by Cathy Baker
Accountability is difficult, yet essential in living what Jesus refers to as the abundant, full life.(John 10:10)
The A-word can pop up in various ways but today, let’s talk personal accountability.
You may ask what this has to do with making over our mornings. Consider this…
“The lack of accountability is likely the biggest culprit for so many of our failed projects, bad habits, poor routines, and unmet goals.”
Have you seen this truth come to fruition in your life? I’ve seen it more times than I’d like to admit, so how do we go about finding (and becoming) the right accountability partner?
- Find someone of the same sex that you trust implicitly. When their words hurt—which they will at times if you have the right accountability partner—you can rest in knowing and trusting the heart from which the words flowed. Having this type of trust is a must. (As an accountability partner, we must always ask God to check our motives before speaking.)
- Be clear about your goal(s) and specific steps you plan to take to reach those goals.
- Decide how you will communicate. Is shooting them a text enough or do you need a face-to-face commitment, or could you do both?
- Decide up front what you want them to do if you don’t contact them as specified. (I know, it’s hard to imagine, but…)
- Be totally honest with your partner. After all, God is already aware of whatever it is you’re thinking, feeling, or experiencing. (Psalm 139)
I’m passionate about this subject because I’ve experienced the power of transparency in my own life. Spiritually and emotionally, I have three accountability partners. Tough questions are posed and let’s just say my answers aren’t always what my partner hoped for, or expected. Physically, I attend a weekly Weight Watchers meeting. Knowing that a scale, two amazing WW coaches (Marlon and Hillary!), and a room full of fellow participants await me every Friday makes me weigh my food and exercise choices more carefully.
My mornings feel more orderly when I have accountability in place. Not perfect, mind you, but certainly more peaceful.
Is there a particular goal or habit you want to begin putting into practice? Find an accountability partner. Also be willing to become one. Hey, we all have goals, aspirations, and dreams! Let’s spur on one another in the power and grace of Jesus Christ!
How about you? Do you currently have an accountability partner? If so, how has this kind of accountability crushed your culprits in life? If not, are you considering finding one? (I’ll be praying for you!)
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
by Cathy Baker
Chances are, you’ve heard the tale of the rocks, pebbles, and sand being placed in a glass jar, right? If not, you can read it here, by Stephen R. Covey.
If you’re wondering what a short read on rocks and priorities has to do with making over our mornings, days, and moments, I think you would agree it has everything to do with it. When a boat sets sail, it doesn’t just drift along until it hits any old shore. Instead, it carefully charts a course and takes specific actions to aim in that direction and arrive at its planned destination.
Obviously, Stephen’s illustration can be viewed as a life lesson but since we’re focusing on making over our mornings this month, let’s consider it in light of our daily-do’s.
If you’re like me, you can spend your day spinning your heels (okay, Sketchers) running in a million directions and have very little to show for it at the end of the day. So how are we to move closer towards those things most important to us if we don’t make them a priority?
“We can’t always control external circumstances but we can determine what we prioritize.”
-Crystal Paine, Make Over Your Mornings
Crystal shares in her online course, Make Over Your Mornings, that when we’re setting up a morning routine we need to determine what needs to be prioritized right now. Obviously, this will look different for everyone (don’t compare!)
She suggests you ask yourself one of two questions to narrow the focus down to what your “big rocks” are for the day:
- “If I did NOTHING else today except ___________, my day would be a success.”
- “What’s the most important thing I must accomplish today?”
How would you fill in the above blank as you look at today’s calendar?
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33
by Cathy Baker
In many cases, hectic and disorganized mornings are a direct result of what is not happening the night before.
– Crystal Paine
Jessi Fearon, The Budget Mama, recently introduced her readers to Crystal Paine, the Money Saving Mom. (See a trend here?) At the time, Crystal offered a special on her online course, Make Over Your Mornings. As one who’s always itching to learn new ways to make the most of her time, I signed right up!
One of the first chapters addresses how to calm the morning chaos. Since the boys are grown and enjoying their own hectic mornings with wee ones, mine aren’t nearly as busy but…
The value found in redeeming our time is ageless.
As I began reading, I noticed how her words resonated with my daily book sitting nearby. With that, I began listing all those things which I’m already doing the night before in order to make my mornings a success:
- All utensils necessary to make my egg whites/grits (Weight Watcher friendly!) breakfast are washed. This prevents frustration and possible straying to a less healthier option. (10 minutes)
- I lay Brian’s breakfast things out in the morning so he need only make his way to the table. (He’s not a morning person. 🙂 (2 minutes)
- Every night, I spend a few minutes in my daily book listing out where I need to be the following day. I arrange my errands in order to save both time and gas. I can’t begin to tell you how this one step has redeemed a chunk of time over the years! (15 minutes)
- And yes, I know what I’m wearing the following day before my head hits the pillow. (5 minutes, although some might argue I need to spend a lot more time on this one.)
I space the above mini-tasks throughout the night instead of waiting till right before bedtime. And while the time requirements are the same regardless of when they’re done, there is a difference.
Having Brian fumble for his breakfast stuff could quickly become a frustrating feat. Having my daily list ready to go cuts through the chaos when I get an unexpected text or call, changing up my day at a moment’s notice. And the list goes on. A few tasks peppered into the evening certainly makes for a less chaotic morning, and who doesn’t want that?
How about you? Is there anything you do the night before to set your following morning up for success?
Robyn Black is the WINNER of the coloring book, Joy, by Valentina Harper via random.org. Thanks to everyone who entered. Stay tuned for another drawing coming up later this month.