One of the things I’ve learnt over time is that small things matter. The little steps we take consistently today is what culminates to the results we’ll get tomorrow. The year is still young and there is enough space to expand in every area of our lives.
Many of the nuggets I’ll be sharing in this article are things we already know. But we need reminders from time to time right? Even the Holy Spirit works in the believers not only to teach but to remind us of the things we already know.
But when the Father sends the advocate as my representative-that is the Holy Spirit- He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:26NLT.
Can we go right into the small ways to make progress in this year.
1.Start that venture now and develop staying power.
I have shared the story of how about five years ago, one proficient writer read some of the stories I wrote and was highly disappointed. He told me I was terrible at writing and my stories had no depth.
You know what I did? I cut down my TV time and spent more time reading and learning how to use words. Some years later, he read one of the stories from my collection and was amazed at my improvement. Imagine that I had been quit writing.
There is no perfect time to start anything. You can’t depend on the opinion of people to fulfil the dreams God has placed in your heart.
You’ll have to conquer that fear and get right to work. It doesn’t matter that people do not appreciate what you do yet. They will, very soon if you will not give up. In the pursuit of our dreams, we learn on the job. Nobody became an expert at first trial. Successful people got better as they honed their skills.
2.Avoid spreading yourself thin.
Many are just jumping up and down from one career to another. You can’t even narrow down what they do well to any area. When such people come to your mind and you are asked in ten seconds to describe them, it is difficult to quickly pinpoint to something specific.
If you call Ife Grace, the first thing that comes to your mind is Christian blogger or storyteller right?
The moment the name Itunu Ijilah comes to my head, what flashes in my mind is photography. When someone asks me about Uju Okorie, the word medical doctor is my first point of reference. When I hear, Damilola Mike-Bamiloye, the first thing that appears on my mind is D.O.P or Screenwriter. This does not mean that they do not have other things they do, but they are primarily known for their commitment in those area.
Build your skills thick. Be an expert at something. Don’t be an average of everything. Again, it is important to understand divine timing. What would God desire me to focus on now? Is it time to move to something else? I have the ability to do a lot of things, which should I get on with first? The wisdom of the Lord is available for us to take the right step at the right time.
What’s that one thing you should be focusing on right now? Identify it. Before the end of the quarter, pen down some of the things you want to achieve in regards to that area.
3.Don’t take excuses.
Towards the end of January till this present moment, work at the office has been really tedious. I rarely have time to write. I returned home struggling to scribble down stories because I was fagged out. Yet I knew I had pending writing jobs to do and I had already fixed a deadline to get all of them done but here was the temptation to just postpone the work to a further day. I had to call myself to order. The excuse wasn’t going to work. i settled in my heart that there would always be a way around it.
The thing is, even though for certain reasons you may be overwhelmed by work and chores, at least figure out ways of meeting the goals you have set for a particular phase. Just do it.
There is no excuse for not studying God’s word. No excuse for lukewarmness in prayer.
This weekend, sit with a pen and paper, write out deadlines for certain goals you want to achieve. Be realistic and give space for breaks so you don’t burn out. Don’t beat yourself for the time already wasted. There is no point. Focus on what you have to do now.
4.Stop waiting for people to believe in you.
A man who cannot stand firm on the things God is saying to him because of approval of men cannot go far.
Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. Galatians 1:10
I know that one of the hardest realities of life to face is when your family members do not believe in the dreams God is placing in your heart. You are not the first person to experience this rejection. Joseph’s brother hated him for his dream, David’s eldest brother, Eliab rebuked him hours before he faced Goliath. Jesus didn’t do much in his hometown because of their unbelief.
The truth is, there are some people who will believe in you. Learn to identify them and hold them closely. Stop focusing on people who care nothing about your dreams in life and getting depressed when they don’t respond with excitement to your work. Most importantly, keep your eyes on your dream.
