Marcy and I just returned from vacation. Every year we return to the same place at the beach right around the same time of year. We PLAN. We look forward to that two weeks. We make lists to pack, etc.
How often though do we lay out our Life-priorities? Do you have a plan for the direction and purpose of your life?
When I was a doctoral student, one of the most helpful and instructive requirements of one of our courses was to create and present our “Life Mission Statement.” In a recent post “5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing,” from Michael Hyatt, he offers a PDF eBook, Creating Your Personal Life Plan, for all those who respond to his post by subscribing for email notification. It’s a great and helpful book with introductory video by Mike. He is the ideal coach because of his success at carrying out so effectively his own Life Plan. After all, he was the CEO of Thomas Nelson and now is their Chairman of the Board.–not to mention a high end blogger and successful Christian writer in his own right.
If you need reasons for creating such a Life Plan or Life Mission Statement, read Mikes post. I’d probably add a couple more here:
6. You will be able to spell out just what you’re life circles around. And you can hand out copies to close friends and family asking them to pray for you in these areas.
7. Living out your Life Mission Statement is an example for others. They see your progress. God wants us to so live that people can see our progress and thank God for the answered prayers they send up on our behalf.
8. There’s tremendous freedom in having a plan. Sometimes there’s freedom in something that appears constraining. A good example of this is a train. Trains don’t do well just going wherever. They don’t run best on sand or in mud. They can’t go where they want, but they have tremendous freedom when on their tracks. They can get where they’re headed much faster on those tracks than off. You have the added benefit of being able to adjust which directions and to which destinations your track (priorities and goals) will go.
Expect adjustments. Eleven years ago, I wrote out my first Life Mission Statement. Sometimes you have to adjust. Under my personal goals, one was to lose 45 pounds by a certain date. The date came and went and I had only lost 10. Rather than become discouraged and give up, I got out my LMS and readjusted the date to reflect a more realistic loss of 1 pound per week. After some time, I realized my goal.
Expect blessings. Involve the Lord as you write out your plan. Scripture says that if you “Delight yourself in the Lord , he will give you the desires of your heart.” I believe that as you worship and enjoy Him, he plants desires. Desires to grow, desires to plan and accomplish wonderful things. Watch the blessings flow as you honor God by being a good steward of your time and life.
As for the benefits in my own life, I have been able, with several adjustments, to:
- Go deeper in the Lord
- Reach weight and health goals
- Become debt-free
- Write several books and publish one
- See my family growing and active together
- Enjoy a marriage of 32 years and we’re still like newlyweds.
- Accomplish several ministry goals
Perhaps these things might have “just happened” on their own. I guess we’ll never know. But knowing myself as well as I do, none of them would. I do not have the organizational skills or the self-discipline (though I’ve grown in both) to accomplish these without a plan. Nor could I have planned and succeeded without the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who led me to write out a plan.
QUESTIONS: Do you have a written plan or life mission statement? Yes or no, as Dr. Phil says “How’s that working for you?”
©2011, David C Alves
by David C AlvesI’m thinking about dissipation and distraction. And what made me think of that? I just updated my current reading list. In so doing, I noticed that I’m reading too many books at once. I can’t recall when I started doing this. I used to read one book at a time. I’m not sure if everyone does this or just me. What’s behind this?
Is it that we’re getting older and realizing that time is at a premium? That we might not get to finish all the books that interest us? Or . . . do we have a shorter attention spans? And need to spread our interests across a wider palette? Sampling here and there? For me, maybe it’s from attending too many covered dish dinners in the past thirty-four years of church ministry–you go down the line and take a little of this and a little of that. Then go back for 2 or 3 helpings of whatever I found to be most appealing.
In any case, reading 5 or 6 or 7 books at once may be a source for my lack of intellectual focus these days. I seem to be interested in more things than I can read about at once. This produces in me a feeling of being scattered–always feeling that more than one book is demanding my attention. But, I’m going to try to whittle my list down over the next six months. Let’s see if I can do it. I wonder if I can ever get my current reading down to 2!
Although in my own defense (against my own concerns), usually one book is devotional reading, one is ministry related, and one is personal. In my current list, two are ministry reading and three are personal. I know I can shave several books and limit myself to three. So . . . I’m going to do it! Just like I’m going to follow through with my eating, exercise, weight goal at LoseIt.com.
What about you? What’s your list look like? Maybe you need to narrow your focus and whittle your list? I wonder if we’ll feel less scattered, dissipated or distracted by setting and keeping a more limited number of books in our current reading stack?