3 Tips For Putting Off Procrastination

I’ve always known it.

Even as a child, the signs were all there.

When it was time to wake up and get ready for school, I would lay in bed until the last possible moment. Emerging only when my mother’s voice grew from soft whisper to loud crescendo. Not exactly music to my ears.

Then there were the teen years when I apparently began to think of myself as Scarlett O’Hara.

I had the same answer to just about every question.

Time for homework?
I’ll do it later.
Time to clean your room?
Later.
Time to get your driver’s license?
I’ll get to it later. (A year later!)

It appeared that my own internal time clock was out of sync with the rest of the world. I marched to the beat of my own drum. Slow and steady.

And so it was no surprise that I was labeled a procrastinator. And I have spent my adult life trying to learn how to overcome the challenges that are associated with that well-deserved title.

The perfectionism. The indecisiveness. The guilt.

Most days, I’m blissfully unaware of what I’ve missed out on by missing deadlines. And then there are days when it is painfully obvious to me that I should have paid greater heed to my mother’s warnings.

She was as fond of quoting these famous words of Thomas Jefferson as I was of ignoring them.

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”
And now I know why.  Because with age, comes clarity. Clarity to see that the second hand on the clock is marching to the same steady rhythm as always. Steady but fast. Much faster than my own.

So, what to do? How do I finally put off the procrastinating and make the most of the time I’ve been given?

Movers and shakers might offer this popular phrase as advice: “Just do it!” But that is easier said than done because fear of failure is usually a pretty strong motivator for staying stuck.

So here are 3 things I’ve decided to do as a step toward change…

1. Reflect on the wisdom of scripture relating specifically to this issue:

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” Ecclesiastes 9:10a

2: React to every decision/opportunity by following the example of Jesus who said:

“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.” John 9:4

3. Repeat this process daily knowing that when I put my hope and trust in the Lord, he will give me strength for every task.

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31

Old habits can be hard to break but I know that God is able to make things new and with Him “all things are possible” (ref. Matthew 19:26)

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

 

All Things New – A Synopsis

On this last day of January 2011, I thought I would share a summary of what happened and what I’ve learned as a result of pursuing my theme of All Things New this month.

What Happened –

In the last 31 days, I have:

Tried new recipes, eaten healthier food, increased my water intake, walked more. The result: I feel better, lighter, more energized.

Signed up for a new online class, increased my scripture reading, checked out new books from the library, joined an online book club. The result: I feel awake, alive, more creative.

What I’ve learned –

1. Attitude Matters
2. Fear is the Enemy
3. Change can be Hard
4. Change can be Fun
5. God is our Guide

I made a decision to change my attitude toward change. I moved forward, fighting fear along the way but discovered new things I might not have found if I hadn’t taken those first, tentative steps.

I made small changes. Some were not easy to achieve but most were fun. And all of them happened because I submitted my will to the One who is able to make All Things New. The One who says,

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19

I have a lot more to learn and a long way to go but I think I’ll keep going.

After all, you don’t get anywhere if you don’t try.

Wouldn’t you agree?

All Things New – A Book Club Invitation

I’m joining an online book club! This is new for me but I’m very excited because the book we will be reading is written by Ann Voskamp. Ann is a writer who has inspired me and many others to celebrate God’s grace, His presence in our everyday lives through thankfulness.

If you want to join in the fun, click on the button above for all the details. You will find this invitation: “A whole community of women welcome you to the online Bloom (in) Courage Book Club, reading, discussing and growing with… One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are”

You can also watch the book trailer at the bottom of this post to get an idea of what the book is all about.

Have a great weekend everyone. Be blessed and be thankful!

All Things New – A Simple Recipe

Today was a first for me. The first time to make one of my favorite snacks – granola. And, surprise! It actually turned out great!

Now, I know this might not seem like a big deal to some. Many of you have probably already made the discovery. But me? Well, let’s just say I’m always a little late to the party.

I have been in search of a healthy granola recipe for a while now. In keeping with my desire to make better food choices, I figured the best way to make sure I’m not eating too much junk is to make the “de-junked” version in my own kitchen.

The following recipe is my adaptation of the many different recipes I came across during what I’m calling “The Great Granola Search of 2011”.

Healthy Homemade Granola
Dry Ingredients
2 1/4 Cups Rolled Oats
1/4 Cup Raw Almonds
1/4 Cup Pecans
1/4 Raw Sunflower Seeds
1/4 Cup Ground Flax Seed Meal
Wet Ingredients
1 Individual cup (I think that’s 1/4 C) of Unsweetened Applesauce
1/4 Cup of Agave Nectar
1 Tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Salt (very important)
Mix wet and dry ingredients thoroughly and spread out on cookie sheet (I lined mine with parchment paper). Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes making sure to turn every 10 minutes during cooking process.
You can add 1/2 Cup (or as much as you like) of dried fruit after granola is cooked and cooled, which I did of course. Keep in airtight container and refrigerate after granola has cooled completely.
There are few things in life that can provide instant gratification and be good for you at the same time. That’s why making an easy and healthy version of this scrumptious snack is my simple pleasure today.  

Project Simple Pleasures2

All Things New – Change Is Not Always Easy

Ah, technology. It’s great…when it works.

I have been holding off on a new blog post until I could reveal some changes I was hoping to make to the design of my blog.

I thought I would challenge myself to learn how to make these improvements on my own.

For days, I have been immersed in the mysterious world of blog design, researching and planning and poking around in parts heretofore unknown (at least to me).

So, imagine my frustration when I realized that all my hard work was not paying off – when it appeared that all my time and effort had been wasted. The poor husband had to endure a lot of whining!

But something happened today that lifted my spirit and gave me hope. In pouring through the blogger help forum, I became aware of the fact that there are tons of other folks experiencing the same issues I am. Misery loves company, eh?

In other words, I AM NOT GOING CRAZY!

I may not be as tech savvy as I want to be, but at least I’m not completely devoid of potential. I just need blogger to fix some problems and, before you know it, I will be able to showcase a new look for the new year.

Change may not always be easy, but knowing we have the opportunity and the potential for it gives us the hope we need to press on.

And “pressing on” is what we must do in every area of our lives. When we encounter obstacles (and we all do), we have to remember the hope we have in Christ and keep moving forward. Because, after all, any accomplishment begins with faith, with the belief that the impossible is possible.

I pray you are believing today, holding on to hope and finding the inspiring in whatever changes you may be facing. Be blessed!

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14