Time is not the enemy

Take control of your calendar

Too busy? Time is flying by? Where did the day go? Do you feel like time controls you and you have no idea what is going on each day?

Stop seeing time as an outside enemy something you have no control over. It is time to take control of your time and use it to your advantage

Time can be looked at in the same way as a financial budget. Each week you get a certain amount of a resource—money in a financial budget, and hours in a time budget. Work out your essential time items like work, school, commuting, sleeping, and kids.

Then take a critical look at how you spend the rest of your hours each week. Where your time is going?

  • Are you spending enough time sleeping? Or too much?
  • Are you spending too much time watching TV or on social media?
  • Are you spending enough time with your family?
  • Are you working too many hours?
  • Do you spend too much time reading and responding to email?
  • Can you work smarter and more efficiently in your work and at home?
  • Have you scheduled in time to do things just because they are fun, because you enjoy them, because they challenge you, or simply because they make you happy?

Take a critical look at your time budget. Where can you make some changes? What can you cut back? How can you share the workload more to free up some time?


Try a Time-Budget Analysis

Download my Time-Budget Analysis form. Fill in your activities over a week and then add up the hours you spend working, travelling, cleaning, exercising, with family, hobbies, socialising etc. Then consider this against your ideal ratios. What can you change?

For more tips and ideas check out my latest book ‘I would love to, but..’ This book examines 10 common excuses including I’m too busy, that prevent us from doing the things we want to do. Check it out on my website.

http://www.stacimclean.co.nz

From Hopeless to Happy

I was hooked on booze from the moment I had my first beer at 14.   I loved it immediately. I was never a ‘social’ drinker, I was a binge drinker, once I started, I could not stop myself.   The party girl who loved a good time.  I drunk to feel happy, to relax, to feel special, to block out emotional pain and to avoid facing reality. 

In the last couple of years leading up to finally giving up alcohol, my life was spiralling out of control.  My mother died after a short illness; her death affected me greatly, so I drunk more to avoid dealing with my grief.  

From the outside I looked like I was coping but inside I was consumed with pain and loathing.  I would drink to have a fun night and to forget, then wake up the next morning feeling sick and filled with regret and shame.   Every night out drinking ended up in a major drama and my relationships with my husband, family and friends were being significantly damaged by my behaviour when drinking.   The party girl was not fun anymore, she was a sloppy, crying and angry mess.

Late one night I was lying on the bathroom floor alone sobbing, I was so sad and in so much emotional pain it felt like my heart was literally breaking apart.  The thought of continuing to live like this was unbearable to consider.  I knew that I could not continue to do this anymore.  The only option I thought I had was suicide.  Amid the hopelessness and suffering I cried out a desperate prayer.  That small croaked prayer caused a shift in me, there was no angel choir or massive religious experience, but I felt a whisper of hope and a glimpse of a possible different future.  I got up off that floor and decided to stopped drinking immediately. 

I made a serious decision that night that I was not going to drink again.  I did not know how I was going to achieve this but making the decision awakened a drive and motivation in me which I had not experienced before.   Soon after that evening I was invited to church and shortly after I became a Christian.  My new faith in God gave me the courage to change and the church gave me a solid support network of people who wanted me to succeed and supported me.  

I learnt that I am stronger than I thought I was.  When I was drinking, I was out of control, I felt powerless, constantly ashamed of myself and hated myself.  Now I have hope, forgiveness, and a future.  

My life is vastly different now.  I have a happy marriage, two wonderful boys and many amazing friends.  My life is exciting and interesting.  I love waking up on a Saturday morning with a clear head and plans for the day, no more wasted weekends.

I have been sober now for nearly 22 years and I am grateful to God for every day I get to live with hope, freedom, and happiness. 

Want to read more about my story, check out my book ‘Soaring out of the darkness’ on www.stacimclean.co.nz

Freedom

I was saved but I was not free for many years after I became a Christian. I was unhappy, joyless and filled with shame. I had allowed myself to still be held captive by my guilt, my past, fear and unforgiveness.

Jesus came to free us from death, sin and anything that enslaves us, yet often we walk straight back into the clutches of oppression and captivity. This is NOT God’s plan for us.

Freedom is to be valued, treasured and fought for. Do not let yourself be held captive, but protect your freedom and use it wisely.


So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

Bold

The dictionary defines BOLD as ‘showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous’. I love that.

I chose this photo for the word BOLD because it showed bright, strong colours. These are colours that want to be seen and not faded into the background. To be bold we also need to be willing to stand up and be seen, be confident in our beliefs and be highly visible. That can be scary and feel risky. It is easier to stay in the background and not draw attention, but being pastel instead of bold limits our effectiveness and our impact.

Be BOLD, be in full colour, be courageous.

The righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1

Beauty

Beauty, there are so many ideas about what makes something beautiful, such as beauty is the eye of the beholder, beauty is self-confidence, beauty comes from the heart, beauty is a face covered in makeup, beauty is a natural face, beauty is our imperfections, beauty is a certain body shape, beauty is a glow.

No wonder some many of us struggle to feel beautiful. Beauty by human definition is ever changing and is heavily reliant on trends so completely unreliable. It is a socially constructed ideal that does not exist. Something that is considered beautiful today might not be next year, so do not peg your feelings about your own beauty on that.

Instead real beauty, is in all of creation because it is the reflection of the creator. Beauty is pleasing and delights. We are all beautiful, because God created us and He delights in us and loves us. God created nature, so spectacular, stunning and beautiful, much more than necessary because it delights and gives joy and that same creator made you and me, beautiful in his sight and beloved.

Rethink your idea of beauty and instead see yourself as the beauty God sees you to be.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27

Peace

Peace is not just the absence of conflict or strife on the world stage or in our individual lives.
The biblical concept of peace goes another step further, peace is a state of security, calmness, completeness or wellbeing that is not reliant on our current circumstances but comes from knowing and trusting God.

The peace promised to us, is not a life just getting by, but a life that is overflowing with hope and joy even in times of struggles, a peace ‘which transcends all understanding’ Philippians 4:7.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Reach

Reach or stretch out an arm in order to grasp something new.


Reaching for something that is a little bit out of our current experience requires courage and imagination. When we reach we are often reaching for the unknown based on a desire for more.  If you don’t reach, you will not grow or find new opportunities.  You will never know what could be without reaching.

Waiting for your dream to fall into your lap just where you are sitting is futile.  God wants us to reach, to stretch our arms out in faith and in trust in his plan and his purposes. ‘You will never reach your true potential living life in comfort and routine’. Kylie Francis

Courage

Courage is not the absence of fear but taking action despite your fear. To be courageous is to be willing to deal with the dangerous, the difficult and the unpleasant things in life. 

I love the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. He was afraid of everything, because of his fears he thought he needed the Wizard to give him ‘Courage’, yet when it came to protecting his friends he was willing to pounce into danger even though he was terrified, he had the courage all along.

Courage stands up for the people we care about and for our values and what we believe. ‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ Nelson Mandela