Need a healthy & delicious appetizer for your holiday party?

With New Year's quickly approaching, you might have a party you're excited to attend, but what to bring? Well, regardless if you're staying home or going out, these Asparagus Roll-Ups are always a huge hit! Healthy, tasty, and super easy - the perfect appetizer! 


Asparagus Roll-Ups

Servings: 12 Appetizers

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 Slices of Turkey
  • 1 Large Avocado
  • 12 Asparagus Spears
  • 1/3 Cup Hummus (if you can find Lemon Hummus, it's my favorite for this recipe)

DIRECTIONS

Bring a pot of water to a low boil. Cut off bottom 1/4 of asparagus spears. Put asparagus in simmering water. Cook for about 5 min. or until crisp tender. Immediately, rinse asparagus in cold water to stop cooking process. Spread a thin layer of hummus over turkey. Slice avocado into 12 pieces. Place asparagus spear and avocado slice on top of turkey and roll. Push toothpick through turkey to hold in place. 

Enjoy!

 

The Craziest Story About My Son's Expired Passport and The Sloan's House Fire

I know we've all been through situations where we ask "WHY?!" Just a few days I found myself asking God "WHY??? Why is this happening?"  You won't believe this story - it 's one I could never make up. Once again God showed me the truth of His Words in Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Thank you God for Neal's expired passport. 

Please pray for Eileen and her family. Imagine losing everything, and I mean everything, you own. Pray that they will find a home to rent. Pray that they will continue to feel peace from God's presence. 

Here's What I Want You To Know

"You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty” 1 Samuel 17:45

For me, whenever something is coming to an end I get a bit nostalgic. Each year around this time (the last days of Dec.) I like to look back and think about my year. I ask myself questions like, what were your highlights, what mistakes did you make that you can learn from... A question that stood out to me this particular year was this, “What do I want people to know who are involved in Faithful Workouts?” Here’s what I came up with. 

You CAN do this. 

Even though 95% of people fail when trying to stick with an exercise or diet plan -

You GOT this. 

God is on your side and “Nothings impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). Satan will try and come at you with defeating words, but they don’t have to take you down and pull you off course. You CAN make lasting, healthy changes, not because you are something special, but because when you believe in Jesus, His Spirit and Power are in you. (Please stop and let this really soak into your heart) 

"You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty” 1 Samuel 17:45

God’s Word tells us that we have Self-Control (because of Him). God’s Word tells us that we are Overcomers (because of Him). God’s Word tells us we can do ALL things (because of Him). God’s Word tells us we are Strong, Courageous, and Victorious (because of Him).

I want you to take on 2017 with this in your heart because when you fully understand that God’s Spirit is in you it's...

a game changer!

If you are not part of our f4 Plan, please take a moment to check it out. I say this because I believe in the tools we've created because our workouts, articles, webinars, podcasts, even our menu plans continue to point you to Him.   

Thanks, and have a happy holiday season!

Could Stress Be Hurting Your Brain?

Stress and your brain!

We generally think of stress as an inherently “bad” thing, but the truth is, stress itself can be a good or bad thing! By definition, “stress is a physiological response that is necessary for the survival of the species.”

Eustress is the good kind of stress—it motivates us to make a positive change to better stabilize our environments. For example, when we’re hot, we start to sweat and maybe drink some cool water or move to stand in the shade. The stress put on our body from the temperature change motivates us to make changes that cool us down. 

Distress, on the other hand, is the type of stress that ‘overwhelms’ us and exceeds our resources (meaning we don’t know how or can’t deal with it). These types of stressors might be anything from the death of a family member, to a deadline at work, to bad diagnosis…I’m sure we can all think of a few more.

When we’re stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is activated, and, as I said before, this can be a good thing. It’s sometimes referred to our fight-or-flight reflex. If a bear starts to chase you, you want to be able to divert all your blood and energy into your muscles, and not waste time/energy on things like digesting that sandwich you ate for lunch that day. 

But our bodies were not designed to have our sympathetic, fight-or-flight nervous system activated for long periods of time. Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released with heightened activation of our sympathetic nervous system, and it can really wreak havoc on our bodies if left unchecked. 

Increased levels of cortisol in your body can lead to atrophy (shrinking in the brain), premature brain aging, and it can also speed up dementia diseases like Alzheimer’s. 

