Jumpstart Your Dreams
When you stop and take stock of your life, are you living happily or just surviving? We are one stressed out nation. Stress is inevitable in American life, but recent world events have left many of us feeling more anxious and unsure than ever. With a deadly pandemic, a contentious election, racial strife, fires, floods and even murder hornets, it’s no surprise we haven’t been this frazzled in a decade according to The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America Survey.
While we have all this in the forefront of our minds, it would be understandable to put your dreams on hold or give up on them completely. That can be depressing in an already tense life right now. Having something else to think about and dream about can actually relieve pressure in your life. Whether it’s a hobby that brings you joy or something you’ve always wanted to do, it can be very helpful to give yourself something else to think about besides our current negative situations. Using the acrostic, “JUMP,” Here are 4 steps to help you.
J… JUST START.
Begin by buying a notebook to work from. Write down everything you need to consider to pursue your hobby or dream. Writing things down is powerful! I read in my Mindfulness Journal that research has shown that simply putting pen to paper can help people process and heal from trauma, reduce stress, and stimulate progress. That’s pretty powerful! So, just begin daydreaming and brainstorming how to bring your dream to fruition. The good news is that God will help you make your dreams come true. He promises in His Word to give you the desires of your heart. And he will direct you! James 1:5 tells us, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
U… UNDERSTAND YOU ARE VALUABLE
One reason we don’t pursue our dreams or step out of our comfort zone is because we don’t feel good about ourselves. We don’t tell anyone usually. We just bottle up feelings of inferiority that are simply not true. We are hard on ourselves. We compare ourselves. We dwell in a place of no self-love. This is a very, very important set of habits that must be broken if we are to live a fulfilling life. Have you ever considered asking God to help you love yourself more? We read in John 16:24, “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
Give yourself 5 compliments.
1. A compliment on your intelligence.
2. A compliment on your looks.
3. A compliment on your personality.
4. A compliment on your generosity.
5. A compliment on your kindness.
It’s highly difficult to make anything happen in your life when you are down on yourself. So let’s flip the switch on negative self talk.
M… MINDFULNESS IS KEY
Mindfulness is simply intentionally being in the moment. You notice all the subtle, little and big things happening around you. It’s taking time to experience nature even if its just walking around your yard for a few minutes. It’s allowing all 5 of your senses to be heightened. Mindfulness is not jumping to conclusions but pausing and observing the circumstance you are in. Mindfulness helps ignite what is truly important in life without a knee-jerk response as things happen. It’s calm and sensibility. We read in Psalm 16:11, "You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” When we slow down and practice mindfulness you will be less likely to engage in arguments, less judgmental of others, more peaceful and joyful and more content in your life.
P… PUT GOD FIRST
This is the full-proof way of having contentment and happily pursuing your dreams because God is in control of your life. In Matthew 6:33 we read, "But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This is a promise of God. When we worry we are not putting God first. Some of us are suffering and we may lose touch of our intimacy with God. There is good news coming! "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Sometimes we are just bone-tired. I’m there because Cancer and Chemo keep you eternally super-tired. But God sustains me and He will do the same for you! So, what is one thing you want to pursue? Putting God first is your secret weapon. One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 3:6, “In everything you do put God first and He will crown your efforts with success.” That scripture gives me hope. Hope is defined as: To cherish a desire with anticipation. As 2021 continues, I pray you will embrace optimism, practice self-care and mindfulness, and put God where He deserves to be in your life.
"Being confident of this, that he who began
a good work in you will carry it on to completion
until the day of Christ Jesus."
~ Philippians 1:6