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Overcoming Entrepreneurial Overwhelm!

by Karen Lindwall-Bourg

KarenB “There are very few certainties that touch us all in this mortal experience, but one of the absolutes is that we will experience hardship and stress at some point.”
—James Dobson

…BUT why does this stress have to be so exacerbated during the holidays?

I love this time of year! Not only is everything beautifully decorated and oh-so romantic with lights, music, and the smells of the holiday season; it is also a time to look back on the year and evaluate successes and challenges and to look at accomplished goals and places where I fell short of my dreams.

During that self-evaluation process, I am sure not to judge myself too harshly—after all, life does happen, and even with my best intentions things just don’t always come together as planned. Fortunately for us, the Lord directs our steps. Proverbs 16:9 states,

“The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.”

God’s answer is the real power that shapes events and enables me to give the right answer and take the right steps.

Another part of my evaluation process involves looking at how I felt while accomplishing my goals. This might not seem relevant, but being frustrated, overwhelmed, or disorganized while trying to make things happen can actually keep them from happening!

One of the reasons I like looking at my goals around Christmas and New Year’s is because this is one of the busiest times of year. Having a lot to do in a little bit of time and the stresses that surround the season may lead to a renewal of those feelings that kept me from achieving my goals. So, when I start to feel that oh-so-familiar overwhelm and frustration, I can focus on solutions for my next set of goals.

When I look at my goals and the never-ending to-do list, I will do a few things differently this time to help soothe that sense of “oh-my-how-will-I-ever-get-this-done” panic.

Let’s work on these together this season!

Let’s Get Organized

Find something that works for you, and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Use a spreadsheet or an online project management tool. Basecamp works for me, but there are many others available. Just keep it simple. Your time-organizing project should not take more time to construct than it takes to complete the items on your to-do list (talking to myself, here!).

Schedule, Schedule, Schedule

This is one of the most underrated and under-observed skills. Create a quarter or a year’s worth of goals and put a realistic timeline on them. You can’t make your life and business dreams come true by wishing. There has to be a concrete plan. Part of that plan includes putting firm deadlines on your goals. Making those timelines and each action step concrete will be a huge help in limiting overwhelm while achieving your goals. After all, it is often procrastination that makes us feel pressure to complete things, which leads to stress, overwhelm, and frustration.

…or…

Work Through & Celebrate Your POWER-HOUR!

Blocking off 15, 30, 45 minutes or an hour to focus on one specific task has worked well for me. Set a time, power through the hour, and see how much you can accomplish!  Celebrate what you have achieved rather than mourning over what you didn’t compete.

Hire Help

While it might seem weird to hire help during the holidays, it will help you keep up continuity in your business while you attend to all your holiday festivities. The absolute best way to achieve your goals is to get help. You can’t do it all by yourself. You need someone who can help shoulder the workload. You can outsource small stuff like research or reports. You can hire experts to manage your social media. You can contract with a freelance writer to keep up your blog posts and other writing. You can hire a virtual assistant to help with almost anything (thank you, Courtenay!). For busy moms, I suggest a housekeeper. You’d be surprised what a load that takes off (thanks, Lorena!).karenA

 

Take some time to think about how you feel during this busy time of year and how those same feelings may carry over into other projects later in the year. Now, as you write your goals for the year, add in solutions for overcoming those difficult spots. Solutions may include:

  • Taking a weekend retreat to pray, plan, and write your goals.
  • Hiring help in the form of a VA, freelance writer, social media expert, or housekeeper.
  • Setting realistic timelines on your goals, especially if you are working with a team.
  • Planning on days off when you unplug and focus on things that are not your business.

Comment below with solutions you will write into your goals this next year to help you avoid overwhelm at the holidays and all year long!

The Lord’s certain purpose and His answers will stand in spite of and in the midst of my plans.

 

Don’t wait until you feel you are at the end of your rope!

Visit our website at rhemacounseling.com.

