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This is part 3 of a 4 part series on Getting Started. Missed the previous posts? You can check out part 1 here and part 2 here!
This month’s theme is Getting Started and it is all about maximizing your potential before you can even see your potential. There are 3 questions we should ask ourselves when we have goals that we want to develop, and hobbies that we want to achieve but have been feeling like we’ve been making slow progress.
Question 1 - How long does it take you to get ready?
The first question to ask yourself is, “How long does it take you to get ready?”
This is something God had asked me when I was planning my time out to make room to work towards the dream God has placed on my heart. I started making a schedule for this, a calendar for that. You know just busy work instead of actually doing the dream itself. Then one day I was in the middle of yet another planning session when God said to me, “I need you to stop. Making more calendars is not the issue. The issue is you are wasting time getting ready, when you need to just get started.”
I’ll admit needing 6 schedules and 3 planners may have been just a tad bit excessive and if I’m being honest, that was procrastination at its finest. (With maybe a little fear sprinkled in there too 😅).
It made me think back to when I was a young kid and I would go on vacations with my family. The morning that we were leaving, would be the fastest I had ever gotten ready. You would actually find me sitting on the couch in the living room waiting for my parents to finish getting ready with all this time left over to myself.
Getting up early for school however? Being late to the bus stop was a daily occurrence.
(Me as a kid…can anyone else relate?)
That’s when God revealed to me this life changing revelation about procrastination and how to stop wasting so much time. Planning is necessary but it’s important not to get stuck there. This was a revelation that has been a game changer for me when it comes to going after my God-like dreams. Here it is:
It’s not about how fast you progress but how long you take to get ready that makes a difference.
That simple statement has been so reassuring for me. It takes the pressure off having to set deadlines for how far along I think I should be by now and also holds me accountable to not staying stuck behind the security and false control that “getting ready” gives me.
What’s keeping you stuck in the “getting ready stage” and causing you to waste time? Is it fear? Insecurity? Change? Here’s a quick tip for you that I like to use with my clients. Whatever it is that’s keeping you stuck, I want you to write it down on a piece of paper and declare “God I commit this to you, give me the faith to get started instead.” Then throw it away and move on. Every time you feel yourself getting stuck repeat this little activity!
Question 2 - What kind of perspective are you looking at your goals with?
The second question to ask yourself is, “what kind of perspective are you looking at your goals with?”
There’s a scripture in Matthew 18 that I’m going to paraphrase, where it says unless you turn away from your sins and become like little children, you’ll never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.
This scripture is actually really profound because it tells us the kind of perspective we need to have for the Ephesians 3:20 goals, dreams, and visions that we want for our lives.
I once heard a pastor say, “What five year olds lack in strength they make up for in endurance” (and I’m sure anyone who has been around kids can attest to that!).
That’s the kind of perspective we need to have. Are you a five year old ready to begin something new, or are you a 30 year old comfortable with complacency because well “this is just the routine” you’ve developed?
I’m just using age as an example. I know there are some 5 years olds who will lose their cool if their routines are messed up, and some 30 year olds who don’t believe in routines at all. My point is that in the chapter, Jesus is using children as a way to teach the disciples how to humble themselves.
“What five year olds lack in strength they make up for in endurance”
– Steven Furtick
Children understand two things best. One, how to use their imagination to create big dreams, and two, the need of relying on others to help their dreams come true. We too, need to be like kids when it comes to our faith. To learn to dream big, and to rely on our faith in God as we can trust him to accomplish our big dreams through us.
What’s the fastest way to get humbled? Talk to a toddler. (I’m joking…somewhat). Kids can be brutally honest but they also have a way of simplifying our fears and the unnecessary things that we make big enough to hold us back. Here’s a quick tip for you, if you need an easy way to get a fresh perspective on your big dreams talk to someone else you trust about it (even if it happens to be the really honest toddler in your life).
Question 3 - What does your room look like?
The third question is, “what does your room look like?”
Believe it or not a messy workspace can impede your progress. What most people fail to realize is all of the work done in achieving your goals is not necessarily in developing the idea or goal, it’s done in developing the groundwork for your idea or goal to sit on.
Suggested post: “What To Do When God Says Stop”
Getting organized is the first step in getting started. I know. We just said a lot about how planning and preparing causes us to waste time. But planning and organizing are two different things. One has an end, and the other can seemingly go on forever. (Plus if you’re like me, you probably want to at least neatly stack your 25 planners instead of leaving them scattered on your desk 😆).
What often keeps us stuck in the endlessly preparing for our goals phase is a lack of proper structure. The same way your room is messy, your mind can be messy too. Constantly jumping from one thing to the next (without ever really finishing anything you start) will just leave you confused and discouraged.
It’s like opening a new bag of chips every time you want a snack (because we can’t be ready to get started if we’re hungry right?), but you keep leaving all of the half empty bags of chips from before on your table. Eventually you won’t have any room on your table to do anything else. Thus forcing you to either scrap all of those half eaten bags of chips or try to figure out how you’re going to pick one at time to finish.
If your structure for getting things done is to stop halfway when something else catches your attention, it will make it really hard to see progress.
Ask God to reveal to you what distractions you are allowing in your life and in your mind that are stopping you from achieving the progress that you should have achieved by now.
Remember to give yourself grace! God is the redeemer of time. Regardless of how much time you felt you wasted getting ready, God can still make it happen for you.
Let God reveal to you the impossibilities he wants to make happen in your life if you stop spending time getting ready, and spend more time getting started with him.
Next week we’re going to talk about how to not let fear and inadequacy stop us from getting started. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to stay connected because you don’t want to miss it!
Ready to get started?
If you want someone to help you move past being stuck and procrastinating to actually seeing your God like goals come to pass then 1 on 1 coaching is for you! You can begin transforming your faith and changing your life today!