Happy New Year!
As we make a fresh start in 2014 I want to share with you a life-changing concept that I came across on New Year’s Eve.
It’s something that had been stirring inside me for a while, but this Leadership Freak blog post put it across so clearly.
Rather than make resolutions this year, choose one word. Make that word the theme of your life for the year.
Keep that word at the centre of everything that you do, say and think – every day.
Let me show you what I mean.
My word is stewardship.
A steward is someone entrusted with managing someone else’s property. A steward is someone who has been given the responsibility of taking care of something on behalf of someone else.
In my life, I realize that everything that I have comes from God. Everything that I have – fitness, family, friendships, finances – is a blessing from God.
I am a steward of all that God has blessed me with. He owns everything and has simply loaned it to me. He expects me to take good care of it all. He is trusting me to take good care of it all (Matthew 25:14-30).
So stewardship is the theme running through every decision that I make and every action that I take in 2014. The question that I keep asking myself is: “Am I being a good steward?”
When I make choices about:
What I eat...
How I spend my time...
How I relate to people...
How I take care of my body...
How I spend my money...
...Am I being a good steward?
Watch TV... or read a book to further my personal growth...?
Snack on fresh fruit... or eat a piece of chocolate...?
Write that blog post... or scroll through Facebook for an hour...?
Stay up late watching a movie... or go to bed early and wake up refreshed to start that new project?
Exercise for 30 minutes... or continue slouching at my computer...?
Buy an extra pair of shoes... or give to the child who doesn't own even one pair of shoes...?
I've only been doing this for a couple of days but I can tell you that it’s already making a huge difference. My perspective is changing. I no longer look at people, possessions or pleasure in the same way.
But what has had the strongest impact on me the past few days is the growing awareness that the only thing I really have is time. The only thing that I am truly a steward of... is time.
...And I don’t know how much time I have.
Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not guaranteed. All I have is this present moment.
I use my time moment by moment, and it is up to me to use every moment to the max.
Wherever I am, whoever I am with, I have the responsibility to be fully present in that moment.
If I am at my computer writing, then I need to write and not keep on flipping back and forth to see what’s happening with my email or Facebook or all the other tabs that I have open. In fact, I've decided to close all the tabs and switch off all the chimes to avoid any more distractions. I have set aside time after all my work is done to browse through my email and see what else is going on in the world without that hovering sense of guilt convicting me that I'm not doing what I'm supposed to be doing!
If I'm having a conversation with someone, I need to be fully there listening to them – not thinking about what I'm going to say next that will make me look good or sound really clever, or thinking about all the errands that I still need to get done that day, or checking my phone, or looking over their shoulder to see if someone more interesting is approaching, or chasing after a chain of writing ideas sparked off by something they said (maybe I can just quickly jot those down in my notebook?!).
So what about you? What is your word for this year?
Post your comment below!
For a free One Word Action Plan go here.