Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson. 

This is Episode 131: How to create a life worth imitating 

Happy New Year!

 I can’t believe we are starting Season 4 of this podcast! I want to wish everyone a very happy, blessed, and prosperous New Year! I’m not big on resolutions. Many times New Year’s resolutions are broken. This shouldn’t come as a surprise but a goal without a plan is just a wish. 

In the past four years, I can honestly say that I’ve been truly crushing my goals. Because I created SMART goals, I have been accomplishing many of the goals I set for myself. SMART is an acronym that stands for Smart Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time-bound. I create my goals, I look for correlations within those goals, and then choose one word that I can easily remember that will serve as my theme for the year. 

For example, when I was creating my goals for this year, I decided that my theme for 2021 will be the word ELEVATE. I’m not going to go into my method in how I do this in this episode so be sure to check out the Hustle in Faith website for further information on SMART goals and to download the free grateful notes and goal setting planner.

Now, the reason why I picked ‘elevate’ to be my theme for this year is because of so many situations that happened to me last year. Despite the chaos that occurred throughout last year, I have never been more at peace with my life. When I say the year 2020 gave me the most peace I have ever had, I am not saying I did not have any problems with people or difficult situations.

What I am saying is that none of these things defeated me and/or brought me down. The reason being, I kept reminding myself of something that my mom always says, “Put God first and the rest will fall into place.” What her statement means is that we are to always pray and request God’s help before making decisions. In doing so, God will give us whatever we need, whether it be strength, courage, or wisdom to get through the tough times.

Applying my mom’s wisdom along with my determination and consistency, the year 2020 turned out to be a very successful year for me. Despite all the chaos in the world, I was able to accomplish my goals. Mainly because I was and still am fiercely protective of my time. Negativity is a thief that not only steals your time but it also destroys your goals.

I protect myself from this thief by protecting my time. I don’t allow anyone or anything to occupy my time unless they add value to my life. This is one of the main reasons why I don’t watch mindless TV or hang out with a lot of people.

My main goal in life is to be more consistent with cultivating the talents God gave me.  Focusing on this endeavor has really placed me in a position to create opportunities not just for myself, but for others as well. I truly enjoy helping people gain the skills they need to achieve their goals. A comment that I have grown accustomed to hearing is, “Tosha, you’re so lucky.” I just smile and laugh because I know what they mean.

However, the success I’m currently experiencing isn’t luck. I didn’t just all of a sudden arrive with the attributes of Christ (ie joy, peace and happiness). Whenever I respond, I make sure to tell them this. I want them to know that in life we have to intentionally work towards our goals and we start first by allowing Christ to lead.

My success and happiness are products of many years of determination, blood, sweat and tears. Wait, let’s not leave out trial and error, and a whole lotta praying!  Throughout this process, I developed two mottos in life: 

  1. I work to live, not live to work. This means to have a balance in life.
  2. I work down here but live upstairs. This means I live life based on God’s perspective, all of which helps me to rise above the obstacles and petty people that Satan sends to defeat me.

I must admit, it took me a while to really understand the last point. My focus was distorted. I was trying so hard to please people that I lost sight of God and eventually I became lost. With that said, this is why I don’t base my time and energy on pleasing people is another way Satan robs us of our time. I just put Christ first and proceed in living my life.

My way of life, “Put Christ first and everything else falls into place,” has gotten me recognition at work and in my personal life. I was just thinking back to all the compliments I received from those at work. I never thought in a million years that anyone would be watching me, let alone thinking that I’m worth imitating. 

One co-worker in particular stood out in my mind. She explained that she loved my presentation style. She then took notes on how I presented. This person’s comment reminded me that we never know who may be watching us. Now don’t get my comment twisted.  

 We should not care about what other people think about us. What I am saying is that we should do our best to live our lives in such a way that it can serve as a role model for those without someone in their corner. 

As we start this brand spanking New Year, I want you to ask yourself, “Are you creating a life worth imitating?”  Your honest response to the next 5 questions will help you to see what type of life you are truly producing through your actions.

Where is my focus?

This question sounds easy enough to answer, but living it out can be an entirely different matter; especially, if you say that you believe in putting Christ first. If you are constantly comparing yourself to other people as well as trying to please people, your focus is not on Christ.

Whenever I am feeling defeated and unsure about things and people, my mom would always ask me, “Tosha, where is your focus?”  Although I would readily say with Christ, through my self-examination I could see where I veered off course. I had replaced Christ with people and things around me. Hence, why I was feeling defeated and unsure.

As I have gotten older, my mom’s advice was right, “The only way you can win in this world is by focusing on Christ.” It took years of wavering back and forth and then essentially having my life fall apart before I really, really took her advice seriously.  At that point, I had nothing to lose, so I decided to listen to my mom and put Christ first.

 My mom’s comment and many more Bible studies, which we still have to this day, is why I’m on fire with crushing my goals. It’s all because I shifted my focus to the Source (Christ) and stopped looking at my resources.

