My friend, Jaima, recently asked me to be a monthly contributor on her awesome blog, Ring Around the Rosies. This month, I kicked off a series for her readers on the TOP FOUR AREAS of organization that, I believe, have the potential for the most immediate and profound impact on our lives. November’s focus is …
1. ORGANIZE YOUR MIND.
Famous author and speaker Stephen Covey once said, “It would be a waste to spend your life climbing a ladder only to find that when you get to the top, it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” In other words, we should use our time, resources and talent to pursue our own sacred purpose, not somebody else’s. Otherwise, we will be left wandering around reacting to life, feeling unfulfilled, unimportant and lacking the fruits of joy and peace.
To make sure our lives are headed in the right direction and our ladders are “leaning against the right walls,” so to speak, we must organize and focus our minds daily.
So how do we do this?
- Get enough sleep. This may sound trite, but getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night allows our rejuvenated minds and bodies to respond energetically and productively to what we must tackle each day.
- Limit the amount of TV you watch. By cutting back on the amount of negative images and information we are exposed to (e.g. news, advertising, violent movies/shows, depressing documentaries, etc.) we allow our minds to focus on more positive, uplifting things and we free ourselves from unnecessary worry.
- Spend time each day in prayer/meditation. I spend about a half hour each morning (free of distractions) reading scripture, praying, expressing thankfulness and doing some brief journaling using a devotional or book (iChoose2 Love My Life is my current choice). I can’t emphasize enough the importance of this daily discipline. It restores in me a spirit of peace and calm. It also helps quiet the mental chatter in my head so I can make good choices. Did you know studies show that people who pray and meditate tend to be happier and more resilient and resourceful in the face of problems? Also, those who pray and meditate are more relaxed and have stronger immune systems. Try it for yourself and see.
- Create a mission/vision statement for yourself. What would a balanced, healthy, joyful life look like to you? Write down in one or two sentences your “mission” for creating this life and then memorize it. Consider using “I am” statements for positive reinforcement. Here’s one example: “I am a strong, healthy wife and mom committed to nurturing my family, creating a beautiful and peaceful home, and making positive and successful contributions to the people within my scope of influence.”
- Set clear priorities and goals. Once we know our vision, it is a lot easier to set priorities and goals. Write down yours in order of importance and refer to them every day during your prayer/meditation time. Perhaps you’re familiar with this illustration: A wide-mouth jar is filled to the brim with large rocks. Then gravel stones are added, which fill in the larger spaces between the big rocks. Finally, sand is added, which fills in the remaining gaps. All three materials comfortably occupy the jar. Yet if the materials are added in reverse order, it is not possible to fit in the large rocks. The point is that if we don’t put the “big rocks” (i.e. our top priorities and goals) in the jar first, we’ll never get them in at all.