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Top 10 Things that Stop Success

There are days when I wake up ready to take on the world. My sink is clean and the coffee is already brewing. Then the distractions start – usually something small to begin with – and before I know it the day is gone and I have accomplished nothing!

Today is one of those that have started out with a great trumpet blast. I am willing, eager and able. This time I caught the distraction before it had a chance to take over my day!

1. Games. Since I’m on dial up, down loading anything (even just opening email) can take forever. It’s easy to just click on solitaire and play a quick game while I’m waiting for something to load. But then I usually end up playing just a little longer than needed – a distraction – and before I know it I’ve forgotten what I was doing in the first place. Today I am challenging myself to NOT play any games and to do something beneficial while I wait.

2. Television. I always start out just watching a little while I eat my lunch or take a break. It almost never fails that I end up flipping channels until the cows come home (or in my case, the kids). And the worst thing is that there is really nothing on right now – except for Christmas specials later in the evening. Today I am determined that I won’t turn the television on even for a little break. Instead, I’ll go read by the fire.

3. Clutter. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing you have something but not being able to find it in all the piles on your desk. Recently, I lost an assignment (and had to request the information a second time – how professional) just before deadline. Today I will put things in their homes as soon as I am done with them (yes, this does mean I actually have to file what needs to be filed).

4. Phone. The words will be flowing like a spring thaw and then the phone rings. I’m always compelled to answer – after all it COULD be important. It never is. Instead, I spend five minutes talking about nothing and then my stream is all dried up (so I take a break and watch a little television). Today I will NOT answer the phone.

5. Family. Working at home is wonderful because I have my kids around all the time. At the same time, working at home is difficult and overwhelming because I have the kids around all the time. Today I will work in the morning before everyone else is awake and then make time again after lunch – free from the delightful interruptions of wrestling siblings.

6. Errands. The entire days seems to be eaten up by a quick run to the store. Partly because you have to unpack and put things away when you get back (which reminds you that you were going to chop those vegetables for the freezer and put those pots in the other cabinet and throw out the food from Thanksgiving and . . .). Today I will set aside a time for errands (before lunch) and limit the “ands” when I walk back in the door.

7. Disorganization. The word organization wasn’t even in my vocabulary a few years back. I was queen of “fly by the seat of your pants.” Maps – who needed them, you could eventually find your way anywhere if you stopped for directions often enough. Plans – forget that because they would just get rearranged when you stopped for directions! Then I got married – to an obsessive freak! (Just don’t tell the hubby I called him that). To add to the chaos, we started having kids. It was organize or surrender. Since I am more stubborn than I am “fly by the seat,” I began to organize. What I have discovered is that without a plan – you won’t ever accomplish what you desire to do. Today I am going to lay out a “business” plan for my writing, for my home, and for my family (with there help).

8. Finances. It would be nice if we were all independently wealthy and money was something we could use for fuel on the fire (but just the small bills of course). Most of us aren’t and for most of us the money is the thing that holds us back or locks into where we are. Instead of letting your finances control your life, you have to learn how to control your finances. Today I will set a new budget that will help us find the freedom we have desired as a family to do the things that we are planning to do.

9. Skills or talents. Basketball was never going to be a way of life for me. I’m only 5 feet tall. My skills and talents were more on the people and communication side. I could have spent all of my energy trying to be what I wasn’t because “sports” was a good path or I could choose the route I’m on. Today I will make a list of my skills and talents and gifts and use those in my plan.

10. Fear. I could have been a contender in many things in my life, but the fear of failure or being embarrassed or what others might have to say kept me from even trying. The truth is I might COULD have gone somewhere in basketball (my brother is only 5’6” and he got a full college scholarship in basketball) if I hadn’t been afraid of working hard and doing my best. Today I will begin the process of pushing fear behind and stepping out on the faith that is starting to build up inside me.

Success is something that won’t come if you don’t try. The more you try the more likely you are to succeed. To get there, you can’t let anything stand in your way – and the biggest obstacle ever to be faced is self. Today, I refuse to let myself defeat my success!

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