The levels of stress hormone we have circulating around our bodies is also very dependent on diet. Our levels of cortisol can also be mediated by the foods and drinks that we consume! For example, high fat diets have been shown to increase our levels of cortisol—and, sometimes when we’re stressed, we reach for those higher fat, higher sugar foods to comfort us—but really, they’re just making it worse.

Stress can also lead to food cravings, and make us feel less full than we actually are. So when you’re stressed, you might eat more than your body actually needs, because you’re brains not wasting energy telling you that you’re full. 

Reading all of that can be intimidating! It’s obvious that stress isn’t great for our brain, or our bodies, but what can we do about it? Are we powerless to stop the cycle?

The answer is (and I hope you guessed it) NO! There are lots of things we can do to combat stress, and practicing what psychologists call “mindfulness” can be a big one. Mindfulness just means we’re focusing on the present moment, and not wasting all our time and efforts and energy on the past—which we can’t change—or on the future—which we can’t predict.

Decreasing our workload can also help greatly with stress. If we’re honest with ourselves, we have the power to say no 100% of the time, but we don’t often use it. You’re not a bad Christian or mother if you can’t help out and be a part of every little thing your church or child does, so give yourself some grace and practice the ancient art of saying no. Obviously, eating a balanced diet that avoids high fat, high sugar foods is going to do wonders for your body, brain and stress levels, as well as trying to get in some form of physical activity each day. 

And, of course, JESUS! Jesus is our greatest friend, comforter and caretaker, and so spending time with him and keeping our minds focused on his kingdom will do wonders for all types of stress. 

Dancing has actually been shown to be a great stress reliever, so our PAZAZ workouts could be a great option for you!

 

REFERNCES

Avison, William R., and R. Jay Turner. "Stressful Life Events and Depressive Symptoms: Disaggregating the Effects of Acute Stressors and Chronic Strains." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 29.3 (1988): 253. Web.

Baran, Sarah E., Adam M. Campbell, Jonathan K. Kleen, Cainan H. Foltz, Ryan L. Wright, David M. Diamond, and Cheryl D. Conrad. "Combination of High Fat Diet and Chronic Stress Retracts Hippocampal Dendrites."NeuroReport 16.1 (2005): 39-43. 

Chao, A., C. M. Grilo, M. A. White, and R. Sinha. "Food Cravings Mediate the Relationship between Chronic Stress and Body Mass Index." Journal of Health Psychology 20.6 (2015): 721-29. 

Fuller, James. "Influence Of Drying/conditioning Schedules On Stress Development, Relief And Prong Test." Drying Technology 17.10 (1999): 2237-249. Web.

 

Lupien, Sonia J., Bruce S. Mcewen, Megan R. Gunnar, and Christine Heim. "Effects of Stress throughout the Lifespan on the Brain, Behaviour and Cognition." Nature Reviews Neuroscience Nat Rev Neurosci 10.6 (2009): 434-45.

Michelle's Favorite Things Gift Guide!

Hello everyone! 

I get a lot of emails about the different products I love, and so I decided to compile a "Favorite Things" blog just for you all! If you're still looking for a gift for someone, maybe this list will help! I've included some amazon links below in case you want to purchase any of the products mentioned, and so let's get started.


1) Okay, number one has to be my Capresso espresso and cappuccino machine because caffeine. If you're like me and need your coffee to help get up and moving, then I can't recommend this little machine enough. I love that I can make single cups of coffee or a shot of espresso and don't have to pay the high cost of the coffee pods or the $5 at Starbucks. Plus, because I'm a slow coffee drinker, I can use the steamer to reheat my coffee!

 

2) My Aroma Rice Cooker! I love my rice cooker - it really does make perfect rice each time. It's also super easy to use and doesn't require space on my stove or in my oven. I love to entertain, so it's always nice to have an easy dish like rice. I usually jazz my rice up by adding fresh lime juice and cilantro, or even by adding coconut milk in place of some of the water to give it an Asian flavor. You can also cook other grains like oatmeal quinoa or Farro in it - it's the total package! (they don't have my exact rice cooker available anymore, but this one in amazon is the newer, "upgraded" version of mine).

