Saturday, April 8, 2017


    Now that I've set the stage for goal setting it's time to jump back into the foundation of my goals for the year.  Balance is another thing that got way off last year and is something that is at constant risk with all of the options and demands of life.  Just the basics of being a parent of 4 kids, manager of an organization and leader of a small group can be tough to juggle, both from a time and an emotional and spiritual health perspective.  Throw in a house and a propensity for car projects and you've got a recipe for disaster (or burnout) if not properly managed and balanced. 

    I know I've been plugging the book The One Thing quite a bit here, and honestly I haven't read the whole thing, but I have been picking it up from time to time and reading a page or two and God has consistently landed me on a concept or image that directly relates to something timely in my life.  Demands on your time, energy, and focus can shift over time but as Gary Keller says  in the book "Pursuing a balanced life means never pursuing anything at the extremes." 

    There have been several times over the past couple of years where I've seen work start to eat into other areas of life, usually from a time perspective, but also from a focus and emotional balance perspective as was the case last year amidst all of the org changes we experienced.  Around this time I ran across this image in the book and thought it painted a really good picture of what we should be trying to achieve: 

    The concept here is that work is best served by bursts of short, focused efforts: a project or initiative or maybe the setting up of an efficient organization.  Thankfully, I work in an environment where these things are typically cyclical and allow for some re-centering from time to time, the nature of product development naturally lends itself to this and the key for me is to synchronize this with the natural rhythm of life.  

    Life, on the other hand, needs constant balancing, keeping you, your focus, emotions, and energy on an even keel with much shorter cycles of ups and downs.  This is also critical to success in your work life and like at work, there is also a great need in life to evaluate and prioritize the myriad of options to spend our time and energy as  "It's not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it's that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have." (The One Thing)

    "Balance" would obviously be a pretty weak and not very actionable goal but knowing yourself and what both throws you off and lifts you up can direct you towards things to both watch out for and make sure you do to keep life in a healthy path.  

    For example's sake, here are some related goals for me this year:
    • Loosen up, Have more fun, take self less seriously
    • Spend more time outside 
    • Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from my life (ie slow down, take on less at home, and prioritize!)
    • Don't let things fester, take 'em head on--work, friends, home issues etc.

    As John Ortberg says in The Life You've Always Wanted "God did not create people in his own image for passivity. He is not a passive God.  When we face important decisions, we must pray, seek guidance, and exercise judgement, wisdom, initiative, choice, and responsibility." How we spend our time each day is an important decision and is the key and primary reason to set God-sized and God-directed goals to ensure the decisions we make are along the path we should take.

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