Throw Off Everything That Hinders: How to Edit Your Life for Success | Ashley Varner

Throw Off Everything That Hinders: How to Edit Your Life for Success

All publications go through a harsh process of editing. Think of the best magazines and newspapers. All have teams of editors. Why? Because if you want something amazing to come out of your life, it usually requires you to take away the unnecessary. To put away the distractions.

Hebrews 12:1-3 says it this way, “…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us. And let us run with perseverance, the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith…”

If you want to run with perseverance, it’s time to let go of the unnecessary. Today we’re talking about how to edit your life for success.

Resources Mentioned:

How to Create More Time Workshop:

Highlights From The Episode:

All publications, magazines, newspapers, go through a harsh process of editing. Things like taking stuff out and rearranging words and things like that. I want you really to think about those best magazines and newspapers. They all have teams of editors. Why? Because they want to create something amazing. And usually that requires for things to be taken out. Unnecessary words, topics, things like that. I want you to start looking at your life the way that these editors look at their newspapers.

If you want something amazing to come out of your life, then it usually requires for you to take away all of the unnecessary things and put away all of the distractions. Hebrews 12:1-3 says it like this, “Let us throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles us. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfector of our faith.”

If you wanna run with perseverance, then it is time to let go of the unnecessary. And today we’re going to be talking about how you can edit your life for success. Let’s jump in.

Welcome back to The Renewed Mind. I am your host, Ashley Varner. I am a certified Christian life coach and I love working with women and speaking to women all about having a better mindset, how to take their thoughts captive and how that grows their productivity and their confidence. And to all of this month we’re talking about time and time management.

I really started thinking about this idea of editing my life whenever I was looking at the way that I was spending my time. So I wanted to share a couple of things today with you on how you can edit your life for success so that it can be the amazing life that God has planned for you.


The first thing that I wanted to share is this idea of constraint and holding back. And that might not seem like a great place to start, but really it is time for us to let go of the unnecessary and edit out the unnecessary. Sometimes whenever we are looking at a magazine, we don’t realize that the ending draft, this final product that was printed, is completely different than maybe the first draft was. There are so many things that need to be taken out, things that need to be edited out. Even if something is good, even if it’s something that is really useful, if it is not necessary, it gets taken out.

I want you to start looking at your life. What are the unnecessary things that are part of your life right now? Because if you want something amazing to come out of your life. If you want to truly be able to take hold of all the things that God has for you, you’re going to have to have a hand that is available to take hold of those things. That means letting go of all of the unnecessary.

Whenever we do that, whenever we kind of just stop ourselves from taking in everything, what we’re doing is we’re making room in our lives for our future. You have to do that by letting go of the things, some of the things that are in your present life.

You might be wondering, “What am I talking about by that?” Well, if you have this future goal of say to lose weight, that means that it’s gonna be necessary for you to take out all of the things that are not useful for you right now in order to reach that goal. So that might mean you editing out, going out to eat at fast food every day. That might mean that you edit out, been sleeping in until like 11 o’clock in the morning. I want you to consider that just because something might seem good, doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be edited out.

Now, again, you might be wondering, you know, “What do you mean by that?” Several years ago I was part of a lot of ministries. And I started looking at my life and really trying to decide where my priorities were and how the way I was spending my time actually showed my true priorities. So if you haven’t watched the video on, how to create more time, I talk a little bit more in depth about this. But whenever you are looking at your priorities it’s easy to list out your priorities on a piece of paper, but how is the way that you’re spending your time showing what your true priorities are?

So for me in that season and still in the season that I’m in, my kids, my family was a huge part of my priorities. And I started realizing that all these outside things that I was doing, and they were good things, ministries, things I was part of, classes I was teaching. I started to see that they were taking time away from my family.

Again, whenever I started to build The Renewed Mind, I also had to look at obligations and commitments I had made and start to reassess those things. And I had to edit out the things that no longer were serving the person that I knew that God wanted me to be.

I read a book called “Necessary Endings” and it really just touched my heart, because it made me realize that it’s okay to let go of things, even when they’re good things. It doesn’t mean anything about you or about the ministry if there’s something that you have to let go of.

If there are maybe friendships that you have spent a lot of time, like maybe you spend every single morning with someone, maybe you need to edit that back a little to once a week or twice a week or something like that. That’s okay. An ending doesn’t necessarily have to come from a really bad place. You can just reassess and realize that there are things that God puts in your life for a season, and it’s okay to edit those things out.


The next part of editing is the planning process. So as we talk about time management and we talk about being able to edit your life for success, what that looks like is deciding ahead of time the things that you want to spend your time on. So, our brain works in a couple of different ways.

The first part of our brain is really a primal survival instinct type brain that really seeks pleasure, that wants to avoid pain. That wants to make things as efficient as possible and as comfortable as possible for us.

Then there’s another part of our brain called the prefrontal cortex. That really is our like kind of higher thinking, our decision making, our planning type brain. And if you plan, if you are good with your time management, what you do is you make decisions ahead of time to actually reach the results that you have predetermined that you wanna reach.

