Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: motivation

4 Ways to Stay Motivated in the New Year

If you’re reading this post, that means you have made it through the first week of 2020! And my hope and prayer is that the last week was full of hope and expectation of the year to come. 

To be honest, I’ve never been one to set a lot of goals in the New Year. Although I’m naturally a more positive, hopeful person, sometimes I feel let down by the countless stories of failed resolutions.

Maybe it’s the new decade or the prompting of the Holy Spirit for a fresh outpouring of hope, but this year I have set goals for my personal life, marriage, blog, spiritual life, and work. 

I find that it’s always easy to set goals. The real kicker is actually staying motivated. I’m not alone, right? 

Suddenly our workout plans turn into nights on the couch with the cat, and our old habits creep back in by February. 

It doesn’t have to end this way. We can stay motivated through 2020 by following 4 Biblical strategies that have stood the test of time. 

1. Seek God Above All

If you’re a Christian, then this seems like a no-brainer. But how often do we set goals and make resolutions without even praying about them? 

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him (Lamentations 3:25 NIV)

The Lord promises His goodness when we seek Him. I believe that as daughters of God, our first and main goal in life is to devote ourselves to Jesus. And every other goal should play a supporting role to this purpose. 

The best goal you can ever set is to build intimacy with Jesus. When we do this, His Lordship will guide our lives in the right direction for His Kingdom. 

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4 Ways to Stay Motivated in the New Year

2. Be an Early Bird 

I’m not a morning person when I first wake up. I lay there for a few minutes listing all the reasons why I must get out of bed. The struggle is real! 

But despite this, I’ve actually found that I’m most productive during the morning hours. 

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (Psalm 5:3 NIV)

Rising early is a Biblical discipline that we should still practice today. Starting our day with prayer and reading the Word will put us in the right mindset to live out our calling in Christ. 

Another benefit to completing everyday work early is that if you get the hard tasks out of the way first, then you feel accomplished and ready to take on the rest of your day! 

3. Write it Down

Vision boards are a huge trend right now, and for good reason. When we write out–or display–our goals, then it excites and reminds us of what we originally set out to accomplish. 

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (Proverbs 29:18 KJV

The Bible shows us how a lack of vision for our future only leads to destruction. Part of sustaining a God-centered vision includes writing out our goals.

The best way to stay motivated when writing goals is to make sure you write them in a place you can easily see them. For me, that’s my planner. 

You could also hang your goals above your desk, on the fridge, or another easy to see spot. When your goals are right in front of you, it provides the catalyst for motivation. 

4. Celebrate the Little Steps 

It’s almost impossible to stay motivated when we feel overwhelmed by our goals. That’s why it’s important to break them down into baby steps. 

For example, I want to dedicate more time to writing. Taking small steps like blocking off certain times of the day for writing, or reading inspirational books every month, keep this goal manageable.

We must also devote our efforts in accomplishing goals to please our Savior. This means taking every step with Christ in our minds and gratitude in our hearts. 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17 NIV)

None of us are perfect, but thankfully we have Christ’s perfection in us. Some goals will change, while others may fail. But it’s important to celebrate every win–big or small.

After all, every glory belongs to God. We find our greatest joy when pleasing the heart of Jesus is our greatest motivation

Thanks for reading! Have you set any goals for the New Year? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

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3 Lessons Karate Taught Me About Jesus

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of watching Owen, my fiance, practice karate. He’s a black belt, which absolutely blows me away. His passion for martial arts and learning new things is so inspiring, and I felt honored to be able to watch him in his element.

Although some people may consider me graceful, athleticism is not something the Lord has gifted me in. So I was in awe watching Owen and his friends as they showed off their skills.

There are several lessons I’ve learned from watching just that one hour of practice. There were moments when the teacher (called a sensei) corrected his students or gave them some karate wisdom. However, I found that most of this wisdom reflected Godly principles on humility, perseverance, and focus.

Overcoming Failure With Humility

Even though Owen is a black belt, there were a few instances when he messed up a kick or got hit while sparring. Even the sensei messed up at times! It didn’t surprise me that these awesome people failed, but rather, how gracefully they handled each failure.

Each student was humble enough to acknowledge his mistake and accept correction. They were humble and open to receiving wisdom.

This is the posture we need to have towards God. None of us are perfect, but when we mess up or sin, we must be willing to humbly repent and receive forgiveness and instruction in order to live righteously.

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:9-10 NIV)

When we take the posture of humility like David from the Bible, God will honor us and lift us up into victory.

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12 NIV)

Pressing on Through Trials

Owen helped his sensei teach a newer student different kinds of kicks, and although it was harder for the student to grasp, he never gave up trying.

Perseverance is one of the core values that makes faith possible. The things we want to achieve often take more time and effort than expected. The things we want God to do often take longer than we want them to.

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3 Lessons Karate Taught Me About Jesus

However, when we learn to persevere, we find that it builds our character and strengthens our faith. If life came easily and we got everything we wanted immediately, then there would be no reason to have faith or hope. But there is beauty in pressing on toward the things we are hopeful for.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NIV)

A Karate Focus  

One thing that surprised me as I was watching Owen’s karate practice was the way the instructor often told the newer student to stop overthinking.

When the student was sparring, he was trying so hard to predict his opponent’s next move that he failed to recognize the opportunities for attack right in front of him.

This is so common in my faith walk, and I know I’m not alone. Often times I get so worried or caught up in my own thoughts that I lose sight of Jesus.

Life is exciting, challenging, and surprising. There are so many distractions the enemy hurls at us to take our focus away from God and fill us with anxiety and temptation instead.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NIV)

When we are so focused on trying to figure out our next move and how to win at this life, we open up a target for the devil to attack. The only way to win this spiritual battle is to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. He is sovereign and is the only one who will never fail us.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be able to watch my future husband practice such an incredible sport. It’s amazing how, if we have our hearts turned toward the Lord, we can find Godly wisdom in everything around us. When our focus is on the only One who truly matters, it changes our perspective on everything.  


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

(Photography by Jason Briscoe and Luke Stackpoole)

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