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For followers of Jesus Christ a purpose filled life begins by acknowledging that He is the one who deserves our loyalty, love, service and devotion. We are stewards of the gift of life, which He has given. We have nothing that has not come from His hand (Colossians 1:15-20). Therefore, we must seek to honor Him in all areas of life. This starts by looking to Him for guidance.
Here are some steps and principles for living a purpose filled life, achieving goals and maintaining work life balance.
Step 1: Give God First Place in Your Life
What is the center for your life? This center is the controlling focus that directs your life. For some it is money, self, career, friends, family or health. Any one of the seven areas of life management in the Coaching for Life system could become the center for your life and you likely know people who illustrate that fact.
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to those early followers of Jesus Christ who lived in Corinth, Greece, gave a profound statement that illustrates what should be the center or purpose of life for you. "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31). Life purpose and work life balance come into focus by making God the center, the controlling focus of your life. We are stewards of the life that God has given us. In everything we do, we should consider it an act of service to God. Think about it. What have been some of the things that have been your center in the past? What is it now?
All the areas of life are interrelated. A choice or action in one area will have an effect on all the others. Work life balance does not mean that you spend equal amounts of time in each area of life management but it does mean that you dedicate enough time and resources to each area so that none become your downfall. No individual will be the best at these diverse areas. However to win in one or two areas but completely fail in another is like being disqualified in a multi-part Olympic competition like the triathlon, decathlon, or pentathlon. Given 100 hours during one week, how much time would you spend in each of the following areas if you were to reflect a balanced life? (Take the Self-Evaluation)
Step 2: Discover God's Purpose for You
The Bible is God's special revelation of Himself and His purposes for us. To understand God's intended direction for your life, for all the seven areas of life management, you must begin by looking at what God's will is for everyone. Coaching for Life provides key scriptures to help you begin this discovery process. The Bible is a compass that will continue to point you in the right direction so don't try to detail your life plan without it. Also, take a look at what you've got. Thank God for all that He has entrusted to you. Begin to serve Him with what you have and He will direct your life. The Coaching for Life system will help you reflect on your purpose by reviewing three key components: 1) Biblical Purposes: What do you know to be God's will for all Christians as revealed in the Bible? 2) Personal Priorities: What personal priorities are at the top of your list? Finally, 3) what is your Personal Passion.
Step 3: Set Measurable Goals for Each area of Work Life Balance
Once a year evaluate and reaffirm your purpose statement. Then write 3-5 goals for the year in each of the seven areas of life management . Share these goals with your mentor. The area of Work will often have a greater number of goals listed because of numerous areas of responsibility and focus. One secret to achieving goals is to limit the number you attempt. One great goal achieved is better than an impressive list of 10 where none were accomplished.
Step 4: Make the Calendar Your Friend
Time is the context in which we must face the demands of work life balance. Therefore, how we manage our time is of great importance, for time is life. Our focus here is not so much about being efficient (doing things right), but being effective (doing the right things). If your calendar and your budget do not reflect your goals, then your goals are merely wishes. If you do not take control of your calendar, others will. Plan ahead, asking God how He wants you to invest the time that He has entrusted to you.
a. First, write into your calendar all known personal and family commitments for the next twelve months.
b. Second, make the calendar your friend by reviewing your goals and writing them into your twelve month calendar. Include personal days, vacations, weekly dates, family nights, one or two-day getaways, etc. Think about it, in the past, have you scheduled the time needed to fulfill your goals?
Step 5: Prioritize Your "To Do List" to Help in Achieving Goals
Everyone knows what a "TO DO List" is, even if they just keep it in their mind. However, just because you write something on that list doesn't mean it is really important or that you should even be the one to do it. Many things get on your list that are "urgent" by not "important" and many "important" things may never even make your "list." Consider the following plan for determining which items you will include on your "TO DO List." In preparation for each day, review your weekly goals and create a daily "TO DO List." You may wish to prioritize your daily list by placing the numbers 1-5 by the most important items. Start with item number one, then move to number 2 and so on until you have completed the list or run out of time. Items of lesser importance may have to be handled the following day.
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