4 Effective Steps to Stay Motivated

4 Effective Steps to Stay Motivated

January is about to close and most of us has already forgotten that we have a goal or a resolution, a habit to break, or a fitness goal we want to achieve. Whatever goals or resolutions you have set, it is bound to be forgotten if we don’t have a system that will keep it.

I always have my goals written in paper or Evernote but I still find myself forgetting it along the way. Especially when life happens — Somebody in the family got sick, or I got stuck in traffic or my baby started crying. When these pressures and challenges come, it is so easy to give up and fall back to my old “good” routines.

However, we picked our goals and resolutions because we want a better life, a better way of living it and also a better way of representing Christ to other people. So this year I started building this system that has been helping me continue and stay motivated to execute what I have planned to do. Of course, any system will fail if there is no intention to achieve the goal. That is the “why” behind the goals that we set. If the “why” is set in place, the “how” will have the power to move. Here are my 4 effective steps to keep myself motivated.

Write it down and post it everywhere where you can always see it. I have mine posted in my study table. Some people post it in their refrigerators, some in their mirrors in the bathroom. Wherever it is, it’s important that you see it everyday.

Translate your goals into a calendar. What I mean by this is that you put it in your daily schedule. When our goals are not connected to a schedule, it is bound to be forgotten and eventually fail. We give time to anything or anyone we value. Whether that’s a date time with your wife or study time for your academics, it needs to be written in a calendar.

Get a coach. There will be times that your will to win will not be strong enough to do what you intended to achieve. Someone has to encourage you and challenge you to continue with your plans and goals. It can be your friend who is not necessarily an expert but someone who can speak strength and challenge your status quo. That can be your wife or husband who always sees you. It can be your pastor. Whoever you choose to be your coach, it is important that they’re willing to lift you up and challenge you to keep what you have set.

Celebrate. Our brains are wired for rewards. We all want to feel that we are winning and celebration is one way to feel we are winning.  If we don’t get rewarded we usually get tired and stop doing what we plan to achieve. It can be a day were you can eat a cake after six days of hard physical training or it can be a planned day were you can sleep longer after six days of waking up very early. Celebration should be planned and consistent.

The good news is we still have time to improve and achieve what we have set. We can’t perfect the whole journey but we should not stop. God has given us the grace and strength to have self-discipline and experience life to the full.

What has been your biggest challenge accomplishing your goals this year? How do you plan to improve it?

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Famous Lies Satan Always Whispers to You

Famous Lies Satan Always Whispers to You

There is a saying that the mind is the playground of Satan. I believe it’s true that’s why Peter and Paul encouraged the followers of Jesus to be alert and to renew their minds. Everyday, our mind has the potential to be tricked by the enemy. If we are not aware of his schemes, we’ll be shocked how far we are away from God and lose our confidence in the grace and love of God.

So I listed the lies that I personally fought and am continually fighting by His Words. Usually these lies come when you’re weak, discouraged, disappointed or offended. I am hoping that by His grace this wisdom will help you be alert and be wiser than the schemes of the enemy. I categorized the lies into two: Condemnation and Compromise.

Condemnation

  1. God is mad at you. You might hear this when things are not going your way or a tragic event is happened to you. If you are in Christ, His wrath has been fully satisfied on the cross. The trials and challenges have turned from curse to refining of character. God wants to refine and prune you so that Christ will be revealed more in you.
  2. God is disappointed with you. Whenever you feel like God is not listening to you or answering your prayers, this lie might appear in your thought. His silence doesn’t mean he’s away or he’s ignoring you. I believe, God is working at the background of your situation and He’s preparing you for something great.
  3. God wants you to be “fixed” before you come to Him.  This lie can bring discouragement or pride in our hearts. Jesus’ heart always goes for those who are hurt and sick. He wants you to come as you are and let Him do his great work in your heart.

