It is quite easy to start living life on auto-pilot. Routine becomes the rails on which the train of life runs. Having developed systems for streamlining our lives, we can go through much of life without much examination or reflection. Periodically we need to stop the merry-go-round and take a good look at where we are and make needed adjustments. Do not think I am saying that your life is not going well. Not at all. I know that it can become easy to do things out of habit and not reflect on both the practice nor the outcome. ” The unexamined life is not worth living,” according to Socrates.
I am for routine and automating as many tasks as possible. I live by incorporating habits that over time will move me in the desired direction. Life cannot be lived effectively by rote. With a nod toward Socrates, you should build into your life a period of examination.
When I am preparing to take a trip, I take my car to a service center and ask them to take a look and make sure that everything is in order. I feel more confident before embarking on a long trip if I at least check with a knowledgeable person and they give a thorough inspection. This does not guarantee that I will never experience a problem while on the road, but it does give me peace of mind that I did all that I could in preparation and practiced prudence.
What are some areas where we would do well this week conducting an examination, a check-up if you will?
Priorities. Are my activities and my schedule genuinely aligned with the priorities I have declared to be essential? One of the reasons I take my car in for regular check-ups is I want to make sure that my automobile is not out of alignment. Likewise, is your life out of alignment with your priorities? The best way to stay aligned with your values is to schedule a regular check-up. You need to see if your preferences or someone else’s is running your life!
Schedule Are you dedicating time and energy to your values, goals, and priorities? It is quite easy to begin taking on things that are nice but not necessary. The challenge is especially difficult for people-pleasers. Beware, several professions are filled with people who may say differently, but their number one desire is to make people happy. If your number one priority is to make people happy you have a couple of choices: join the circus, or sell ice cream! Guard your schedule. Take time to conduct an inventory of your schedule over the last few weeks.
Relationships It is easy to get caught up in the responsibilities at work and neglect those closest to you. Relationships must be nurtured. Nurturing takes time and effort. Look over your calendar over the last few months. Have you built-in family time? Have you gone on a date with your spouse? Regularly? If not, start building it into your schedule. By putting this on your calendar does not indicate something ‘perfunctory’, rather it indicates this is a high priority and value!
Health Would someone observing my life be able to determine that my health is a priority? Either we are going to take care of our health, or we are going to keep kidding ourselves and talking about what we are going to do someday.
Faith Our relationship with God is another one that is given a lot of lip-service. Conduct an inventory over the last few weeks and see if spiritual disciplines were a part of your life. There are a couple of other reasons to have check-ups. It allows us to see what is working and what is not, and adjust accordingly. Rarely does one have to discard everything they are doing, mostly it requires a few minor adjustments. These adjustments are what will make things run more smoothly. We all experience many changes over the course of our lives, a check-in and evaluation of where we are allows us the time to implement new or different actions as well as making some adjustments to areas that are working well
Schedule a time this week, a half-hour to an hour and conduct an audit on your life and schedule over the last couple of months. I believe you will be glad that you did.
Check-in with yourself and then continue confidently into the future.