There are all sorts of advice on how to survive and thrive in the year 2020. There are schedules for this, that and the third, encouragement to rest more, but in the same breath an overwhelming push to produce more. And as much as I want to have it all together, there have been days that I’ve been confused and conflicted about what to do. There are easier days, challenging days, and days filled with unexpected outcomes. I’m pretty sure many of you could relate to this.
On the brighter side, I’m learning a lot of new lessons that I believe will help me thrive for many years to come. To me at this point, if you can survive the challenges you faced in 2020, then you can survive anything life has to offer. Today I’m sharing 5 lessons that I’ve been learning and putting into practice. They have helped me continue to survive and thrive this year. I hope and pray that you’ll find one or more of these lessons, helpful for you too.
Lesson 1: Trial and Error Can Be Good
With so many changes during the Pandemic this year and life in general, it can feel like we’re living one big trial and error. One thing I’ve learned is that there is beauty in trial and error. It’s not always a bad thing, and therefore isn’t something to be ashamed of either. Trial and error can bring:
- A new idea and clarity of what to do or try the next time.
- A blessing in disguise for what did or didn’t work out.
- A deeper revelation into the bigger picture.
- Insight on what you need to work on within yourself.
So don’t beat yourself up if a goal you set, a new routine, or even a new venture you attempt doesn’t work out as expected. Take notes, wipe your tears if you have any, get back up, and go back to the drawing board.
Lesson 2: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect
Being a stay at home mompreneur has been the most challenging for me this year. Loads of trial and error there. However, the past few days I’m leaning back on the advice we received here on the blog two years ago from a dear family friend, Doris Padro Allen, who passed away recently.
“As a working mom, time management is especially crucial to learn. It takes a village to handle all tasks that you must perform. You do not need to be Super Woman, and it’s OK to get help. On the other hand, do not be so rigid trying to always stick to schedules that you cannot be flexible. With children, you need to be flexible. Things do not always occur as planned. Do not drive yourself crazy, be flexible, you cannot control all the variables in your life. Please do not think you have to be perfect.” Grandma Knows Best: Wisdom for Life by Doris Padro Allen.
This advice is so relevant to the way life is right now, and a timeless piece of wisdom that has really made me reconsider some things. Especially that last part, “Do not drive yourself crazy, be flexible, you cannot control all the variables in your life. Please do not think you have to be perfect.”
Y’all grace yourself in all things. Do your best, but grace yourself.
Lesson 3: Strive to be Intentional, not Perfect
My oldest son asked me this weekend if he was perfect. I said, “No – no one is perfect, only God.” I don’t know if the “right” thing to do was to build up his ego – but I would rather be honest with him, save him the heartache of striving for perfection, and help him practice this next thing I’ve come to learn.
Perhaps you feel like you have to be perfect and the only way to be successful in your parenting, marriage, job, business, or whatever, starts with being perfect.
What I’ve come to learn in the past few weeks is that I don’t need to strive for perfection – I need to strive towards being intentional.
As I’m typing this I’m having another revelation. Although God is the only being that is perfect, He is also VERY intentional. He is an intentional God. Every single thing He does, says, and creates is on purpose, for a purpose.
I need to be more intentional with what I do each day, how I spend my time, and what I allow within my personal space and environment. I also need to work on my self-discipline. I could have all the best schedules, tips, and advice in the world. But if I don’t have the discipline to carry them out, then they are useless. I even need to continue with daily gratitude. Pay attention to the blessings and lessons that God is gifting you within this season. When the worst of the worst happens – what can you find to still be grateful for. Hold on to that gratitude as a seed and root for peace of mind.
Lesson 4: Invest in Soul Care and Honor the Sabbath
You are no good to your loved ones, your work, your business, and even God if you are no good to yourself. Not even God? Nope, not even God.
You cannot carry out your purpose and be a blessing to others if you do not take the time to pour into yourself. Be intentional to stop long enough to spend time with God in the Bible, through prayer, and meditation. It is in those moments of soul-care that you hear and receive from Him. That is where you gain the extra boost of strength, energy, and clarity you need to carry throughout the day.
Four weeks ago I started to honor the Sabbath and it has been a gamechanger! I chose Sunday as my Sabbath and now call it Unplug Sunday’s. It’s evolving as far as what I do on that day. But in general, my goal is simple – unplug from social media, allow myself to rest, and don’t do any work-related activities. I loved the way my friend Keiona Haggins explained it to me recently.
“To me, the Sabbath is kind of like tithes and offering. God gives us the Sabbath as a God-ordained off day to just relax, spend time with family, refuel, and recharge. So often, I know for me, it was like okay, I got too much to do to take a whole day off, I at least need to do something. But I started to realize whenever I took that day of rest, I was able to be more charged, more focused, and more fueled. It’s like the same with tithes and offering, you give the 10% so the 90% can be blessed and stretched.” – Keiona Haggins
Give God the 10% of your tithe, your day, your week, so that he can maximize the 90%.
Lesson 5: Positively Challenge Yourself Daily
Whatever is going on internally will affect your external world. Internal change and mindset shifts don’t usually happen overnight. Challenge your thoughts and routines, one day at a time. Below are a few more important reminders to help reframe your thinking, readjust your perspective, and positively challenge the way you manage your day-to-day life.
- You can do a lot of things, but you can’t do everything at the same time. Get real, and stop over-tasking yourself. Ask for help with what you need. Asking for help is not a form of weakness – it’s strength.
- Get your priorities in order – God, self, spouse, children/family, work, etc.
- Take care of your health – mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
- Offer more love, patience, and grace to yourself.
- Honor your kids’ cues to take breaks in your day and enjoy your kids.
- Pay attention to and enjoy your spouses’ existence. Make room for fun and relaxation.
- Stop comparing your life to others – you don’t always know what’s real, imagined, or made up.
- Allow yourself to be, grow, and not rush the process of difficult seasons. This is where we grow the most.
- Reevaluate and redefine what success means to you.
- Don’t rush success – the journey will reveal important lessons, skills, and build the character you need in order to sustain when success comes.
- Pour back into yourself, as much as you pour out to others. This is the most selfless thing you can do for your future and those you love.
If you have any tips or examples of what you do to brighten your day, make it go smoother, or even just taking care of yourself so that you can show up for others, please share them in the comments below or with me on social media. Share this blog post on Facebook, pin on Pinterest, or even screenshot, share and tag us on Instagram – there’s someone else out there who needs this encouragement. Be blessed!