 

3) My cast iron skillets have seriously become one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. I love cooking with iron pans. When my husband first brought them home, I wasn't a fan for whatever reason, but now they're all I use. I have a steel wool brush that I use for cleaning which makes clean-up easy, and I feel like the food just tastes better on cast iron. Also, those nonstick pans are never really nonstick (and can be a total pain to clean!) These pans are also pretty heavy, so you can get a great arm workout in while you're cooking/cleaning them!

 

4) I love giving Christian journals to people. Some of them come with verses on the pages, and it can be fun to add personalized notes to the person you're giving it to. That way, when they open it up, they can be reminded of you and your prayers for them. I got a bunch of them at a discount store called Marshall's and they were four dollars each - such a great gift to give to people that's not much more expensive than giving people a card but just as meaningful.

5) Another one of my faves would have to be my wireless headphones. I'm all about multitasking, and I often put my headset in while I cook so I can listen to a sermon. No cords to get in the way, and nothing to hold me back! These can be more expensive, but it's so nice to not have a cord to worry about when you're multi-tasking (which I always am :D)

 

6) I have to say, as far as decor goes, I love my cross collection. When we travel, I usually look for one to remind me of the good times we had while we were away. I also love getting them as gifts because it reminds me of the person who gave it to me. They make great presents for people, and I love that they are a constant reminder of what Jesus did for us.

 
 

7) I don't know where I would be without my NIV Life Application Study Bible (in large print). I know lots of people are reading the Bible online now or on their phones, but I still love to hold it in my hands. I love that this bible is 1) in large print so I can actually read it, and 2) really gives me an in depth look at the different passages and verses that I'm reading for that day. I love the fresh perspective that it gives me on God's word!

8) I'm not just saying this because I sell it, but I LOVE my fitness loop, ball and resistance bands. I use them all the time when I teach classes out of my own home, and I love that they're small enough for me to take while I travel. I'm big into resistance training - great for your brain and body - and while I can't exactly pack 10lb dumbbells into my suitcase, my resistance bands are always easy to throw in there! I don't go on trips without them.

9) If you've ever watched one of my workouts or heard me speak, you've likely heard me quoting something called The Blue Book. It's a devotional compiled by Jim Branch, and it really has (next to the bible) been the most influential book in my life. If you're looking for a gift for a loved one (or even just for yourself!) I really can't recommend this one enough. 

 

10) Experiencing God is another book I really love. This book really makes experiencing God simple, and it's great if you're looking for a deeper relationship with the creator of the world (which, who isn't?). Everyone I give this book to always gets back to me with rave reviews, and so I feel like this one has to be on the list of my faves. 

 

11) This might seem like a random one, but when you workout as much as do, these are a lifesaver. They're the workout shorts that have the built-in spandex shorts underneath. You can really get these at any sporting goods store, or even TJ Maxx or Target. The pics I've included below are Nike, but I have them in a variety of different brands and they're all great. They're super comfortable and convenient when you're working out because you don't have to worry if you're short are hiked up too far, or keep pulling them down. Like I said, a lifesaver!

12) And, of course, I have to end with our new f4 plan. I'm telling you guys, if you're looking to give someone the gift of better health this holiday season, this f4 plan could be the perfect thing! We have over 120 workouts, meal plans, grocery lists, webinars, and podcasts all designed to get you feeling as physically and spiritually healthy as you've ever been!

Three Simple Steps to Lasting Joy

As I have studied and explored joy over the years, I’ve come to realize that it boils down to just 3 simple steps:

  1. Change the way you think about everything
  2. Change 25-75% of what you do with your time
  3. Put other’s needs ahead of your own

“What could be easier?,” he said with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

Joy, it turns out, can’t be captured in a pithy little 15-page book that is soft and gooey and promises joy unspeakable. It’s not a coffee table book that we skim twice a year to get the warm and fuzzies, but no lasting change.

No, joy is not for the faint of heart.  Real joy – the type of joy where you’re solid in your soul about the truth of God, yourself, and your role to make the world a better a place – takes discipline, courage, humility and sacrifice.  And, man, is it worth it.

Discipline – It takes discipline because moving toward lasting joy requires shifts in how we think and act.  That means a lot of unlearning and habit- breaking. It’s more like 100 small, obedient steps over an extended period of time than some bet-the-farm, swing-for-the-fences, quit-my-job-and-move thing.