Compromise

  1. Nobody will know. Lie will cover lie, but in reality somebody knows what really happened. You. This lie usually works in us because we are deceived into the idea that we can get away from it. But reality says otherwise. We are burdened and haunted by the things of the past and the only way to get healing from it is to expose it into the light.
  2. Nobody will get hurt. This lie is famous in the context of sexual sins, but I believe it can be used in other areas of life. The truth is sin hurts people. Sin hurts relationships and divides it.
  3. You deserve to be happy. Wait, that’s true. But it’s half truth. We can only be happy when our legitimate desires are filled legitimately. Happiness is fulfilled when we are fully devoted to the one who created us.

 

The list gives us wisdom on how to fight at least half of the battle. The half of it is fought by faith through His words which act like a sword against the enemy and our own desires.

Are there any lies you feel like you have been believing recently? How do you plan to overcome it?

You Have to Tell These to Yourself Everyday

You Have to Tell These to Yourself Everyday

Your tongue has the power to set the direction of your day. And if we’re not careful it can set the direction of our weeks and months to discouragements and frustrations. A proverb said that

“The tongue holds the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21

Your speech has the power to control your emotion and even the actions that comes with it. That’s the reason why when we hear bad news from the media we get affected by it and eventually the whole day gets defined by the news we get and vice versa. I believe God has given us the ability to speak encouraging words that comes from the Bible to empower our day and give a boost of encouragement for your work. Here are my personal declarations that I say to myself every single day.

  1. I am a new creation. This is like the Gospel to me in a nutshell. It reminds me that I am forgiven and renewed. Empowered to do His will and be excellent in my workplace.
  2. I am loved and accepted. This brings security in my heart. It reminds me that God is already proud of me and he is pleased with me even when I just woke up.
  3. I have a great purpose today. This declaration reminds me that I am involved in a very huge endeavor in the world and God is my director. It reminds me that there is more to life than my complains and petty issues.
  4. I am an overcomer. For a natural shy type person that I am, this one really enables me to see and do things differently. My nature would dictates that I won’t communicate, deal with people and preach. This declaration reminds me that His grace is made perfect for my weakness and in Christ I can do all things.
  5. God is in charge and in control.  At the end of the day, when all the work has been done, God is in charge and in control of the outcome. It removes the anxiety and worry of the results and gives me hope that God is in control of everything.

For me, it is best to declare this at the start of your day. It can give you a great sense of hope and can strengthen your faith as you go through your day. It’s like preaching to yourself in 1 minute.

What have you been telling yourself recently? How has it been affecting you lately?

 

3 Qualities of a Champion

3 Qualities of a Champion

What does NBA Golden State Warriors 2015 Champs, Chicago Bulls of the 90’s and Joshua plus Caleb of the Bible have in common? They’re all champions. They all went through a lot of challenges and trials before they achieved the goal that they wanted. They went through tough oppositions but in the end they succeeded and won. I believe none of us wants to be a loser but we want to win the battles that we take every season of our lives. We want to win in all aspects of our lives – family, finances, relationship, academics and even in our spiritual lives.

Paul mentioned in his letter, Romans 8, that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. What are the makings of a winner, a champion or a conqueror?

  1. They all have a clear picture of the goal. For an NBA team, its the championship trophy and for Joshua and Caleb, the Promise Land. The clarity of your goal will determine the amount of strength, discipline and willpower that you will exude as you journey through life.
  2. They have resilience. Resilience is the ability to respond right and bounce back from discouraging and tragic moments. For Caleb and Joshua, though they were faced with rejection and stoning because the people were not convince they can claim the promise land, yet they responded with faith and stood up for what they believe what God promised them.
  3. They went through it as a team. I think the saddest idea in the world is that you can win this life alone. It may be possible, but it’s not complete. Life in its fullness requires people involved in your life. You need some who can encourage you and help you when all odds are against you. Steph Curry has Iggy and Draymond and the whole team. Michael Jordan has Pippen, Joshua and Caleb are fighting together. That’s why they win and claim the goal that they envisioned.

Which of the three do you think you need to have or improve to experience a life of a champion?

The One Thing You Need to do When You Worry

The One Thing You Need to do When You Worry

I read a passage in the Bible about worrying found in Matthew 6:25-34. As I read it now, it speaks more volume to me than when I read it few years back. It seems like age is directly proportional to how many worries you have. But Jesus did talk about it in his time knowing that this is part of human nature and He wanted us to know what to do when it comes.