Am I looking for a blessing or am I being a blessing?

I know this may seem like a trick question, which is why you may immediately say, “I’m doing both.” Through an honest self-examination, can you really say you are doing both?

What many of us fail to realize is that when God gives you a blessing, He expects us to share it with others. I’m confident that one of the reasons that I have been so successful is because I have no problem sharing the wealth (blessings).  I look back at all the dark, poor times in my life which taught me how to share with others.  I can understand people better because I have been there and done that.

I’m slowly but surely turning into my mom. She has truly been a blessing to me and now I am paying it forward by helping others that I come in contact with. Regardless of how hard things got, I have and always will take time to help other people. Seeing others achieve their goals genuinely makes me happy. If I can play a small role in providing the assistance needed to make that happen that’s just like icing on a cake for me. 

Following God’s rule of sharing wealth is why I’m not only successful, but I am also able to enjoy my wealth. As you know many people have wealth, but they are miserable. Mainly because they did not get their riches and/or possessions the correct way and/or they are selfish like the rich man who only cared about himself (Luke 16:19-31).

 In such a case you can possess wealth, but you won’t enjoy it. A curse comes with such wealth whereby the owner is miserable.  Sadly, poor people that are happier than those with wealth. We’re to be a conduit. God gave us gifts and talents so they can overflow into someone else’s life. This is why I am always looking for opportunities to help people. Success does not have a quota. I’m a firm believer that if you put God first, we can ALL win.

Are you consistent? 

1 Thes. 5:19

Success doesn’t come overnight. It comes from building habits and routines that will position you mentally as well as physically with whatever tools your need to soar over any obstacles that come your way.  This is what happened to Joshua.  No one was able to stand up against him (Joshua 1:5-9). By always putting God first, Joshua became strong and courageous. Joshua’s blessings helped him to lead his people to their inheritance.

Joshua stayed consistent in life because he kept his focus on God and not people. As a result, he was a blessing for many. In order to be consistent we need to decide what type of life we want to live and work toward that outcome.  This is why I  literally end each episode of this podcast by saying, “ Remember, if you’re everything to everyone, then you risk being no one, you never know who you will inspire.”

I created this phrase many years ago as a reminder to myself that my opinions and decisions may cause me to make enemies. However, if I know I’m trying to please God and I feel like I’m doing the right thing, I could honestly care less about what others may think. If your words and actions are constantly being tossed around like waves in the sea, you’ll never make it to shore.

We must have a benchmark in life. You will never be able to see how much you have grown if you don’t have a benchmark. I’m very big on keeping journals and checklists in order to help me keep track of my progress. It’s little habits like this that keep us consist and stay the course  we have carved out for ourselves (1 Thes 5:19).

 Do you have peace?

In a world filled with chaos, peace is a precious gem that you must fight to obtain. Without the attributes of Christ, life is not worth living. This is why I make sure I start my day by reading God’s Word, prayer, and exercise. This routine is how I stay sane and prepare myself to face the challenges that lie before me.

As someone who spent a great deal of their life worrying, I have learned the hard way that worrying destroys our peace and other attributes of Christ. (Matt 6:27). Worrying about a situation doesn’t change anything. Worrying is a futile action that doesn’t produce any fruit. This is why the word of God constantly warns us against worrying.  As a result, I have learned this technique.

I literally make a list of pros and cons, I make my decision, pray about the matter and then I throw that list away. The list literally landing in the trash can represents me literally turning the situation over to God. I then do my best to not worry about it anymore because it’s in God’s hands.

Are you humble?

I am grateful when I receive compliments but I’m the absolute worst at taking them. I genuinely feel uncomfortable accepting compliments. Mainly because I know it’s all God, not me. If you knew the hoops I had to go through in order to get to where I am today, you would definitely know and agree that my success is due to me putting Christ first in my life.  

 Once I made the decision to let Christ use me to further His will, my life really did a complete 360. Now I’m not one of those crazy people yelling, “Praise Jesus,” every 5 minutes so that I can make a spectacle of myself (Luke 20:46). I believe in keeping my thoughts in their proper place; meaning, it’s all Christ. With this in mind, I’m a quiet, yet confident person.

 I’ve been told that my demeanor is a mystery. Being quiet people think they can take advantage of me.  When someone attempts to come at me crazy, they quickly realize that being humble doesn’t mean you are a coward.

Now keep in mind that you won’t always receive accolades in life; however, when I do, I always silently say, “ Thank you God,” knowing that my blessings come from Him and not the person who handed them to me.

If you keep all of the aforementioned in mind, your life will serve as a testimony to others. Your life is an advertisement so you need to ensure that you’re doing everything in your power to represent God’s brand in a light that would compel others to wear Him as well.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoy listening to Hustle in Faith and would like to support the show, please consider sharing it with your friends, leaving a review, donating, or making a purchase at  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!