Courage – Breaking out of deeply rooted habits, ruts and ways of thinking is risky.  Risk is scary. Overcoming fear takes courage.

Humility – You will have some false starts.  Even a failure here and there. And people will question your motives and objectives.

Sacrifice – There is no pathway to joy without some sacrifice of comfort, of our insistence on doing it our way, and of long-held beliefs we assume to be true.  Jesus said if we really want to live, we have to die to ourselves. (Matt 10:39)

My hunch is that only 5% of the readers who pick up my book The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose and Balance will earnestly follow through on the tools, assessments, strategies and recommendations. Jesus also said: “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matt 7:14 ESV)

The ones who persevere will most likely be those who are missing joy the most.  For people whose lives are “ok, but not great” the change is too hard.  The psychological pull of comfort and status quo is not to be underestimated. Think about the great stories and movies of personal triumph. They are usually about those who are the most down-and-out.

My best recommendation, if you’re serious about embarking on this adventure, is to not go solo.  Have your spouse, a friend, or a group of friends join you.  I’ve heard from several people around the country who are reading the book chapter by chapter with their friends and discussing the issues, ideas, and exercises as they implement their learning.

You can do it.  Lean into it. Step-by-step. Over time. Follow the M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan in the book and watch joy bubble up.

Written by Jeff Spadafora

(yep, he's my husband and here we are with our 3 kids celebrating Thanksgiving!)

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Savings

Don't let a post-thanksgiving turkey comma keep you down!

We're taking 15% off EVERYTHING in our Faithful Workouts store! And we're giving 10% of ALL our sales to an incredible organization called Remember Nhu. (not 10% of profit but straight up 10% of everything sold!) from Black Friday to Cyber Monday - Friday, Nov. 25th to Monday, Nov. 28th,  

There are so many causes and organizations around the globe that work tirelessly to introduce people to the love and light of Christ, and Remember Nhu is one of our favorites. One of my employees, Bree Rossi, personally partnered with this organization in 2015 for a month, and they work on the preventative side of sex-trafficking by identifying children at risk of being sold into the sex trade and giving those children a place in on of their children's homes. Remember Nhu has children's homes running in over 12 countries, and what makes them unique is their approach - they immerses themselves into the different communities within these countries and provide the children they take in with an education, medical care, knowledge of Christ, and, most importantly, a sense of real family. 

So this Black Friday through Cyber Monday, save on everything in our store - but act fast, these deals won't last forever!

Thanks everyone! We hope you check out our store and help us support Remember Nhu this holiday season!

Use Coupon Code 'shopandsave' at check out for 15% off EVERYTHING!

Faithful Workouts Partners with Remember Nhu

Don't let a post-thanksgiving turkey comma keep you down! Faithful Workouts is partnering with the organization Remember Nhu and giving 10% of all our sales from Black Friday to Cyber Monday (Friday, Nov. 25th to Monday, Nov. 28th) to the organization. So after all the stuffing and pumpkin pie are gone, come and check out our store and help up support the amazing Remember Nhu!


There are so many causes and organizations around the globe that work tirelessly to introduce people to the love and light of Christ, and Remember Nhu is one of our favorites. I personally partnered with this organization in 2015 for a month, and the work they do at Remember Nhu is incredible. Remember Nhu works on the preventative side of sex-trafficking in over 12 countries. What makes them unique is their approach - they work and immerse themselves into the different communities within these countries to try and identify children who are at risk of being sold into the sex industry, or who have been orphaned and may be trafficked.

Remember Nhu sets up childrens’ homes across these 12 countries as a kind of refuge for these children. Each home has house parents from that host country, and it’s there the children are re-adopted so to speak into a new, loving and Christ-centered family. They are given the opportunity to go to school, access to medical care, hot meals, biblical truths and plenty of love. 

The impact that being trafficked and sold into sex slavery can have on a child is enormous, and many organizations work to try and undo the damage and heal the wounds these young boys and girls have suffered. Remember Nhu tries to circumvent the process, so that these children will never be sold into the first place. While I can’t give away too many of the details of what I did with my time at Remember Nhu (the organization always wants to protect the privacy and lives of the children from those who would wish to harm them), I will say it was a transformative experience. Just getting to sit down with some of the children at these homes and hear their stories of struggle and abandonment and loss, only to see the joy and healing they have experienced now through being given this new family, was incredible. The homes are always lead by house parents from the same country the children are from, and run with the help of lots of amazing and qualified volunteers. The homes don't feel like orphanages, they feel like a home, where the younger children sit in the laps of their house parents and the older children help their now brother or sisters with their homework. There is laughter and there are games and pranks and meals shared and prayer lifted up...  Remember Nhu has created a sense of home and family and inclusiveness that is going to change a generation of children. These children are educated, loved, and grow up knowing that they are worthy. These kids will change the next generation of not only their own families, but also their countries, until one day, no child is sold. I have donated my own time and money to Remember Nhu just because I believe in it and have seen the immense good it has done.

Remember Nhu began with the story of one little girl named Nhu (who you saw in the video above) who was trafficked. Overwhelmingly, it is the child’s own family who sells them—often for money to eat and survive—and so was the case with Nhu. Hear more about her story below:

All of us here at Faithful Workouts really wanted to give something back this holiday season, and this is a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts. Come and shop in our store from Black Friday to Cyber Monday and help us bless Remember Nhu!


Want to know more? Check out some of the links below

  • Find out more about the founder of Remember Nhu, Carl Ralston here: https://remembernhu.org/our-founder/
  • Find out more about how Remember Nhu works to prevent child sex trafficking here: https://remembernhu.org/prevention/
  • Find our more about Nhu and her story of redemption here:  https://remembernhu.org/meet-nhu/]
  • find out how you can donate and partner with Remember Nhu here: https://remembernhu.org/donation/?tab=3

Day 5: Our Journey to Greater Joy

I hope you enjoy Day 5 of our blog series on Joy. Through Jeff's (my husband) coaching of 100s of people he has discovered both practical and spiritual steps that you can take so that you can live with greater JOY.

So yesterday we talked about how to create margin in your calendar. And why it’s so important to the cultivation of joy.  My big question is:  Did you take the time out to do the exercise I outlined?  If not, I can guess two likely reasons why:

1.      You’re too busy to spend the 30 minutes necessary to do the exercise.

2.     The pain in your life is not great enough to do the hard work of adjusting your calendar and leaning into joy.

Trust me, I feel your pain.  I was there for too long wanting change, but not wanting it bad enough. Here’s my encouragement:  Don’t sweat it if for now you fall into either of those categories. It’s just not your time. When you’re broken enough, you’ll start taking action.  My purpose in writing the Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose and Balance was not to motivate people into pursuing joy, but to help people who are stuck and want help.

If are ready, and you have a plan for getting margin in your calendar, here’s what I suggest you do next: Abide. (You may recall from yesterday, that abide is the second piece of the M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan)

The word abide means to be with, to live with, or to spend time with.  In practice, it means spending time with God by reading the bible, praying throughout the day, learning with fellow believers, serving with fellow believers, meditating on scripture, to name a few. 

At this point in time you might be thinking “Really?  I work hard to create margin in my calendar and this is all you have for me?  Pray more? Read the bible more? I heard that last Sunday at church.  Is that the best you got?”

But hear me out.  I want to challenge you on a few things.  How much time are you really spending abiding?  How confident are you that you are actually reading, praying, studying etc. properly? (There are right ways and wrong ways to do these things, you know.) And, regardless of how often or how effective you are with your spiritual disciplines, are you merely gaining information but not experiencing transformation?

The only true measure of the quality of our abiding is the extent to which we are exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). If we are not living with greater love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control, it’s safe to say most of our well-intentioned, churchified activities are a waste of time.

But don’t fret – there are resources out there that can help you move your abiding from stale, go-through-the-motions actions to life-giving habits.  Personally, I think Chapter 6 of my book is a great “short course” to get rolling with this.  The best “deep dive” I know of on this topic is Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline.  It’s a classic that has transformed many lives --- mine included.

Here are a few questions that I hope will give you a pathway forward:

·       What do you need to do to reinvigorate your appetite for and time in the Bible?

·       In what ways do you need to rethink your approach to living with God each moment of every day?

·       What’s the number one thing that gets in the way of your attempts to abide more frequently with God? What are you going to do about it?

