Poetic Inspirations and Practical Applications for Blissful Living

Get Off the Treadmill

Get Off the Treadmill

(…and onto Solid Ground)


Business Tip Get Off The Treadmill

Image courtesy Chrisroll at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Purposeful Pathway is a haven for faith-based entrepreneurs. Part of my mission is equipping faith-based businesses with information that is practical, actionable and Scriptural.

The theme of this post is getting off the treadmill.

Have you ever felt you were on a treadmill in your business – or in your life? Going and going and going with task after task after task? If you have, I can relate completely. It seems you are breathlessly running with very little fruit to show for it. My encouragement to you, garnered from my own experience, is to get off the treadmill.

Okay, I realize that is easier written than done. After all, if you could simply get off the treadmill, wouldn’t you have done so already?

Yet sometimes we do not realize we are on a treadmill, and sometimes it is very difficult to get off its endless movement. But there is good news: it is most certainly possible to accomplish, and doing so gets easier with practice.

When we are on a treadmill of endless to-do’s, we often become disconnected from our businesses, our clients and our overall vision. We become knee-deep in doing, doing, doing, and we lose perspective and traction.

Take a moment now to envision someone running on a treadmill. Running and running and running. That person, despite all her exertion, goes nowhere! In getting off the treadmill and in hitting solid ground, she can walk (rather than breathlessly run) and make substantial progress on her journey.

So how can you get off the treadmill and get on solid ground?


1. Recognize you are on the treadmill. If you recognize you are not bearing fruit consistent with your level of labor, this is a red flag of treadmill-traveling. Some projects, of course, require substantial upfront work. You, however, know the difference between delayed fruit and minimal fruit. Ask yourself: are my efforts being channeled in the most effective way? Are my tasks bringing me to my goals in the most efficient manner? Am I connected to my vision in my daily projects? Or am I lost in a tunnel of tasks?

2. If you are on the treadmill, commit to getting off it. It is not easy to simply stop. Indeed stepping off the treadmill can be rather dizzying. So commit to making the change despite the discomfort.

3. Take a break to breathe. Ask God for guidance in how long this “breathing” time period may be: perhaps a couple hours, perhaps a couple days, perhaps a couple weeks. It may seem counterintuitive to stop working in order to heighten productivity; yet the fruit borne from careful planning and refining will far outweigh that which is borne from treadmill to-doing.

4. Establish boundaries on this breathing time. Gracefully notify others about your “breathing” time period. Send emails, make phone calls, set up away messages, prepare your support team and notify colleagues and clients. Most importantly, respect the boundary yourself. Remember to use “no” in a positive way. Journal about your emotions, discomforts and discoveries; document ways in which you can maintain boundaries for this time.

5. Take the time to prayerfully reconsider your activities. Ask God for His guidance. Listen to His voice. “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) Be open to shocking revelations that may steer you in a completely different direction. If you have hit a plateau or have found your labors to be relatively fruitless, perhaps God does not want you to continue moving in a particular direction. Your “being stuck” is His attempt to get your attention and steer you elsewhere. It is His gift to you.

6. Create a plan with the revelations God has shared with you. Re-write your vision and mission statements, goals and daily action steps. “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:28-29) Take the time to thoughtfully and prayerfully plan your steps (while submitting to God’s will and accepting He may steer you away from this plan in the future).

7. Joyfully hit that solid ground! With your new plan, refreshed vision and aligned steps, go ahead and walk (and sometimes run) on solid ground. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Enjoy the beauty of traveling the most effective, efficient, powerful, meaningful and purposeful pathway.

Getting off the treadmill often requires more work than staying on the treadmill, as it involves a conscious, disciplined effort to stop the momentum of fruitless (or low fruit-bearing) activities. Yet, as all things, doing so grows easier with practice…and is made possible with God’s grace.

I promise you will find treasures when gaining traction on solid ground.

If you need help in getting of the treadmill and getting on solid ground, let me get you started. I offer to you a complimentary Boost my Business session. You will walk away with clarity, renewed vision and a completely customized next-step action plan. Simply email me at caroline@purposefulpathway.com to schedule a time or click here.

Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, thank you tremendously for the gift of walking purposefully in you. How blessed we are by Your love and providence. Open our eyes to any areas in which we may be stuck in a treadmill of to-do’s. Help us to see Your way, the perfect way, that we may channel our efforts and energies most effectively and powerfully for Your glory. We love You, and we desire to bring honor to You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

Leave a Comment

  • http://www.180coach.com/ Rob Clinton

    Yes, Caroline! Amen to that… This is a big reminder that
    sometimes we get going and we start doing repetitive busy work that could really
    be meaningless if we’re not careful. I love your steps there, and they remind
    us how to focus on what matters and get going again… We can’t always gauge our
    progress from the treadmill, but when we start to feel disconnected it’s a great
    idea to get off first, and do exactly as you’ve laid out here. Great post!

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

      Thank you so very much, Rob! Your encouragement is cherished! I agree: as well-meaning as we may be, we can often get lost in a tunnel of to-do’s. “Being busy” is not a business model. I so glad you enjoy the seven steps; I have found they are helpful in ensuring we channel our energies into the activities that bear the most fruit for our businesses – and, far more importantly, for God’s glory! You are always a blessing, and I pray God always blesses you!

      • http://www.180coach.com/ Rob Clinton

        The honor is mine! YOU are the blessing… I heard something in passing the other day about being “busy”, and the response was, “oh yeah, busy doing what?”… That “what” is going to make all the difference…

        • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

          Smiling in gratitude! You never cease to be a blessing! And, yes, the “what” makes ALL the difference. Here’s to being busy with the right things!

  • MichaelDeRosa

    Caroline. Getting off that treadmill is mandated by our Lord. How sad that we have made getting off this treadmill into an option. Just reading today Ephesians 3:20-21 and came away thinking: how can we begin to tap into God’s awesome plan for us in Christ if we don’t take the time to sit at His feet.

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

      Michael, thank you so very much for your comment! I am always blessed in hearing from you. Yes, how fundamental and precious is our daily quiet time (http://reflecthislight.com/2013/04/biz-tip-quiet-time/) with the Lord Jesus! I cannot imagine trying to function without deeply communing with Him first thing each morning and continually throughout the day. He is the Source of life and inspiration, and we live to do His will. We must, as you wrote, sit at His feet to tap into His plan for us. I have found, though, that even the most Christ-centered individuals (indeed those who commune with Christ frequently and intimately throughout the day) can still be stuck in fruitless activities in their Christian businesses. This is where the seven steps outlined above have been very helpful for evaluation and for gaining solid-ground traction. The result is bearing more fruit for God’s glory. Many thanks again, Michael, and I pray God richly blesses your wonderful heart for Him!

      • MichaelDeRosa

        Appreciate your encouraging words, Caroline.

        Blessings on your day!

        • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

          Michael, I wholeheartedly appreciate yours! Your heart for God is radiantly evident in your words and in your work! His abundant blessings always to you and yours!

  • http://www.VictoryChristianCoaching.com/ Marianne Clements


    This is a common problem in our society today. We may want to stop, but the treadmill just keeps going. However, there is that big red stop button that will allow us to safely stop. We MUST rest and we must realize that the world is not going to stop spinning just because we need to rest and that’s OK. The world will not collapse because we rest.

    God will refresh us so we can BEAR more fruit through HIS power when we rest and invest time with Him. Then the fruit will be for HIS glory and we will be more satisfied that our efforts have been effective.

    Have a Victorious Day!

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

      Sweet Marianne,

      I am always blessed by your comments! I wholeheartedly agree: we MUST rest and realize that the world will not stop when we do. This is an act of trust and humility!

      So blessed we are to know that we will indeed bear more fruit when we allow God’s power to work through us!

      Thank you for resting and refreshing in Him, dear sister, and for bearing eternal fruit for His glory!

      His glorious graces on your purposeful pathway…

  • Pingback: Guest Post: “Exhale” to Excel | 3-D Vitality()

  • Pingback: The Fun Factor: How to Have Fruitful Fun to Boost BusinessPurposeful Pathway()

  • Pingback: Guest Post: The Fun Factor | 3-D Vitality()

  • http://www.MarianneClements.org/ Marianne Clements

    I needed this reminder! When we rest, God works. When we work, God rests. I need to remember to cling to that Victorious Vine, Jesus, and let Him work through me so I can bear good fruit.
    Have a Victorious Day!

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

      Amen and Hallelujah! Sweet it is to rest in The Best!! May our Loving Lord continue to bless you as you bear good fruit for His glory, Marianne! May your days be remarkably radiant in His Son~shine divine, Caroline