Motivation Monday: Choose one thing…

It happens every Monday after a Hearts at Home conference.  I’ve heard wonderful messages, attended some great workshops (yes, even though I present workshops, I still sneak into a few that I want to take!), and I’ve got a ton of new ideas in my back pocket.

Now where do I begin?

I’ve come to learn that less is more when it comes to managing my expectations after a learning experience like a Hearts at Home conference.  Or after reading a good parenting book.  Or after listening to the pastor’s sermon on Sunday.

Choose one thing.

Yes, there were dozens of great ideas.  Tons of takeaways.

But choose just one.

Focus on one principle you want to apply or one change you want to make.  Think about it.  Talk to God about it. Write it down.  Share it with a friend.

One heartfelt long-term change is far better than a handful of short-term adjustments that really don’t stick.

Regardless of whether you attended the conference this past weekend or not, what’s your one thing that you’re choosing to focus on today, tomorrow, and in the coming days? 


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43 thoughts on “Motivation Monday: Choose one thing…

  1. I understand what you are saying…and the one thing that we are taking from there is soft talk. I went back and look at all my notes and made a list of the things I wanted to work on. And will work on this list till I’m done with it. I should I will just add to the list next year. 🙂

  2. Like Amber said, I’m going to be focusing on speaking softly. I was so impressed with the gentleness that Michelle Duggar exuded and I’m asking God to help me practice gentleness all around, but especially in speaking with my littles!

  3. “Being a gift to my husband” ” Surrendering to HIM” Letting the lord lead him and me” Also speaking to my children with a soft voice. Such a good conference.

  4. I too am going to work on speaking softly first. If I can master that than I think everything else will fall into place.

  5. One thing I took was about the influences we let into our lives and what we are looking at and looking to so the first thing I did when I got home was delete all the trashy shows off my DVR, no more Real Housewives! That was one concrete thing I could do, if I’m going to watch tv (& I will!) it has to be something positive because why fill my head w/all that other crap? I’ve also made the choice to try to listen to more spiritual & uplifting music and spend my time more wisely.

    The other thing was from Michelle Duggar about “training” versus giving consequences. I have a 20 month old so this really relates to my life right now.
    Was my first time going and I got a lot out of it!!

    • Ooooo….I like “training” versus giving consequences. I didn’t get to hear that workshop so thank you for sharing that!

      • Yes, she said she makes a game of saying in a sing song voice “Josie, come here” and training her to say “Coming mom” or whatever in reply. That the repetition really ingrains what you want them to do, hoping it cuts back on my nagging, who wants to be that mom?! Not me!
        Thanks for your honesty in your speaking, it is really touching & humbling to hear almost all the speakers Sat. who are such accomlished “experts” so to say & models to us “normal” women admit that they still don’t have it “all figured out” and that there are still struggles just like the rest of us! You are brave and inspiring in your continued faith and encourages me to strengthen mine to have as deep of a faith as you and the other ladies! I only wish more of us women can tell our true stories and quit the competition and facades of a perfect life.

  6. I was thinking the exact same thing…if I try to focus on changing everything I want to, I’ll be exhausted and frustrated by Tuesday and be back to the same old me. So I’m starting with some FLYlady stuff. My sink was shined yesterday and has stayed that way. I’m working on making my home control journal and just starting the weekly home blessing hour. Trying to follow her advice of jump in where you are, not trying to catch up. Whatever I declutter is going directly to our local women’s shelter thrift store. I really want to implement all of Shari Braendel’s ideas, but I’m going to start with reading her book this month and next month when she does her frumpy to fab in 30 days, I’ll join then and hopefully still be implementing my flylady stuff. I think the organization and freedom with the flylady stuff will help me have more time for my kids and not feel like I always have an endless to do list.