·       What can you do to get into a church or small group to help you grow in this area?

Let me wrap up this post with my favorite verse in all of the bible:  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Part of the reason I love this verse is not just because abiding is the pathway to positively impacting the world [our fruit], but because Jesus says, after reiterating verse five several times, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

What an awesome promise: Abiding powers us to make a difference and count it all joy. 

Day 4 : Our Journey Towards Greater Joy

Today’s the big day!! The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose and Balance launches.

Michelle and I talked about what to write on this special day and we came up with the topic of Margin; i.e., creating extra space in our calendars so that we can finally slow down long enough to honestly reflect on our lives and think intentionally about where we are going.

We chose margin as the topic because creating margin in your calendar is the most important piece of the joy puzzle.  You might expect me to say “God is the most important component of joy,” but after a decade of coaching hundreds of people towards joy, God never ends up on most peoples’ radars because they are so busy.

I heard it said that “busy” stands for “Burdened Under Satan’s Yoke.” 

And it’s true. Nothing gets us off God’s pathway toward joy like being non-stop pre-occupied on our hamster wheels. 

I remember in 2005 when I was completely joyless and desperately searching for God’s peace, purpose and joy in my life. I craved answers that would lead me toward positive change, but I never really dedicated the time to lean into God so that He could do His part and I could do mine.  And then it hit me one day:  “Jeff -  If you want your life to change, you’re going to have to change some things about your life. Something has to go.”

It was then that I realized I was so busy with work, the family, and hobbies that I hadn’t carved out the time to slow down and thoughtfully analyze my life. Socrates said

“The unexamined life is not a life worth living.” 

Boy, I really agree with that.

Here’s the thing about creating margin in our calendars: It has less to do with time management techniques and everything to do with values and priorities. In my experience, even the busiest people in world will find the time to take up new hobbies, go on vacations, and engage in new projects if it’s something they value.

So what really drives busyness is conflicting values like these:

·       “I want to spend more time with God, but I also want nice stuff so I’d rather work than spend an hour with God each day.”

·       “I want to serve and love others, but that will pull me away from other activities that get me more applause and attention.”

·       “I value my family, but I still work 60 hours a week.”

·       “I need to be involved many things to keep many people happy, even if it means disappointing me and God.”

·       “I value my health, but my social calendar prevents me from working out.” (On this point, I heard it said that “If you can’t find time to exercise now, you’ll have to find time to be sick later.”)

So we stay busy for fear that if we cut some things out of our lives, it could lead to regret later.  We opt to keep all the plates spinning.  Hedging all our bets.  We do this when we don’t know what we really want out of life. What we really stand for.

So what do you really value? Below is a process for figuring that out. Believe me this is hard work.  I’d love to give you “6 simple, little, happy steps” to make your calendar magically open up, but building margin takes introspection, courage, and making hard decisions.  The payoff is hugely worth it though.  It’s the gateway to the joy you read about in the bible all the time.

Here you go:

1.    Write down your top 5 values in life? (I am not going to give you a list to work from because I don’t want to skew or bias your thinking. You know what you value.  Just write them down.)

2.    Next, write one sentence that describes each of the following seven elements of your life if they were in full alignment with your values. What would things look like if everything were perfect in your marriage, your health, your faith, your parenting, your friendships, your career and finances, your service to others.

3.  As you look at the sentences you just wrote that describe those elements of your life in their ideal state, which of those seven elements has the biggest gap between “ideal and current reality?”  Rank all seven of them below starting with the parts of your life that are most out of whack with what you ideally want.

Biggest Gap between Ideal and Real: (write them down)

4.    With all of this in mind, analyze your calendar for the last three months. What are four things occupying your calendar that are not serving you and/or others well?

 

5.  What things can you stop doing immediately?

6. What can you responsibly back away from and stop doing within the next three, six, or nine months?

7.  What things should you continue doing, but scale back on?

8. With some space in your calendar identified, what things should you do more of? 

Every decision you just made in this exercise is a reflection of your values---and your theology, by the way. I encourage you to take the time to do this full exercise and experience how creating margin can be the first step toward more joy.

(This exercise is excerpted from The Joy Model: A Step-by-Step Guide to Peace, Purpose and Balance that is available for purchase today here.) (link to your site to purchase

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