I recently embarked on a trip to Colorado where I was physically and mentally challenged to backpack through mountains for 5 days. This trip included summiting a mountain with 40 lbs on my back and a plague of mosquitos doing everything they could to get me to quit. One of the mottos was “Be where your boots are!”. I took this motto home with me to change some habits that really kept me from accomplishing things I wanted to. Whether it was as simple as keeping the house clean, cooking for my family or as major as spending quality time with my girls and husband. I found that I think a lot about what the future holds and what I desire as opposed to thinking about how I am going to get there. My thoughts are a major distraction along with another significant component in my life that steals my time… MY PHONE! I mean honestly, my phone is my biggest enemy. It can be good for a lot of things but without moderation or the discipline to put it down when necessary, it can become a major agent of disconnection.
So what did I learn from my trip? I learned that it is important to believe in yourself. I learned that for the longest time I didn’t and I subconsciously chose different things that kept me distracted (i.e. lack of belief in myself effected my goals, relational responsibilities with my children, homeschooling, taking care of home, cooking). I mean there were so many things. When I came back my mindset about myself and my capabilities had changed. The thing that remained was the battle with my phone. I realized that I would not just be distracted, but I would also find myself reacting to things with a short fuse. If my focus, on my phone, was disrupted my response was irrational and unhealthy, as if my phone was more important than what was going on around me. There is a reason for that and I may write about the effects the phone has on our minds and emotions as a piggyback of this post. For now, let’s stay focused on the fact that I realized what was happening and I made the decision to change my relationship with my phone. How did I do that? Keep reading to find out.
STEPS TO RECONNECT
Step 1: BRAIN DUMP
This practice is common but one I never committed to. When I returned from my trip, I found my thoughts filled with ideas and lists of things to do. I decided to try it and my mind was clear. As I began to accomplish the things I had written down little by little, I not only had a clear mind to focus but I could physically see things getting done as I marked them off of my list. This made me WAY more productive in my day to day responsibilities.
Step 2: BE PRESENT NOW!
Focusing on where you are in the moment, what you need to do in that moment, and getting it done without becoming distracted by all the other little things you see or know are coming, will help you stay focused and accomplish your goals in the present tense. Being present is also a gift. You get to really experience the moment you are in and give your undivided attention to something good! Whether it be quality time with your family, cleaning, writing, working, cooking, or anything else that is necessary in your life. Focusing on the present and what is in front of you without worrying about the future, or what is next, will truly allow you to enjoy life that much more.
Step 3: LIMIT SCREEN TIME
Start limiting how often you use your phone and set time limits for scrolling through social media or watching TV. In my case I needed to limit my cell phone usage. When I got back from my trip, I started going to bed early and reading right before bed instead of trolling through my phone. It allowed me to wake up early, start my day off well and accomplish my goals for the day. I noticed a lot more “Wins” in my days than before. Recently I got off track by falling back into old habits; and honestly, when you see how change helps you evolve and you become a better version of yourself, the old you isn’t all that appealing anymore. You’re more inclined to continue implementing the steps you used to change to maintain the joy and fulfillment that change has brought to your life.
Changing Habits can be tough, especially if you are relying on yourself to hold “you” accountable. However, if I can do it then so can you! These are just practical tips to help you stay focused on what’s important in your life. I’ve listed some scriptures below that you can meditate on and personalize to help you renew your mind in the areas that are holding you back and keeping you distracted from what’s really important your life!
“Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.”
Father, thank you for your guidance in my life. I give you my desires and ask for wisdom to help me commit my ways to you. I trust that you have a plan for my life and that in your time, those plans will come to pass. Thank you for leading me and keeping me as I work to get rid of my old habits and embrace ones that will help me grow in every area of my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
Father, thank you for your word and the truth that comes from it. I ask that you create a clean heart in me, Lord. Give me an immovable spirit. One that fully trusts in who you are and in who you say that I am. Help me focus and remain confident that I can do all things with you by my side. In Jesus Name, Amen.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Lord, I thank you that as I grow in you, the desires you have for me become the desires I have for myself. I ask you now that you reveal what is in my heart that is keeping me from being able to find joy and fulfillment in my life. Show me the areas that don’t look like you and help me renew my mind so that the things and people that are most important to me will know it through my actions and service to them. In Jesus Name, Amen.