  7. Mine was Shari’s Style workshop. She was talking about how we view ourselves and vocalizing it, ‘I feel fat in this, my hair is horrible, my ‘this or that’ is too big’. Our daughter’s hear these things, and not only do they then learn those negative self body image views, but when someone says, ‘You look just like your Mother’….it can lead to them wondering about all of those negative things we think of ourselves, and how they must have it too…since I look like my mother.

    Just a real slap across the face. I’ll say nothing negative again (I have a 9 year old, it’s not too late), and work with God on improving my body image.

    Thank you for coming and speaking at our MOPS in Dyer, IN, Jill. I wouldn’t have known about Hearts at Home otherwise, and wouldn’t have learned about all of the great things I did this weekend. See you next year!

    • Julie, what a great reminder about what our daughters overhear! Thank you for sharing that reminder!

  8. Jill,
    First of all, thank you for being a great model of honesty, vulnerability and integrity for me! I had been reading about all that is going on in your family and praying for you, but I appreciated your willingness to share that with all those women. That can be scary and risky, but you were willing to model Godly behavior for us and that speaks volumes about you and your ministry:)

    I have chosen to work on two things – and no I am not an overachiever:) I want to speak more softly to my children, so I am going to put some Bible verses on my kitchen sink window to memorize while I am doing dishes.

    Also, I want to seek wisdom as Dr. Juli Slattery spoke about. I don’t want wisdom to be rare in my life as a wife and mother. I want it to be something I seek diligently for!

    Thanks for a great weekend!

    • Thank you, Barb. And I’m joining you on the “seeking wisdom” journey. I was so challenged by Dr. Slattery’s message.

  9. The first thing that I am going to work on is Linda Anderson’s suggestion of making a list of things that I am willing to not do. I also plan on implementing Marilee Parrish’s RADICAL (or the 7 most important) ways to improve my relationship with my husband. If those two are the only two things that I take away from the conference this weekend, it will be a good improvement for my family. However, I do hope to continue to add more to my list as the year goes forward. This is my third year coming to the conference and I take away something new each time. 🙂

  10. I am going with seeking wisdom.

    This being my 6th HAH conference I am well aware of the urge to fix it all at once. I think starting with seeking wisdom will give me a much needed perspective.

    This is going hand in hand with a non-workshop moment I had with a friend to pray.

    Thanks for yet another great conference. This year we brought 6 conference virgins with us and they all had a great time!

    • Ok, girl, I think that is the first time in 19 years I’ve heard someone call a first-timer a “conference virgin!” 🙂 I love it!

  11. I was a first-timer at this years Conference, and what a blessing! I was so overwhelmed with the experience. I walked away with a fresh, new, inspired way of thinking and received a lot of great information. I too will be making a “To Do” list, and making changes in my home, and life. This time that I spent for me, was the most rewarding. Not only have I been filled with more love for God, but a love for myself. Rubbing elbows with so many God-loving woman…AMAZING! God has a purpose for each one of us and if we open our hearts and minds to him, He will work wonders.

  12. I did not attend conference — yet — I’m planning to in November! — but I already accomplished my focus today, which is accomplishing one thing on my to-do list each day. I made a phone call (because I’m very bad about making or returning phone calls). And I made just one!

  13. Only one thing? But I’ve got so many great ideas right now….okay, I get it. One thing.
    The “one thing” I will focus on right now is a new motivation for my training…specifially running. I never did well with the whole “reward myself when I reach a goal’ type of motivation. Yesterday at church, however, I stumbled upon a different type of motivation. I heard a missionary speak about the children in another country who were being rescued from human trafficking. I decided then to make my running have a reason. For every mile I train, I put a dollar in the jar. This money goes to help these children. It’s a small thing, but it’s one thing that even I can do.
    I now “have a reason to run.”

  14. Dear Jill,

    Everytime I attend, I walk away refreashed and then overwhelmed as to where to start with what I would like to accomplish. So many things hit home this weekend.
    The biggest is one I have struggled with for a long time. Speaking with a soft voice. I asked the FLYLady how to get my children to do what I would like them to do without having to repeat myself several times. (very irriating) She said something so simple and yet so amazing… why in the world had I never thought of this… Whisper. REALLY Whisper! Why hadn’t anyone told me this before? With four boys, two dogs and a cat (all male) it can be a bit crazy… Whisper… Amazing it works!

