Here are five shifts you can make starting today to get on the path to your purpose and create a team of purposeful people to walk with you.

#1.  PUT IT ON PAPER. – Get your goals out of your head and out into the world where you can see them.  Do this, and you’ll be 80% more likely to achieve those goals.  Think about five areas in your life – faith, health/wellness, relationships, home, and community.  Get in a quiet place for one hour with a pencil and a piece of blank paper – a bound journal is even better.  Answer this question for each of those five areas of your life:  “What is the most meaningful accomplishment I want to achieve in this area?”  You’ll need a pencil because you will write and rewrite your goals as you move from your immediate thoughts to your deepest thoughts, from considering the expectations of others to what is most meaningful to you, from safe easy goals to stretch goals that push you toward the life you really desire.  pencil and journal

#2. SEE YOURSELF DOING IT. – Imagine what your life would be like if you actually got IT done, and get committed to that vision.  Remember though, it’s not just about you.  Think about the five areas of your life you listed in Shift #1 above. What would be different and better in those areas of your life if you actually accomplished the goals that are meaningful to you?  Who would and wouldn’t be with you?  Where would you be physically?  How would you be operating in the world? What would be your emotions and attitudes?  What skills, abilities and results would you have because you got “IT” done?

Write all of this down in your own way.  Make it colorful.  Make it animated.  It’s your vision, so make it as bright as you desire.  Sit for a while and think about how much time, energy, and focus you are willing to invest to live in that bright vision for your life.  Make an internal commitment to turn that vision into board

#3.  TIME IT. – Set three deadlines for three action steps – 7 days, 14 days, and 21 days.  ANY action will do.  Just TAKE ACTION!  Your actions should fall into two key categories – actions you WILL take, and actions you WON’T take.  In order for you to make new and different progress toward your purpose, there are things you have to stop doing as well as things you have to start doing.  For each of the goals you wrote down in Shift #1 above, make two columns on a sheet of new blank paper. Entitle the columns “WILL DO” and “WON’T DO.”  Thoughts will come to you in no particular order. Don’t edit your thoughts based on what you think is achievable or possible.  Just write down whatever comes to mind.  Go back and circle the single most meaningful action in either column for each goal area.  Put a star next to the top three action steps around which you have the most energy, and give yourself a deadline by which you will start taking those actions – in 7 days, 14 days, and 21 days.  Put those deadlines in your calendar and get started!calendar

#4.  DON’T DO IT ALONE.– Even if your goals and dreams are the result of a solo act and concocted solely in your own head, you will dramatically increase your probability of success by building a supportive team.  Be careful to pick the right folks for the right roles. Everyone cannot see your vision.  Everyone is not meant to walk with you along your path to purpose.  Everyone will not approve of what you have to do to achieve your goals.  Everyone will not celebrate with you when you’ve reached a major milestone.  EXPECT IT…and move forward any way.  That said, you can not and should not work alone.  You need to share the right information with the right people at the right time on your path to purpose. 

Write down a list of “Key Stakeholders” who depend on you in some substantial way.  These are people who you want on your team – meaning you want and need to enroll them in what you are doing and the vision you have whether or not they play an active role in getting your “IT” done (e.g., spouse, dependent children, supporting parents).  Plan your “enrollment” conversations for times and settings where they are most likely to hear you with a receptive, positive spirit.  Next, think about the action steps you have the ability and resources to accomplish on your own in pursuit of your goals – actions you are uniquely positioned to take.  Then, make a list of people and organizations that could be better positioned to support your goals in the areas where you have gaps or needs.  Make a plan to present those people and organizations with the opportunity to be a part of making your dreams a reality.  The right doors will open without your having to push hard.  Be ready for the blessings – blessings in the forms of “yes” and “no” from those people and organizations.

aa family with laptop


#5.  RIDE IT OUT. – Your path will rarely be straight.  Your path won’t always be easy.  Your path will not be crowded because it’s your unique path.  But, everything you experience on your path WILL be WORTH IT.  Get ready to ride!

Have you ever played with an Etch-a-sketch game?  When you turn the two drawing knobs for the first time, you end up with a bunch of scribbles on the screen going in every possible direction.  Eventually, however, you figure out how to pace yourself and control the drawing knobs to create the picture you desire – even if you have to shake and erase the messed up sketches and start over quite a few times.  Walking your path to purpose can be just like that – full of twists and turns, and often feeling out of control.

DON’T QUIT.  When God begins a good work in you, He is faithful to see you through until that work is accomplished.  Ride it out:)roller coaster


to learn more about the R.E.S.T. for Women Path to Purpose Program.

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