In today’s world, all of us face a blizzard of choices, activities and responsibilities. We have jobs, family obligations, church activities, bills to pay, classes to attend, even children and pets who need our care. Maybe we even try to squeeze some exercise or time with our friends into the mix. As we rush from one obligation to the next, however, it can sometimes seem as if our lives are living us rather than the other way around. Taking some time for self evaluation is one way to ensure that our time and effort is going toward what we really value and not just being wasted.
- Examine your priorities – When we jump from activity to activity, we sometimes don’t question their value. Ask yourself, “What is most important to me?” Is it taking care of your family? Time in prayer? Making a contribution to the world? Helping others? It’s impossible to map out your route through life unless you know where you’re going. Write down the five or six things that matter most to you. Understanding your own priorities will help you map out your future.
- Make a plan – Once you have identified what matters the most to you, actively pursue it. Do you want to spend more time with God? Plan to get up fifteen minutes earlier each day and use that time for contemplation or silent prayer. Have you always wanted to pursue a degree? Sign up for classes and commit to your studies. Is your family important to you? Make sure that you set time aside specifically for them every week.
- Let some things go – Modern life offers so many choices that it’s tempting to think that we can have all of them. The Internet complicates things by putting so many more choices right at our finger tips: distance learning opportunities, concerts, discussion groups. And who doesn’t have a Facebook account? Look carefully at how you spend your time. Are more important things being sacrificed because you have stretched yourself too thin? If so, it’s time to let some things go. Don’t renew your subscription to that science magazine. Don’t check your email three times a day. Don’t sign up for that online language class. Focus, instead, on what really matters to you.
Careful self contemplation is the first step to living a fuller, more satisfying life. You won’t regret the time you devote to it. Learn more at CCU.