    Thank you for blessing all of us with beginning what all mothers need… an amazing time to refreash, reflect and rejuvinate our souls.



  15. This was my first conference and I enjoyed it very much and am looking forward to next year and inviting more moms to come along! I was very motivated by Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar. My son is 2 years old and I would like to “speak softly” and learn the character qualities together. I printed them from their website and stuck them on our fridge just like they suggested. I enjoyed all of the workshops, especially Lorraine Pintus.

  16. I was a conference virgin this year. Two take aways that I am already implementing… 1) Date my mate
    2) “A good enough job done today is better than the perfect job not done tomorrow”-Flylady

    • I love that quote from the FlyLady! I wasn’t in that workshop so thanks for sharing it! It’s totally me to say “good enough…at least it’s done after putting it off for so long”

  17. I learned sooo many wonderful things!
    The two things that I am going to do my best to implement and make into habits are:
    *My volume and tone of voice with my children. I have a tendancy to speak louder when I am excited whether it is happy or angry. I know that I raise my voice with my children way too much.
    *I really liked Julie Slattery’s talk about Wisdom. I am commiting to get up 20 min earlier each day to start my day seeking wisdom. I’m going to read a chapter of Proverbs and then spend the rest of the time on my knees. This is going to be a struggle for me until it becomes a habit because I don’t like getting up in the morning. I think the morning is the best time though because I would like to ask God every day for the wisdom to be the best wife and mom that I can that day.

    I loved the conference and am looking forward to next year!

    Traverse City, MI

  18. I feel like I’m the only one who didn’t go to the Duggar’s workshop to hear this “speak softly” advice, but that sounds like great advice! Does anyone have the link to find the resources on their website? I’m going to try to remember the Ten Messages You Want Your Kids to Get, the outline of that one is available at

    My biggest take-away was to pray for everyone who was there and their families, including your family Jill. I am pretty sure my heart skipped a beat when you shared your story and I kept telling my friend “she’s kidding…that’s my story, not hers…she’ll tell us she’s kidding”. My heart broke for you and I wanted to jump down from the balcony to give you a huge hug because I know how horrible it is to go through what you have. I’m praying your story ends better than mine but it reminds me how evil can find its way into even the strongest peoples lives. I’m so sorry!

    • Hi Tina,, there is a character quality chart you can download under resources, the # 1 trait is “attentiveness”. I could not access the chart yesterday but will try again. Michelle Duggar admitted to being a yeller until her 7th child, and not wanting to be the “crabby mommy”, wanting her kids to know that is not who she really is, “I’m really nice!” she said. She said she makes a point to smile at her kids, speak softly, and to “train” them from a very young age to follow commands by using eye contact and sing song voice, even using obstacle courses to help them learn to follow commands (go downstairs, run around the table 5 times, come back up hop 10 times then touch the bed). Hope that helps, there might be more info about it on their website somewhere…

    • Thank you, Tina. I’m so sorry you’ve had to walk this journey, too. It sucks…that’s all there is to it. But God is bigger than it all…I’m trying to keep my eyes on Him!

      • Growing closer to God has been the best outcome of such a horrible experience! He is so faithful to bring great things out of the ashes!

  19. The Conference that sticks with me the most is Marianne Miller Raising Grateful Kids in a Culture of Consumerism. She says to make your children realize that it is their family that makes them “rich” not “things and to stop the inflow of “stuff” in your home.

    I am going to take her advice and work on stopping the inflow of stuff in my home.

    • Oooo, that sounds really great, maybe I should order the recording of that one! How did she recommend handling grandparents giving all kinds of “stuff” the kids don’t need?

