21 June 2013

"The Art of the Follow Through" {Guest Post by Alana of Sparrow + Grace}


{This picture has nothing to do with the post other than: not following through on your laundry, gets you this... a couch covered in clean, yet-to-be-folded clothes. Just keeping it real, folks...}
Hello, Joyful Life readers {a.k.a. my new friends...}! I'm honored that Hannah agreed to my crazy idea to swap blogs for the day. In case you've never heard about this type of thing, here's how it works: 
We each wrote a post and I posted her's on my blog, while she posted mine here. Ideally, you'll read my post here and then click on over to my blog, Sparrow + Grace, and read her post. Will you?
As for this post... let get started, shall we?
One of my favorite things to talk about on my blog is intentional living. I hate the idea of wasting time and I believe wholeheartedly that living a life on purpose really just boils down to stewarding all areas of our lives well: our faith, our family, our possessions, our home, our time, our money... When we are careful to manage and care for these things well, we are living intentionally. But, as much as I love to talk about this, I have to admit: I have a huge character flaw that keeps me from being as intentional as I'd like. 
They say the first step is admitting the problem, right? Let's hope that's true for this... You see, I am horrible when it comes to follow-through. Actually, let me rephrase that: I'm horrible when it comes to following through with personal goals/ideas. If someone else asks me to do something, I'm pretty good at keeping my word. But if it's something I've promised myself I'd do, then it's so easy to put it off either temporarily or permanently. As a result, I don't make progress and I don't accomplish much. 
I'm not naturally a go-getter. I mean, I want to be; it's just that 26-going-on-27 years of bad habits have taken their toll on my drive to see things through. Which bad habits exactly? Well, it's a combination of procrastination, perfection, and project-ADD {you know what I'm talking about... projects remain perpetually unfinished because I'm always distracted by newer projects... *sigh*}.
In an effort to change my ways, I've come up with some ideas that I think might help me, as well as anyone else who struggles as much as I do: 

DETERMINE PRIORITIES
Most of my goals are made without much thought and, if I had to guess, I'd say that I make most of them based on comparing my life to someone else's {i.e. staring at my neighbor's grass more than I've focused on watering my own}. But I cannot live my life doing what everyone else is doing. I've got to determine my priorities and set goals accordingly. If my goals truly line up with my priorities, I'm far more likely to work harder to reach them.

NARROWED FOCUS
I'm not good at juggling. Trying to juggle too many goals will ultimately end in reaching none. However, I need to make sure I'm only focusing on two or three goals at the most. And, once I know what my top priorities are, I can then set appropriate goals.  

DONE > PERFECT
Those who read my blog regularly know how much I struggle with perfectionism, too. If I can't do something perfectly, I simply don't do it. Hence, the lack-of-following-through problem. But, really, I need to remember that done is better than perfect and thankfully, I have a God who willingly fills in the gaps with His grace.
Of course, this doesn't mean I have permission to do things halfheartedly. I still need to strive for excellence. After all, the Bible does tell me to do everything for the glory of God and I would never want to purposefully do a mediocre job for the Lord. But, so often, this is exactly what happens. I try to do things in my own strength and when I can't, I give up. Christ would much rather I rely on Him and, if I'm giving my best, trust that the outcome is exactly what He intended.
Am I alone with my lack-of-follow-through and perfectionist struggles?
How do you combat these issues in your own life?
Now that you know all my deep, dark character flaw secrets, will you head on over to my blog, Sparrow + Grace, and read what Hannah has to share today? And while you're there, why not stick around? You can follow along via Bloglovin' or join the community on Facebook.

God Bless,


Alana Taylor is, first and foremost, a sinner saved by the grace of God.  She is a twentysomething full-time wife, mama, and homemaker, living in central Alabama with two of her favorite guys: her hubby and her four-year-old Little Man.  Her biggest passion is to creatively pursue a life of intention, as well as to encourage and equip like-minded women to do the same.  That’s where her blog, Sparrow + Grace, comes in.  There, with her faith as the foundation of her message, she talks about how intentional living impacts everything about our lives, from the big things {such as motherhood and stewardship} to the seemingly small things {like decorating/organizing our home and getting dressed each morning}.
-- Alana @ Sparrow and Grace * BLOG * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * PINTEREST * INSTAGRAM *

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