FIRST THINGS FIRST

As I sit here in my office at home thinking about the clutter that is around me I now realize an aggressive cleanup campaign is necessary. I have papers next to my computer on the top of my desk. I have papers on my credenza and file cabinet. I even have both empty and full boxes on the floor behind me. Yes, my office needs a makeover quickly. As with all things I do I always formulate a plan first and then tackle the situation. As we look at our daily struggles and problems we must realize an effective solution always requires a good plan. Admittedly we don’t always know the plan up front but usually as we move forward a strategy will be acquired to aid us in our quest.

Because we are in the midst of tough economic, social, spiritual and moral situations it is imperative that we have a strategic plan to ensure our success. The best laid plans must first decipher what the ultimate goal is and then begin planning how to achieve it. It is good to approach our goals realistically because this enables us to construct a plan that is feasible and executable. Too many times we set goals that are extremely difficult, hard and sometimes impossible. That is why I suggest setting short and long term goals. Short term goals consist of things that can be attained with more ease and less complications. Long Term goals generally require more time and work to accomplish. The short term goals aren’t necessarily easy but they are attainable in a short amount of time which provides us with opportunities to have consistent progress and steady accomplishments along the way. Accomplishments are important and should be celebrated. They represent progress and this inspires us to continue to move forward. I have learned that small victories lead to big ones.

Again long term goals usually are more complicated and take more time to develop. These goals should be planned soberly with ample time to accomplish them. Unless you are fortunate to be the recipient of a dream house on an Extreme Makeover Show you usually don’t build a house in three or four days. There are some issues that can’t be fixed now so don’t worry, schedule them to be handled later at a more appropriate time.

It is then best to organize the short and long term goals by importance. For example if you were cleaning a house what rooms are most visible to guests? I asked this question because we usually don’t want our guest sitting in a junky, dirty, unorganized room. We don’t want them to experience dirty clothes, dirty carpet, dirty dishes, etc. Since we want our visitors to have a neat, pleasurable experience our priority usually is to clean the areas first that people will most likely have access to. Order and arrangement are vital in reestablishing and reclaiming your life. What things should be fixed first in your life? What things should be addressed first within you?

Before you answer these questions I want you to know helping others is great but who is helping you? Sometimes in listing our priorities we either list ourselves last or we don’t at all. What good is it for you to build a new house that you can never enjoy? While our motives are pure in sacrificing ourselves they just aren’t wise. If you really want to help people you first need to help yourself. Sometimes we miss this nugget of truth. Being strong for everybody and then breaking down later in the long run isn’t profitable for the people you helped. If you really want to help others and be there in the long run help yourself first. You can’t give all your joy away and not keep any for yourself. You can’t share peace and not keep any for yourself. You can’t give all of your money away and not keep any for yourself. If you don’t keep some things and replenish yourself you will become bankrupt spiritually, emotionally and financially. My advice to you is take some time for yourself.

Feed yourself spiritually by praying, reading the bible and depositing positive things into your heart. Secondly take time away from your problems even if it is just for an hour and find a way to relax and meditate on good things. Thirdly do what you can, that’s all that is required and if God doesn’t help you with the rest it isn’t meant to happen anyway. Accepting your limitations will help to take the onus off yourself and put it on God or whoever the problem really belongs too.

I leave you with Matthew 6:31, 33 from the Amplified Bible. 31. “Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? 33. But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. “

Don’t forget I have written a new book that has already impacted many people nationwide. Purchase your copy of “Why Faith? Your Guide to Surviving and Thriving in Tough Times”. It will bless you and change your life. It can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Target, BooksAMillion or wherever fine books are sold.

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