If you aren’t responsible for you, eventually you will make others be responsible for you. They will have to fire you and clean up your mess. They will have to take over your jobs. They will have to clean up relational wreckage for you. They may even have to help you physically because you didn’t take care of your body.
We’ve been walking through five core values of our staff teams.
Today…our value is this: We take care of ourselves.
Self-care is such a weird concept. What does that mean? Over the years we’ve seen various fads and trends come and go. Think about all of the work out routines and the self-help kicks we’ve all tried. From Zumba to Pilates to Yoga to Hot Yoga. From Keto to Weight watchers to juice cleanse. From downtime to me time to party time. How do we balance and manage all of this?
Here’s a simple tool to do once a week. I try to do this on Sunday evening as I’m preparing my thoughts and my calendar for the upcoming week. I sit down with my Michael Hyatt Full Focus Planner and go to work.
Evaluate yourself in these three areas…Physically, Spiritually, Relationally… In other words, your health with you, God and others. And do so with these three questions:
Is there anything that is currently with your body, soul or relationships that hurts. Maybe it’s as obvious as a back spasm that will require a trip to the chiropractor. But often it’s a dull ache in our soul that says, “I’m not connecting with God right now.” Or maybe there’s tension with your youngest daughter and you aren’t sure why. For most of us we play hurt and work while in pain, but pain is the body’s way of sending a message…and as C.S. Lewis told us years ago, “pain is God’s megaphone.” So what hurts…and pick one thing to do this next week to help address it.
What brings joy?
Our passion will search for joy like water in a desert. So, what is currently bringing you joy? Some downtime with a book? Some conversations with your spouse about planning a vacation? Maybe it’s walking the dogs at dusk. Often God energizes us for seasons in certain areas of service, so what does that look like for you? Maybe you just started volunteering with kids…and you love it. How can you give it some more time? Pick one thing to do this next week to increase your joy quotient.
What will this look like in five weeks, five months or five years?
If we just stick with the immediate pain and joy, we miss out on the little investments that eventually make a big difference—like saving for retirement and flossing our teeth. So ask yourself…when it comes to your health…how will the next week’s decisions, or lack thereof, impact your life in five weeks, five months or five years? For instance, going to Cheesecake Factory next Friday night probably will lift your spirits for a few days. Good for you. But if you go every week, in five weeks you’ll feel it. And in five months you’ll regret it. And in five years…well, you get the point. What about time with God? In five weeks you’ll notice some difference. But play that out and it looks a lot worse. You can’t do everything, but you can do something, so what are the small investments in your health, your relationships and your soul that will pay off in the long run.
Granted, these are just a few questions, and there are so many more you can use. But you have to start somewhere. Take care of yourself. Or someone else will have to.
This article originally appeared here.