Would you do this? Take note of those who have encouraged you in the pursuit of your dreams and appreciate them.
Ask God to connect you with friends who will push your work forward. However, be sure you are friendly yourself. He who wants friends must show himself friendly.
5. Have pictures of the things you want to see.
One of the best ways to do is in the place of prayers. As you spend time praying in tongues, the Holy Spirit will show you things in the future and reveal deep things in God’s agenda for you. Keep those pictures close to your heart and have expectations that the things you see will come to pass.
Have a dream book. A place where you put details of the things you want to see in your future.
6. Train yourself to confess God’s word.
Plan to spend at least 15 minutes every day confessing great things from God’s word. It won’t be convenient on your flesh but it’ll be worth it. Confess scriptures. Confess the things you want to see in your life. Make confessions for your health, your career, ministry, your future.
7. Reduce the time you spend on social media and divert it to more productive things.
Let’s be truthful to ourselves, here is the one of the greatest distractions that keeps a lot of us stuck at the same point and then time would run so fast and by the end of the year, we suddenly remember that there are unfinished projects to complete and we have not made significant progress as far as our career is concerned.
Start now by cutting down the time you spend scrolling down social media. If you have to get an extra phone that isn’t smart just while you complete a certain task, do it. Be deliberate about the time spent on these platforms. You can’t stay slaves to these things and expect to make progress. Same with movies. Except you plan to romance with the crowd, your time must matter to you greatly.
8. Practice Giving.
This is the key to walking in abundance. This year, plan to give more. Give to those whose lives have blessed you, give for the expansion of God’s work, give to those in need…There is great blessing in giving.
There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth, and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. Proverbs 11:24
9. Get a journal.
God loves to give us instructions concerning our lives and future. He is our Father, yeah? As you pray, expect to receive instructions from him and write them down when they come.
I will instruct you in the way you should go, I will guide you with my eyes. Psalms 32:8
These instructions contain the wisdom you’ll need to surmount difficulties, It’ll help you make right choices this year and the years to come. Have an instruction journal where you write out the things God is saying to you per time. It will save you so much struggle and keep confusion far from you.
10. Forgive quickly.
Desire in your heart to forgive in advance whatever hurt is done to you. There is no space for bitterness and resentment this year. Offences will come but how we react when they come matters a lot. Pray for whoever has hurt you. Let that malice end now. See whatever has been done to you as an opportunity to press deeper in your love walk.
What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that? How are you different from others if you limit your kindness only to your friends? Don’t even the ungodly do that? Matthew 5:46-47 TPT
You therefore must be perfect (growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity) as your heavenly father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 AMPC
11. Be committed to your spiritual growth.
In January, my Pastor instructed that every member join the small prayer groups organized by the leadership of the church. We were to pray in tongues for a period of time daily. We report before commencing our prayers and report after we end the prayers.
If for instance the time I picked for my prayer is 7pm to 8p.m. I’ll report on whatsapp by saying ‘Clock in’ and when I’m done praying, ‘Clock out.’ That accountability has helped me especially on the days when I am overwhelmed with work.
In a couple of days, some of my friends and mentees will be kicking off a similar accountability report system for our bible study life.
Why am I sharing this? It is increasingly difficult for a lot of people to maintain consistency in their spiritual growth. We are here for each other. Iron sharpens iron right? Having accountability partners helps to enforce discipline. Get friends who are passionate about the word and prayers. Ask that you’d want to be accountable to them daily within a period of time.
It is important that we are committed to a life of prayer and the Word. This is the only way we’ll be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Recently, Reverend Peter Ayo-Alabi opened my eyes to see an amazing way to rest. Yes, it’s good to sleep and get your body refreshed, but do you know that by praying in tongues, you are also resting? Have you ever prayed in tongues and by the time you are done, you feel so refreshed and strengthened? As you sleep to rest from the day’s labour, also pray in the Spirit to rest too.
Do you want to share any way we can make progress this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts.