Personal Growth is a phrase that often brings a sense of excitement and may generate feelings of positive forward motion. We grab the thought and think holistically how we can have the best life we can hope for once we take this leap. Or is it a side step. No wait, maybe it resembles a salsa.
Basically, we like the sound of it, but few of us know exactly where or how to begin.
To which I reply, start with a basic inventory…
How connected are YOU?
Getting rightly connected starts as we begin to consider…;
* Who and what is pouring into you? Godly friends and role models? Small group ministry? Supportive family and friends? Or are you receiving most of the info that is poured in via TV, internet, negative people or unwholesome reading?
* What do your reciprocal relationships look like? With whom do you enjoy “give-and-take” status? Reciprocal relationships involve those who know you and love and accept you as you are. They bring over the pizza or ice cream to share while watching old movies when you may feel a little down. Or maybe they grab the tools and come hangout and work on a water heater in the garage and listen so you can share your frustrations. The ones you would do anything for and at the drop of a hat. They are the best buds you could hope for.
* Where are you pouring out? Helping? Or rescuing, enabling? On a scale of 1-10, how balanced are your connections? Do you give in to, rescue or support others on a regular basis without requiring much in return? Or perhaps, it is you who constantly needs rescuing?
It is beneficial to bring the balance of who/what pours in — who you reciprocate with — and how and to whom you pour into — as close to equal numbers as possible. It’s not in your best interest to receive at a Level 1, have reciprocals at Level 3 and pour out at Level 10 on a regular basis. Slide the scale into a happy median and feel the refreshment begin!
How are You with Time Management?
* Are you usually punctual or often running behind? If you are consistently stressed or feel you can’t get everything together to get out the door in time, consider going to bed 15 minutes earlier and getting up 15 minutes earlier. Just move the monitor a bit more into your favor so you can set yourself up to succeed. It really is about being mindful and intentional.
* Are you someone who mostly works to keep or complete your appointments with life? Or make excuses for not enjoying the best of life? When life isn’t so great, do you accept your responsibility in the process or is it consistently, “someone else’s fault”?
* How would you rate your ability to enjoy a healthy balance of saying “no” to some good things, in order to say “yes” to some things that are best? I.e… Are you trading off ‘best’ for ‘good’? Life can be compared to baseball cards… always focus on making choices that allow you to trade up!
How Would You Describe the Speed in which YOU Do Life?
* Life balance isn’t about having it all or how many plates you can juggle, but more about relinquishing what doesn’t work for you so that you can be rightly aligned and fully intentional with what does.
Resisting the Hindrance of Resistance…
* Growth requires becoming an expert at navigating inevitable life change by accepting what you cannot change as well as eliminating the excuses for not changing the things you can.
* Where can you be more open to new ideas and not so attached to old habits?
You Are What’s Eating You…
* How much sleep are you losing, or how many ways are you indulging yourself over unresolved issues, relationships or projects? The more baggage we carry, the sooner we show signs of aging. So travel light to find the fountain of youth.
* Give of your resources generously. The level of your ability to freely give is directly proportionate to how ‘free’ you truly are. We can’t do everything, but we can do something.
* Avoid the temptation to clutter your life or schedule with unnecessary weight. To the one who has much, much will be required.
Live Out Your Passion…
* Find ways to do and enjoy what you love and share it with others.
* Express love as often as you are able.
* Do all that you do as if God were your employer.
Remember God’s Presence is all around you. Be intentional to stop and enjoy the fragrance of roses, the beauty of a sunset or the warm hug of a dear friend. The day may come, sooner than you think, that you will be very glad that you made the effort!
Sheri Geyer is a Master Certified Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom