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Challenge Yourself

Do you feel stuck in a rut or trapped in mediocrity? Maybe it's time to stretch yourself and get involved in an activity that is out of your comfort zone. We grow the most when we confront the uncomfortable and engage in an activity that requires some sacrifice. What could that activity be for you? Maybe it is a new exercise program, public speaking, joining a small group, volunteering, or deciding to go to therapy. When we remain stagnate in our routines and daily patterns our growth potential is limited. For some this will require working through our fears, anxieties, and insecurities. Sometimes exposure therapy which is basically, "just do it," works best. If we engage in the endeavor with a friend or create a support system, we usually have more motivation and accountability. Sometimes an end goal that we're hoping to achieve provides drive and ambition. Some of us respond well to having a tracking system to measure our progress and give us additional incentive to keep going. Figure out what works for you and incorporate the tools to make it happen.

Life is filled with challenges, roadblocks, and obstacles, but our ability to successfully overcome them or work through them determines our level of success in life. My suggestion is to create a challenge for yourself for 2019 and work on making it happen. As we are reminded in Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." We want to surround ourselves with people that will help us be better. Of course we need to take ownership for our goals and motivate ourselves by trusting that we can make positive changes. One of my pet peeves is when people talk about making changes, but don't follow through. It can be difficult to trust those that talk a good talk but their actions fall short. All of us miss the mark at times, but successful people get back to the plan and keep plugging away. Perseverance is often the key to making changes in a person's life. So what helps keep us motivated and focused?

Personally, having a schedule and routine helps me stay focused. Also, taking "baby steps" helps keep us centered and motivated. We have to set realistic and measurable goals that are doable. It helps to have some sort of reward system built in for times when you achieve certain milestones along the way. Decide to give your new challenge a try for six months and assess the changes after that time before determining whether you want this to be a complete lifestyle change. Other ways to self-motivate include positive self-talk and creating notes that you post around your home that are encouraging. Building resiliency through challenging ourselves helps us to confront stressful circumstances. Ultimately when we set and achieve goals, challenge our capabilities, and stretch ourselves the results are greater self-confidence and a huge sense of accomplishment. Challenge yourself today!

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