If you have been participating in our July makeover since day #1, it could be a bit overwhelming already. Focusing on our own well-being and ourselves is strenuous work. It should not be that way. The old adage is that self-preservation is the first law of nature. So it should be natural to identify our passions, update our written goals and choose what strategies we are going to use to reach our goals. But it is not natural for many of us. And the reasons are very real.
First, we are bombarded by non-stop, attention grabbing messages from marketers that seek our patronage and our loyalty. I can’t count the number of television commercials that I see, radio ads that I hear, newspaper and magazine advertisements that I read, and web based promotions that fill my inbox. Our consciousness is saturated with commercial noises that fill us with thoughts about everything other than our own welfare.
Then our lives are so busy. We spend so much time commuting to work, working at work, preparing for events, attending events, meeting people, preparing to meet with people, learning and using new technologies, responding to family challenges, doing things for other people, and of course, shopping. We just don’t have time or make time for ourselves. Later this month we are going to spend a day or two discussing time. When we do, I will show you my approach to mastering time. Using time properly and strategically is the key to personal success. It’s how we harness our passion (day #3).
So before we introduce any more “steps” in our process, let me invite you to take the time today just to reflect and review. We began by identifying one goal that we sought to accomplish by August 1 (day #1). It seems like a long time ago – but it was only last Monday! I hope you wrote it down, placed it in a self addressed, stamped envelope and asked someone to mail it to you on July 28. If you didn’t do it yet, now is the time to get that done.
We have also begun writing more of our goals. Although it would be nice to have placed all of them into specific categories, we just want to make sure we have some written goals by now. Look at your goals – make sure they all describe a “what” and not a “how” (day #5). If you have placed each goal into one of our five categories, we will review each category next week and decide if they are in the correct category.
If you have prepared your draft obituary (day #4), review it and make any changes that you want to make. If you have not done this yet, don’t consider this a morbid activity. We are all going to leave here some day. Steven Covey once said that we should begin with the end in mind. The Psalmist asked God to teach him to number his days. That kind of advice has helped me for the last 20 years. You will benefit greatly by attempting to do it.
All I am saying is that today I am pausing to reflect on the commitments and plans I have made this week. I invite you to do likewise. Next week will be very intense as we consider our five categories of goals and how they intersect and interact (day #2).
At the end of the first week of creation, God is described as having rested. God never needs rest. It may be better to understand God as having reflected upon everything that God had made. That is what Day #6 is for us - a day of reflection. Consider all of our action items to date. And get ready for more work on us.