrate our moms & their various contributions to our lives. ¬†My mom invests in my life in a multitude of different ways, but something that I always appreciate about her is the power of routine. ¬†Despite lots of travels & massive demands on her schedule, my mom is very consistent with her routines. ¬†She consistently exercises, makes healthy eating decisions, memorizes the Bible everyday and maintains healthy sleeping patterns. ¬†My mom is the Queen of Routine. ¬†And here’s what is so powerful about the whole routine thing, she’s done this for almost all of my life. ¬†So when people ask me about my mom & the secret to her success, of course God is the number one source for all success, but I’d quickly add that her consistent routines throughout the years have positioned her for the successful living she enjoys today.

So here’s my closing thought: ¬†let’s make the routines of our daily living conform to our priorities ūüôā

routine

Routines can be boring.¬† They’re by nature repetitive & can get VERY dull.¬† When i was growing up, we used to have a trampoline & i would practice my trampoline routines (like a gymnastics routine) to where i had like 3-4 routines i could do whenever we had guests.¬† I was kind of proud of these routines bc some of them were kind of tough.¬† What i discovered was that when i would practice the routines, i stayed sharp & wouldn’t make mistakes.¬† When i wouldn’t do them for a day or two, or even a week, my routines would get sloppy & sometimes i even hurt myself.

I find that the lessons i learned from practicing trampoline routines stay w me even now when i’m an adult.¬† My daily performance is intricately connected to my daily routines.¬† Furthermore, my daily routines are an integral part of the success or failure of my future.¬† What i practice today, is what i’ll be ready for tomorrow.¬†

i’m trying to get better w my routines – especially w my kids.¬† My personal routines include going to bed at a reasonable hour so i can get up early, have some solitude & God time so that i can go into each day w some Divine.¬† Utlimately, i find that every day needs the Divine & routine can help increase my awareness of God’s involvement in my daily living.¬† How are your routines?

in the groove

mommy / bell moment

Does it feel like we’re settling into Fall?¬† Fall has fresh routines for me & I like it – as long as I cultivate constructive routines.¬† I probably should drop the swiss cheese & triscuit habit, even though it feels like I’ve gotten back into a bit of a better workout routine.¬† I also probably ought to stay away from the new donut shop I found on Arapahoe Road, even though they have the best plain glazed.¬†

As for constructive routines, I need to keep the morning habit w God¬†in full swing.¬† I’m also working on integrating the Lord’s Prayer into my thinking during the day’s activities – not the rote method, but at a deeper level in honoring His name, welcoming His Kingship, binding my will to His & then doing the sarah requests for daily needs, forgiveness, temptation avoidance & protection.¬† Another routine I’m working on is studying in the daytime – Greek, Bible work, message prep, etc.¬† Also, I’m working on¬†making meals¬†on the weekends that can carry us through the week – that’s a great routine & saves money!¬† Something I haven’t worked out well is an evening routine – need help there.¬†

What are routines that you have found to be helpful?  Suggestions are always welcome!!

a few of my favorite things

well, its been an interesting week.  Here are a few of my favorite things that have happened this week:

  • successfully made a coconut cream pie & a delic peach pie for Benji’s bday
  • had family over for Benji’s bday & served one of the best dinners I’ve made (nothing burned, everything tasting good, & excellent company, easy to enjoy!)
  • picked up the kid’s ski gear – yahoo!!!¬† rentals for the season for each of them for $50!!!
  • got Benji’s ski pass – 5 mountains for FREEEEEEEEE & he survived his 5 yr old check up at the Dr (3 shots)
  • walking¬†home w¬†David & Bell from school each day – I get to hear about their day, friends, etc
  • friends

Routines are good things – they can bring sanity & order from a chaotic summer.¬† ūüôā

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