Surviving to Flourishing- Part 3: Prep for Change


Part One: My Story
Part Two: Where to Start
Part Three: Prep for Change (this post)

I know that many of you are so sick of just surviving that you want to jump in with both feet and change everything! 🙂 Good for you!! Before you hit the ground running, it’s worth it to take just a little time, thought and prayer to make sure you don’t fizzle out after a week or two.

In my journey from surviving to flourishing (and I’m not completely there quite yet!) I found that every time I got frustrated with how things were and made a snap decision to change, I failed. I hadn’t thought it all through, made my plans and really committed to it. My heart was in it at the moment, but there was no staying power to my changes.

How did I finally start making changes that lasted? These steps were key!

Start with Sleep and Prayer

If you are sleep-deprived, as most survival-mode people are, you cannot think as clearly as you need to be able to in order to make the best decisions. Look at your calendar and decide on a specific day in the near future (next weekend?) that you will set aside several hours for in-depth planning. Minimize your commitments over the few days beforehand, get to bed at a decent hour and sleep until you are rested, if possible. If you have to get up early or you have to care for a baby throughout the night, take a nap. Even 20 minutes each afternoon can help. Just get some rest and then…

Pray. Especially if you found while doing the exercise from the last post that what you have been saying are your priorities are actually very different from what really matters to you. Continuing with the illustration from last time (saying time with family, especially your children, is most important, but in reality you work outside the home when it’s not absolutely necessary for survival), this may take some extended prayer time to work through the issue. Face why you feel you “have to” work (if you really don’t have to- single mamas really do have to!) and pray, pray, pray. If there is any kind of disconnect between living the ideal version of your life and really loving the people in your life (instead of giving them the leftover dregs of your time and energy), deal with that before moving on. It could be a job, a hobby, computer/internet/smartphone time, another relationship, people-pleasing commitments or any number of things, but you have to face it if you want to really thrive and flourish. 

Decide You WILL Make Progress

If you are half-hearted, you’ll fail. If you are negative and hopeless, you won’t make any real progress. You have to truly commit to changing in order to change. A person who says the want to quit smoking usually just keeps right on smoking. A person who says they wish they cold lose weight usually doesn’t. Talking about it, wishing for it and dreaming about it won’t pull you through the hard days. You have to really commit to it. You will stay stuck forever if you don’t truly commit to changing. I was stuck for nine years and it just got worse and worse. I would talk about slowing down, wish I could change things and regret the lost time with my kiddos, but that made no difference. Decide, right now, that you won’t stay stuck. It will be hard. Accept it. Get ready. Pray some more. This won’t be a quick fix. It is going to take time and you have to stay committed for the long haul, but it’s worth it!

When I decided that things had to change, I wasn’t really clear on what, how or when. These books were so encouraging and they really helped me get clear on the details. If you are wanting some inspiration, guidance and resources to go back to throughout your journey, check out my favorites!


Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life, by Crystal Paine
Although I have to say that this sweet lady is far busier than I would want to be in my ideal vision, her step-by-step guide was the most helpful for me. Doing the exercises she had throughout the book, I really thought things through and got my priorities clear.


The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands, by Lisa Terkeurst
I have to be honest that I kind of jumped around in this book. I normally would have read it straight through, but having just read the other book, I used it to fill in the gaps. It’s focused on making the best decisions you can and not over-committing. If saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way is why you are in survival mode, this book is for you.

Next, we’re going to make some solid plans, so get ready!

7 thoughts on “Surviving to Flourishing- Part 3: Prep for Change

  1. Linda says:

    It has been very interesting reading your story and the conclusions you have drawn about the way we live at this time in history. I am on the other side of ‘survival mode’ which took ALL of my children’s growing up years. I am very thankful at God’s graciousness to get us all through intact and even thriving.
    I understand completely about adrenal exhaustion and can only warn about the difficulty of recovery-my conclusion is that the longer the stress continues,the more difficult it is to recover, and as in my case, recovery may not be possible after a late level 3(on a 4 level scale) has been reached.
    Time will tell and an understanding of what life IS not what it ‘should be’ brings great peace. Knowing that my Father loves me no matter what my day looks like. This business of only having worth if we are out there doing for others and completely ignoring our own physical need isn’t noble or honorable. It is destructive to the closest relationships He has blessed us with. It’s time we understood this. We all have our own personal set of limitations and must determine for ourselves what we can and cannot accomplish in life.

    Bless you and your “NEW” New business Justyn-

    • Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Linda! That is so true about how we have gotten to the point of thinking that our worth comes from being so busy that we neglect and damage ourselves. Starting on this journey, it was nearly impossible for me to force myself to take a nap or take a break from a project without feeling guilty. Yes, some days are just busy and that’s okay, but pushing ourselves 24/7 to be busy is so detrimental to us. I remember when I could just bounce right back after abusing myself with not enough sleep, no nourishing foods and way too much to do. You’re so right about it being much harder to recover after being in survival mode for so long. I had hoped to be much healthier by this point, but I am so very thankful for the progress I have made. Blessings to you, too!!

      • Linda says:

        I sincerely hope I did not give you the impression that recovery is not obtainable. I am dealing with 40 years of ignorance and neglect of myself and my needs.Far longer than you! It has only been 8 years of care to get me to the point I am now in my recovery. I have a long way to go but it took me a long time to get this sick!

        You have realized what you need to change and I have no doubt you will do very well! Be patient-it takes a lot longer than you think it should, but it will happen!


        • Linda says:

          By the way, I do not see any details about what methods you are using for treating your adrenals- do you have a post about that somewhere? Just curious…

          • That is something that I am still working on and I will be posting once I have a bit more experience (and success, I hope!) to speak from. 🙂

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