So if your goal is to grow your spiritual walk with the Lord, then you can decide ahead of time, “On my calendar from 6:00 to 7:00 a.m., I’m going to be in my prayer room, spending time with the Lord.” You set that up ahead of time, instead of just relying on this primal instinct type brain that’s like, “Well, I’ll just do this whenever I feel like it.” If you live that way and you are living like just by the, just however you feel at the moment, you won’t ever reach the potential and the person that God wants you to be. Because God is a God of order. He is a planning God. He says, “I know the plans I have for you,” right? And so whenever we make plans, we are seeking the Lord in those plans and we’re inviting him into this planning process. What we do is we decide ahead of time the goals that we wanna reach.

I also want you to realize that whenever you plan, sometimes we can see that as wasting time. Like we’re not getting anything productive done whenever we’re planning something, but I want you to let go of that thinking. Because every moment that you spend planning, you are creating more time later.

And I wanted to mention super quick right here that I do have a free workshop called, Make More Time. It is completely free. It’s a 20 minute workshop where I really teach you some time management skills and really some mindset work around time. Because the way that you manage your time is really a reflection of the way that you manage your mind. And so if you can get to the point where you are really managing your thinking well and you’re taking your thoughts captive, you’re really making them obedient to Christ. What is gonna naturally flow from that is good time management. And so check out that free workshop. It is like I said, only 20 minutes, but if you give me 20 minutes in that workshop, I guarantee you that you’re going to see the results of more time later in your weeks to come.

How to Create More Time Workshop:

So I also wanted to mention that whenever you’re planning, make sure that you’re not just planning the big stuff and the hard stuff and the work stuff, but that you’re planning for breaks, that you’re planning for a good sleep, that you’re planning for fun things. I think this is something whenever I work with clients on time management that I see this come up a lot is they try to plan every single minute of their day without any kind of time for breaks or fun activities. And realize that you’re the one planning, so you can make those decisions.

Whenever you edit your life, you can decide, if sleep is important to me, I’m gonna edit out maybe those three hours of Netflix that I’m watching every night so that I can make room for what’s more necessary, which is my sleep. And so you can make those decisions ahead of time. And then that really helps you to follow through later whenever you are actually in the middle of your tasks.

Plan for resistance

The last thing that I wanted to share about editing your life for success is to realize that you aren’t always going to enjoy everything that you plan, and that’s okay. It’s okay to plan things and still not be excited to do them. So, and actually, I think it’s kind of common where whenever you’re planning out, imagine if you are setting up a new, you are gonna run a race and you are setting up your plan for training and you put it all in your calendar.

How many of you have made that whole plan and then maybe done one or two days of the plan. And then the third day you’re like, “You know, I just really don’t feel like doing this. This was a lot more fun when I was planning it. And now I don’t wanna follow through.” It is, that has happened to me more times than I can count.

But what I have learned is that there’s always going to be some kind of pushback. There’s always going to be that feeling that I don’t wanna do what I plan to do. And once I realized that, I started to plan for it. I started to plan for the fact that my plans were gonna have some resistance to them. And whenever you know that, whenever you change your mindset around the idea that you’re not, there’s never gonna be a time that you want to go and maybe do these hard things.

But if you realize that you can do it anyway, it starts to change everything for you. That’s when the follow through on your calendar and your to-do list actually happens. I think that going back to the idea of editing a magazine, as a writer, if someone comes in and chops up everything I’ve written, the first part of me is not gonna like that feeling, having to cut those things out of my work.

And the same is true whenever you’re editing your life. Though it’s not gonna feel great. It’s not gonna feel good, but we are not always called to comfortable things. And so if you really want to live out the purpose that God has for you, if you really want to experience the best of what he has for you, then I want you to realize that it’s going to take some uncomfortableness on your part.

And there’s always going to be that pushback that comes. There’s always gonna be that resistance that comes. And I want you to know that you can do it anyway. Whenever you start to push through that resistance, that’s whenever you start to see success. That’s whenever you start to experience a new life and a transformative life.

Because you are saying, “You know what? I think that this is hard, but I’m gonna do it anyway. I think this is uncomfortable, but I’m gonna do it anyway, because I know that I can take my thoughts captive.” And this is really the idea of changing your mindset to say, “I want to do this,” versus, “I have to do this.” So if you can start changing your mindset and really start shifting the way that you think about time, that is going to be the biggest deciding factor on you actually implementing the things that you want to accomplish in your life and really setting yourself up for success really in any area of your life.

And whenever I say success, I’m not just talking about like more money or more, whatever, I’m talking about living a life that is pleasing to the Lord and living a life that you enjoy and that you love. That’s really what true success is. And so I really hope that this helped you, and to really see that your thinking about time impacts everything else.

If you were interested in more teaching on that, make sure to grab my free workshop, how to make more time. You can find it at And I would love to see you in there and just help you a little bit more to learn how you change, how you can change your thinking to really impact your life.

How to Create More Time Workshop:

So whenever you change your thoughts about time and about your tasks, about your life, about your obligations, you will end up acting out of the those new thoughts and that creates more of the results that you want in your life.

All right, that is all that I have for you guys this week. I hope that you enjoyed this entire series on time management. If you did, let me know in the comment so I can create more of this that helps you. Because that is really my heart is to help you in the areas that you need the most encouragement and teaching. So, I will see you guys next time, have a wonderful week.

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- Ashley Varner

it’s my goal to reach every Christian mom with the truth that God wants to transform their life by renewing their mind.

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