How I Found Time to Start a Non-Profit & Write a Book!


The following testimonial was sent in from reader, Hannah, who blogs at Broken & Hopeful:

I can’t tell you how many people look at me incredulously when they discover I started a nonprofit last year, and wrote a book (a short book, mind you, but a book nonetheless!) all while mothering two small children, being a wife, and trying to maintain my household.

Let’s be honest… my house isn’t as clean as it probably should be. But I still can’t believe all of this happened over the last year, and it was really the small steps all added up that made it possible.

I have been following Crystal’s various courses over the last few years, and I started making small changes in my morning routine, using the fringe hours more wisely, and creating the time I needed to be able to pursue my dreams.

I really do attribute being able to succeed in these areas to Crystal’s teaching and mentoring through the years.

I believe the following items were key in making this all happen, and might be helpful as you pursue your dreams in the midst of daily life:

1. I tweaked my morning routine to get up before my kids.

This was HARD for me. I love my evenings and did not savor the thought of getting up before the sun.

I created some motivators to help in this transition — prepping coffee the night before so I just had to push a button to get it started, having my books and Bible in an easy place to find in my groggy state, and making a small prioritized list of what I’d like to get done once my time with God was finished in the morning.

If the kids got up early, I just moved the rest of the list to later in the day or the next morning.

I have tweaked this again in the last few months (the heavy-lifting with writing the book and starting the nonprofit is done) and let myself rest and sleep a little more.

When I start another project, this might change again, but I figured out how to make the mornings work for me, whether I get up hours before my kids or only half an hour before them.

photo from GoddessMychele on Instagram

2. I made the most of small pockets of time.

I spent a chunk of time creating the outline for my book, and then just followed it in writing each section — so anytime I had 15 minutes in between things, I tried to jot a few notes down about that section.

I used the time during my running workouts to really focus on what I wanted to say, and would speak things into my phone to write out later once I was finished running.

When we were camping, I would use times when the kids were napping or hanging out watching a movie and recovering from our hikes to write.

3. I made my work schedule work for me.

I do pastoral counseling with my nonprofit, so I can plan my schedule around times when my husband is home to care for the kids (he’s a firefighter, so his schedule is weird).

Sometimes that requires me to work evenings and weekends, but I can then take some time to rest during the week, and that is ok.

I don’t want to be a workaholic — I want to be productive with my time. There is such a difference, and it allows me to still be there for my family while also getting stuff done.

4. I made changes slowly.

This whole thing took place over about 18 months, and I had already made changes to my morning routine prior to that.

Getting overwhelmed doesn’t help anything, so don’t rush the process.

Whatever your goals are, you can do it!

You can pursue the dreams you have, while still doing all the other things, but it may take a little longer. That’s ok!

Looking back, I can’t believe what has happened over the last year in small bits, and I am grateful that God has been the strength for all of it.

You can order Hannah’s book from Amazon here.

Hannah is a pastoral counselor and executive director of Broken & Hopeful, a nonprofit whose mission is to personalize the message of abiding in Christ through donation-based pastoral counseling to bring rubber-meets-the-road change to this life of loving Jesus and finding hope in Him.

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