(Unsplash/Riccardo Lugermad)

One of the things I've learned in marriage and motherhood is that if I don't make myself a priority, I'm being selfish.

Yes, I know that sounds like a dichotomy.

How can focusing on myself be unselfish?

Making myself a priority doesn't mean making myself the No. 1 priority, it just means that I'm not last on the list.

Or not on the list at all.

It also ensures that I am paying attention to myself, making sure I'm not running low on energy; making sure my spirit is fed; making sure that my emotional needs are being met.

These are all essential for us as women, wives and mothers because we bear so much responsibility.

  • Making sure that we care for ourselves physically
  • Making sure that we give extra attention to ourselves and rest more during hormonal changes
  • Making sure that we tend to our spiritual needs
  • Caring for our dietary needs so that our energy levels are optimum.

All of these are important. Self-care isn't a humanistic idea or some Millennial, snowflake concept. It is wisdom, and it frees us to be able to serve our families the way they need.

4 Ways I'm Reviving My Personal Growth

1. Pray for yourself.

Yes, I have started each of these lists during this series with prayer. And that was intentional and very purposeful because nothing of value is every accomplished without prayer being at the very heart of it.

Here's the thing, though.

We've sort of bought into this idea that praying for ourselves is selfish. We make sure we pray for everyone's needs first, and then pray for ourselves with whatever time is left over—if there is any.

Most times there isn't.

But what would happen if we made praying for our personal needs a priority? If we were able to pinpoint our weak areas and not just prayed over them, but interceded for change?

What would happen if we were to fast for a change in our life? For revival of our heart?

Praying for our personal needs isn't selfish. It is the furthest thing from selfish. It is imperative!

If we want to grow spiritually, if we want to change, if we want to see God work in and through us, we have to start making prayer for our personal growth a priority.

2. Look ahead to Dec. 31, 2018.

I like to envision where I would like to be on Dec. 31, 2018.

Take a moment and close your eyes and pretend you can see yourself on the last day of this year. What do you see? What do you want to see? Physically, emotionally, spiritually, maturity-wise?

Now make those things your goal.

I have already written down what I saw, and I've posted it on the wall above my computer. I want to see that every day, because I want to make it a priority. I don't want to get to Dec. 31 with the same health battle, with the same weak spots, with the same emotional defaults, and stuck in the same spiritual mire.

I want to look back at today and dance for joy at what God has done in my life!

3. Make a chart.

OK, this is just another word for list, because I'm all about the lists.

In other words, now you need to look at where you are, then look at Dec. 31, 2018, and set goals: What will you have hoped to accomplish by March, June, August and November?

How will these smaller goals help you move toward your Dec. 31 goal?

4. Create actionable steps

Here's where the rubber meets the road.

On this chart, look at those smaller goals, and then from them create actionable steps to meet those goals.

If your goal is have a better prayer life by Dec. 31, what do you need to do in order to reach that goal?

Read some books? Which books?

Maybe you'd like to find a prayer partner. Who do you plan to ask? How will you meet or message each other? How often? What questions will you ask?

Would you like to have a prayer journal? What kind of journal How detailed? How often will you use it?

These are the kinds of questions these actionable steps will answer. And answering these questions will help to keep you motivated so that when you get to December 31, you'll see that personal growth in your life.

Rosilind Jukica Pacific Northwest native, is a missionary living in Croatia and married to her Bosnian hero. Together they live with their two active boys, and she enjoys fruity candles, good coffee and a hot cup of herbal tea on a blustery fall evening. Her passion for writing led her to author her best-selling book The Missional Handbook. At A Little R & R she encourages women to find contentment in what God created them to be. You can also find her at Missional Call where she shares her passion for local and global missions. You can follow her on FacebookTwitter, Pinterest and Google +.

This article originally appeared at rosilindjukic.com.

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