Call us at 214-491-1991.

For monthly support, join us at the Helping Professionals Alliance webpage and the HPA Facebook page.

At RHEMA, our Licensed or Pastoral Counselors can help you get back on track.

Ask for an “Entrepreneurial Discount” through the end of January 2015!

See also Proverbs 16:1-2, 9; 19:21; 20:24 and Psalm 37:23 and Jeremiah 10:23.

 

Karen Lindwall-Bourg is the Founder of RHEMA Counseling Associates, a Biblical Counseling, KarenLCoaching, and Training Center seeking to honor the Lord by leading others to the Sovereign God and the cross and Life of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit and equipped with the Sufficient Word [Greek: rhema] of God for abundant life and ministry. Karen lives with her husband Fred in North Central Texas, and spends as much time as possible with their 6 children, 5 grandchildren, extended family, and menagerie of ranch animals. www.rhemacounseling.com.

The Gift of Being Present

 

Christmas_bauble_black_and_whiteI used to love the Holidays!

I remember when my husband and I first got married, we shopped very carefully and specifically for the decorations we put in our home. I even remember feeling a little sad that our tree was decorated with store-bought ornaments instead of the handmade treasures that hung on my family tree. I looked forward to future Christmases when our future children would hang their treasured gifts made at school and church.

Flash forward MANY years. . .These days, it seems there’s barely time to put the tree up, let alone sit in front of a roaring fire making family memories like those I see in the faded Polaroids of my childhood. It seems I run from one event to the next—a choir concert here, a band concert there. The Advent activities of our church calendar are penciled in between shopping, preparing, and juggling an assortment of activities that flash by in a frenzy, only to collapse in a heap on New Year’s Day wondering where the time went and promising myself, “Next Year. . .”

Have you found yourself feeling the same?

Give yourself the gift of being present for the things that matter most. Don’t just survive the holidays this year! Enjoy them!

Be determined to slow down and not over-extend yourself. Give the gift of time and joyful experiences together. Choose to do the things that truly matter and release the rest.

Yes, there will be concerts and chaos. But this year, release the “should’s” and “have to’s”. In order to be fully present, we must let go of busyness and only do the things that truly matter.

What activities or routines can you release this year so that you too have the gift of presence?

  • Ask your family what their most favorite traditions are, and only include those. You might be surprised at the things they identify as unimportant that you believed were critical to their happiness!
  • Include your family in the activities you have selected to do—shopping, wrapping, decorating, etc. Don’t do it by yourself in an effort to get more done, quicker.
  • Let things go! Create a schedule that is balanced and not overcrowded! Stop living in the margins of your life, and embrace the true blessings of this amazing season and the true gifts of Christ’s abundance through His birth.

Repeat after me: “This year, I promise to be fully present in the allotted 24 hours a day I’ve been given. Being fully present is the gift I’m giving to myself and to those I love. I will spend time with God in gratitude and Thanksgiving for all that He has brought into my life, and, through the overflow of His Holy Spirit, I will choose the true gifts of Love and Time for my family and friends as we make memories together. I choose to give myself permission to do only the things that matter the most—not what we ‘have always done’ or ‘what we should do.’”

My prayer is that you truly experience the joy of the holidays and the true meaning of Christmas in ways you never believed possible.

 

Shannon Marketing photo 2Shannon Spencer is the Founder and CEO of The Savvy Woman Business Network, Executive Coach, Joy Strategist and Marketplace Minister. A life-long entrepreneur who is passionate about shining the light of Christ through all she does, she has a strong background in retail management and specialized in Mental Health and Wellness. Shannon lives in the wine country of Kennewick, Washington with her amazing husband and talented teenagers, where she teaches and empowers Christian Mom-preneurs to fulfill their missions at home and through their work with joy. Kingdom living is her passion. Find out more about Shannon—and her newest program, Cultivating a CEO Mindset for Savvy Mom-preneurs—at www.TheSavvyWoman.org.