Motivation Monday: Tell a true story.

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Mornings and Mondays – fresh starts – are key to setting the tone for the rest of the day or week. Let’s do our best to start with a burst that will keep us going.

Take your situation and change the story. You don't have to sit and let life lead you. Make it yours and be sure to get where you want to go..

Keeping Productivity in Perspective

Two weeks ago my week did not at all go as I had planned. It was a break week in our homeschool routine, so I had all sorts of things I wanted to get done around the house and online. Plus, it was the week before Easter, so I also had to prepare our family celebrations, as well.

I started out strong: a cleaned my desk, did a bunch of laundry, tidied up school things, did a bit of planning for next school year, and organized the upper kitchen cabinets. I also budgeted a savings account to finally get those countertops remade, I will cut my plastic and save some money.

But, Wednesday afternoon, I started feeling off. When I woke up Thursday morning, I had a fever and was definitely sick. Besides congestion, I also had a raging headache that Tylenol wouldn’t touch.

So all those other items on the to-do list? Not going to happen.

Easter? Pretty much a wash. And that on a year where one of my yearly goals was “Celebrate holidays better and establish more traditions.” Hopefully staying home sick from church on Easter Sunday won’t become a tradition.

Take your situation and change the story. You don't have to sit and let life lead you. Make it yours and be sure to get where you want to go.
It was very tempting, then, to feel sorry for myself, to feel restless because my plans weren’t going to happen, to get frustrated with people making more work when I wasn’t doing any. At one point I worked myself up so much thinking about all my disappointments with the week that I was forced to stop and say, “Really? Is it really that big of a deal?” No.

I was telling myself a story in my own head, and it was a frustrating, maddening story full of self-pity. Was it a true story? No, it was a selfish story. We need to realize when we are telling ourselves a story that is simply not true and stop it. It takes a lot of discipline and will power, but it is the key to eliminating so much frustration and anger in our lives. You know how you can tell whether or not a story is a true story? By its fruit. What response is it encouraging? Self-pity? Anger? Guilt?

Change Your Story

Take your situation and change the story. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for what is good – taking the time to seek out what is good is better than enumerating to yourself all that is wrong. A prayer of thanksgiving is God’s recommended tactic for improving our attitude (see Colossians 3:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 5:18, and Philippians 4:6-7)

So, I made myself stop and change the story of the week.

<img class=”alignnone size-medium wp-image-224″ src=”http://www.simplifiedorganization.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/start-strong-week-300×111.jpg” alt=”Take your situation and change the story. You don’t have to sit and let life lead you. Make it yours and be sure to get where you want to go.” width=”400″ align=””center” />

Because I did not give in to procrastination, I did get my office area cleaned up, which had been bothering me for weeks. While listening to a great audio lecture, I did reorganize my kitchen upper cabinets, so now I don’t have to worry about avalanches when I make dinner. If I hadn’t gotten sick, I would have been all go-go-go all week, trying to squeeze in as much as possible and would have gone into the last school term worn out instead of rejuvenated. I was forced to rest and have time to be still and relax and even nap. Because I was sick, I had the time to read two novels that I wouldn’t have gotten to. I had slow, lazy snuggle time with my 18-month-old. The mess that seemed to be growing rapidly while I rested actually did not take that long to recover from once I was better. And you know what? Easter still happened even without my efforts. There were no hot cross buns and no ham, but there were Easter baskets and an egg hunt, Easter music blared over the speakers, and pleasant times meandering around outside in the fresh spring sunshine. Most importantly, Christ arose and accomplished the work that really matters: eternal salvation.

There are two ways to tell the story of that week. The difference in their effect on my attitude is huge.

Let us watch the interpretive story playing in our heads this week, and make sure it is aligned with gratitude rather than selfishness.

Take your situation and change the story. You don't have to sit and let life lead you. Make it yours and be sure to get where you want to go..
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