So, we’re well into the new year, and I’m still trying to refine my personal goals. First though, I must make a true confession:
I am not Superman. I am human.
Sure, you’re probably not overly surprised by that. However, at some level I’ve been acting for far too long like I am somehow Superman. Although I’m a minister and understand all too well the dangers of compassion fatigue, I have allowed my life to become completely and totally unbalanced. How do I know?
I work an ungodly number of hours each week, often ‘forgetting’ to grab lunch and frequently staying up until 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. to work on a project. Sometimes I don’t make it to bed at all.
I don’t spend sufficient time with my family — totally focused and engaged with them. Sure, we’re often in the same room, but the ‘electronic leash’ called the iPhone manages to occupy my time and compete for my attention. And I frequently find myself browsing the internet on my phone while browsing a separate page on my laptop. That’s insane.
I don’t take good physical care of myself. We’ve already determined that I don’t always eat meals as I should. What I do eat is usually not that great for me nutrition-wise. We’ve also determined that I don’t get adequate sleep and rest. And I can’t overstate how much of a toll that takes on me in a multitude of ways. It’s no wonder that I’ve developed a number of health issues over the past several years. Fortunately, there’s nothing real serious going on that I’m aware of, but the stress of life exacerbates every little problem. My doctors have warned me that I must slow down and take care of myself.
All of this is just to say that rather than listing a whole lot of resolutions that I’ll probably just end up breaking after a short while, like many people, I’ve decided to focus on just one word for this year. That word is BALANCE.
Now I’m sure that sounds all well and good. I’m sure you’re all for me making some changes. However, this perfectionist is going to have to accept some stark realities. So are those who associate regularly with me.
MY ACTION STEPS
In order to achieve my goal of leading a much more balanced lifestyle, I am going to have to make some choices that — for me — are pretty big ones:
- I will disable the audible e-mail alert on my phone.
- I will not bring my phone to the dinner table. It cannot be welcome there.
- I will not always get work done with the speed and level of detail to which I and those around me have become accustomed. We’re all just going to have to deal with that disappointment.
- I will make a concerted effort to get proper nutrition, exercise, and rest.
- I will delegate some responsibilities to others who are perfectly capable of doing the work.
- I will take time to slow down and spend quality time with my wife and kids. (It’s a well-known fact that ministers often have some of the most dysfunctional children. May that not be my legacy as a father.)
- I will learn to tell people ‘No’ — especially when their need simply evidences poor planning or lack of forethought. Not everything is my problem.
I am committed to doing whatever it takes to restore balance and health to my life. After all, how can I effectively counsel others to live balanced lives if I’m not modeling that kind of lifestyle? This is not about will-power; it’s about making good choices — one after the other — with God’s help.
BALANCE. It is absolutely non-negotiable for me. I must never let myself get to this point again. Ever.
IT’S YOUR TURN!
What word do you need to focus on during this calendar year?