He said, But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

I believe Jesus was specific about the worries that people faced in their time. Basic needs like food and clothing, but I also believe that we can expand the application of worry to our careers, relationships and finances. Worry is a result of a misplaced trust. When we trust something and we realize that it will soon not deliver properly, we panic and we become anxious until we get frustrated. So Jesus’ solution is to refocus your trust in His kingdom and His righteousness.

  • His kingdom means his dominion or his control. God wants us to know that He is in charge and he is in control.
  • His righteousness means he will not wrong you and harm you. He desires to make you live the way he designed life to be. He wants you to live your life to the full.

And the bonus part to the solution is that God will show you how good He is as a provider and a Father. So when you feel worried, may you know and trust that God is in control and He desires to make you live life to its fullest. By His grace you will move forward from your worries and experience the best that God has for you.

 

Important Questions to Ask Ourselves as We Enter 2016

Important Questions to Ask Ourselves as We Enter 2016
As 2016 enters, we are aware about the direction we need to take as we start our year. That’s one of the reasons why we list down our goals, “one-thing” or resolutions. Maybe you haven’t listed your goals for 2016 because of the busyness of the holidays so, I would like to suggest these questions can help you arrive at your “one-thing” for the year or resolutions for 2016.
  • What would challenge my status quo?
  • What are my values?
  • What kind of person does God want me to be?
  • What legacy do I want to leave?
Hope these questions give guidance to you as you enter a joyful and peaceful 2016.
Happy New Year!

My Top 10 Encouragements that Inspired Me Through the Year

My Top 10 Encouragements that Inspired Me Through the Year

2015 is about to end and one of the things I want to look back are the encouragements that I received and inspired me to move forward and do what God called me to do. Leaving the Philippines to do campus ministry in San Diego is really a leap of faith and just like anyone else, I need encouragement when I feel discouraged and don’t know what to do. I’m glad it came at the right time, sometimes from people I don’t expect. But whether I knew them or not – I’m grateful it came. This list is not meant to disregard anyone who prayed and gave me a message of inspiration. But these people came in where I needed a boost and changed the way I see my situation.

So here’s my top ten this 2015:

Sheryl Price (a nurse from Cook County) – she approached us and prayed for us as a family and said “Your ministry will be fruitful and you will be calling people from the dark…”

Nixon Ng – my pastor from Victory Malate. At the time I needed encouragement after being discouraged about my visa he said “We’re here for you.”

Gregg Tipton – Ten Days Director from Nashville, we met in an event in Florida. He told me, “I admire your faith going to one of the most expensive cities in the US. You need to be a man of faith for you to stay there.”

Robert Hern – my pastor in Victory San Diego, at one of our conversation he told me, “It’s always better to stay in the Philippines, but we cannot missed what God is doing here in San Diego.”

Joel Monsalud – one of our friends here in San Diego, a retired Navy told us when we just newly transferred to our apartment in San Diego and we practically have nothing but clothes, “It’s ok, we all started like this, just pray to God and He will provide the things that you need.” Indeed, it happened slowly but surely.

The woman in the grocery – I don’t know her, but she paid our groceries after the cashier encoded it. She just said “I got this.” It reminded me that God does miracles whenever he wants.

Joe Bonifacio – we just had a short conversation after they arrived in San Diego, he told me after I shared my ups and down experiences here, “You can do this.”

Dahlia and Lars Lone – they sent us gifts that helped us start here in San Diego and in the note that came with it says “Hope these gifts help you as you follow God’s calling. Isaiah 65:24”

My Wife – she always tells me that she’s proud of me. “I’m proud of you and we grateful that you lead us well. I love you.”

Jesus – Nope, I haven’t seen Jesus yet, but I get encouragement from His words when He said, “I am with you always…”

I know the list can be as long as how many friends I have. I am grateful to everyone who spoke life to me and to my family. It was a great 2015. I am excited what God will do this 2016.

Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up. Proverbs 12:25