I’ve written before about how helpful mottos can be to our attitude about our work and life. Yes, mottos are great parenting tools, but they work for parenting ourselves as well.

That’s why choosing and repeating mottos is a part of what we do regularly inside Convivial Circle. There are portions of the courses that guide us in choosing and copying mottos for different areas of our life, but also inside our small group accountability posts each week, we’re supposed to share not only our top 3 tasks for the week, but also our focus or motto for the week.

A few weeks ago with my stand-up post (and I share in all the groups), I shared that my motto for the week was “I am not a slacker.”

I had been choosing “productive procrastination” for several weeks, avoiding areas I needed to work on by giving attention to detail work that didn’t really matter.

Several people called me out on my motto – this is one of the blessings of community.

“I am not a slacker” is a terrible motto!

When we’re trying to expand our capacity, learn to love what must be done, and work our priorities, we are moving toward something, not away from something. A motto like this, framed in the negative, is coming from behind, chasing me with a stick away from what I don’t want to be.

The primary noun of the motto – slacker – is the focus word. The point of the motto is to move me away from a scary place instead of toward a proper, rightly-ordered place.

Yes, during my weekly review, I had identified places where I had been a slacker the week before. I wanted to repent, to turn from those choices.

But when you turn, it’s more effective to put your eyes where you’re going than where you’re leaving.
A focus, a motto, something you repeat and remember, should be framed as what you’re looking toward and moving toward, not what you’re moving away from. Forgetting what lies behind, we strain toward what lies ahead.

This isn’t some kind of positive-thinking woo. This is common sense.

The motivating motto I chose instead

After I was called out on my terrible focus motto, I remembered the motto another lady in the community had shared with me. I realized her motto was what I was trying to get at, but she’d put it in the positive: “I am a go-getter.” Dana Carlson had just finished Homemaking 101 at the beginning of the year.

Dana gave me permission to share parts of her direct message with you, so you can be inspired as I was:

“Thank you! Listening and receiving encouragement (and correction 😩) was the fun and easy part. Now I have to get to work which is the mundane part! It’s so much more fun to live in my ‘Dream World’ where I’m feeling inspired — while sitting on the sofa with my warm coffee, candle burning, and no one to ‘bother’ me.

“Homemaking 101 was all really good, even if it did feel a bit like a paddle to my toddler bottom. I’ve decided to tell myself that I’m a ‘Go-Getter’ which I think is my alter ego and has been the case on occasion. Thank you for all you do…it’s so necessary and extremely important in the sanctification process.”

Dana Carlson, inside Convivial Circle

Choosing biblical motivation

I am a go-getter!

It’s a motto and an attitude alignment and totally biblical.

In the Parable of the Talents, the faithful servants had to be go-getters to invest and receive returns. They were commended for going out and turning a profit on what they’d been given – that means work, effort, time.

The servant that just sat on what he was given was the servant rebuked and punished. We receive in order to build. We don’t receive in order to sit back and relax and protect ourselves.

Building is an adventure full of risk and effort – not all of which is perfect. Sometimes you have to take out nails, try again, measure again, redo the work. It’s all part of getting to the goal.

The goal isn’t to only take steps forward you know will be perfectly safe and sound. With that sort of goal, we quickly become the fearful servant who decides burying his resources is the best way to return them to his master – and he was wrong about that.

When you are a go-getter, you will make mistakes. But you will also move forward, learn, increase, expand, and build.

Let’s move forward this week, not afraid of failure and not afraid of being slackers, not beating ourselves forward – as if that works at all. Instead, we can set our eyes ahead, on Christ, the goal, and in Him, live and move and have our being, pursuing with joy the good works he has for us this week.

We are go-getters.

Family Motto Sheets

Change your family’s mood and mode by practicing these mottos daily.

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