      • Oh it would so be worth getting the video. I was so shocked at how awesome it was. She says to let the grandparents know that if they buy the children stuff they have to keep it at their house. Also not to feel guilty if you “get rid” of something that the grandparents get. You will not be disappointed if you get the video.

  20. One thing that I walked away with wasn’t really a quote that someone said, but what God said to ME through an example. Jim Bob mentioned that after he had lost the US Senate election, they prayed and thanked God and said that they were ready for whatever the next mission would be. Look where God has taken them and how He’s used them since then!! My prayers is that I take time to listen for God’s still small voice and obey, even if it takes me out of my comfort zone and I’m scared to death!!

  21. This was my first time attending. I’m 42, a mother of 2 daughters and 3 step children and a grandmother to a 2 and 1/2 year old. It was originally supposed to be a mother/daughter thing with one of my daughters. She cancelled at the last minute. And, just to clarify; we have quite a turbulent relationship. I have to say that this was profound to me. I almost didn’t go because I was so disappointed with my daughter cancelling out on me. But God needed me to be there and He needed me to hear what these women had to share. I attended Brenda Garrison’s workshop on the choices that we mom’s don’t always agree with. I was in tears the first 10 minutes because I knew that God had purposefully put me there because I needed to hear what she had to say. I found that I’m trying “too hard” and putting up walls in the process. She gave me a great deal of information that I can immediately use in everyday life. I will never miss a conference again. Even when my children are all grown and gone. It was the greatest experience I’ve ever had.

  22. I wasn’t at the conference, but I am looking forward to my conference at home package to arrive in a few weeks. I was listening to my CDs from last year and I’m focusing on margin and taking things in baby steps. I tell people that I keep getting tangled up in my Super Mom cape cause I’m going in so many directions. (easy to do with 3 kids and multiple other activities)
    I first heard about Hearts at Home years ago at a MOPS conference and heard you (Jill) speak then. I have followed Hearts at Home since then and hope to see you again some day.

  23. I didn’t attend the conference, but I love your idea about choosing one plan to implement. When I try to make too many changes at once, I always fail. Your message was a great reminder for me.

  24. One thing – doh! Guess the perfectionist in me is already trying to get to work with all that touched and inspired me this weekend. Silly me – trying to work on EVERYTHING will most likely lead to failure. Baby steps, right? So… I guess that brings me to the ONE most important thing that the Holy Spirit has made exceedingly clear to me – let go of perfectionism. My house cannot be perfectly clean, and might not until all my kids are grown and out of the house. And, maybe not even then – thanks to Linda Anderson sharing about the dead chipmunk found under her bed, since her kids are all grown and out of the house. Linda shared, the Fly Lady shared, and the Duggars shared and it really hit home that I am not to be perfect nor is everything in my life. Perfectionism will someday take on its true meaning in my life, when I am called to my heavenly home! Until then, I am called to take baby steps and try to be the best mother and wife I am called to be!!

    Jill – thank you for your sharing and your humility. Praying you feel God’s love and comfort in these trying times. I will continue praying for you and your family! <

  25. From the workshop about how to improve your relationship with your husband (sorry, can’t remember the speaker’s name right now), I went home and the next day asked my husband to implement this tip: that whenever we get home from work, we have to hug first. It’s only been a few days, but it’s already made a HUGE difference in our relationship. Before, neither one of us would get up when the other came home, and the person coming home last would usually check email, change clothes, and no conversation would take place. Then we would sit in front of the TV and not talk for the rest of the night. By starting with a hug first, that immediately releases stress, calms us both down, and if one of us had a bad day, we don’t take it out on each other. It helps us start conversations right away, and the person that was already home stops whatever he/she was doing to talk. It’s AWESOME!!!

  26. I was re-inspired by something you said last year as well…”It may not be well with my circumstances, but it is well with my soul.” I need to remember this when things get tough and I have bad days.

    • Julie, actually it was Jennifer Rothschild who said that last year. I borrowed her words this year because they described my situation so well! So glad you connected to that!

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