July 31, 2015
In my last post, I asked you all to think back on that mid-June blog entry when I asked everyone to “pick FIVE things that we need to do better or more often and FIVE things that we need to begin scaling back or stopping in our behaviors and daily activities.” I made a brief reference to recalibrating a bit and asking ourselves how we were doing on our lists. So, how are we all doing? In all seriousness, and to recap what I’ve been saying about this season of summer, we do need to give attention to our own initiatives and improvements during this season that notoriously provides us with more downtime due to longer daylight hours, better weather, and assumptions made by businesses and schools that this is when people will take some time off to be with friends and family. When we have these seasons and opportunities that may enhance our success in any endeavor we might try, we need to seize the day, so to speak, to take advantage of those opportunities and make it happen for ourselves!
This summer, I am trying to spend some more time with my college age daughter, who will be leaving for school in a few weeks, and maintaining my workout schedule, as I usually do. I am also taking steps to make sure that I hold myself to these items on my personal to-do list. While I feel professionally and personally fulfilled most days, I know there is always room for improvement. I need to worry less and have fun more often. Many of us in leadership roles within the church find that we work too often. I’m sure that most of you feel the same, whether your work is in an office or in an industry of some kind—home-based, retail, or customer service, that work can dominate our lives. While we need to pay our bills and uphold our responsibilities, time needs to be spent on how we take care of friends, family, and ourselves. Again, in my case, I am spending more time with family and maintaining my healthy lifestyle. How many of you are trying to actually make the positive changes in your life a part of a new lifestyle change as opposed to something you might monitor for a week or a month, and only when Dr. Curtis holds you to it?
These changes can be health-related, such as resolving to eat less red meat everyday or joining a gym. They can be career-related, such as resolving to ask for a promotion by the end of the summer or to finish a degree in the next few years. They can even be personal and include a resolution to pray more and gossip less, or to reach out to the community more with service in some way. Whatever they are, I do believe the result will be positive, especially if we all resolve to make sure we keep up our daily routine and make these changes integral parts of our day, our week, our month, and even our year. Rest assured, I will be asking for some year-end commitments to change and improvement in a few months.
For now, I’d like to take this initiative a step further. I want everyone to begin monitoring progress in a journal of some kind. You can use plain notebook paper, a datebook, the “Notes” section on your iPad—whatever works best for you—to record progress for the next month. By the first of September, I want everyone to have at least a couple of weeks of daily journal notations on record. Maybe you can jot down your prayer intentions for the day, or maybe you want to note the times you reached out to friends or spent an entire day eating healthy. Maybe the runners out there want to record miles, and, at the same time, note when they took time to relieve stress from work or spent some time with themselves aside from running or exercising. Maybe the home cooks out there can record new recipes and how those recipes brought family or neighbors together, or how preparing them made him or her feel. You can reflect in the evenings and jot some things down then, or you can get up each morning and set a list of objectives. It’s your plan for improvement, and it’s your journal. I am just asking that you give some attention to maintaining it in the spirit of improving, living strong, and enhancing that commitment to build your armor of God. The busy season will be upon us again soon, and we want to be primed and ready.