Let’s get practical. Stephen Covey puts forth that each human being has four dimensions. Those are the spiritual dimension, the physical dimension, the social dimension, and the intellectual dimension.
Jesus puts forth, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” In other words, Jesus desires for you to be effective in the mission to which He is calling you. Of course, this depends on his grace.
With his grace though, we can create the necessary conditions for us to bear fruit consistently. How do we do this? We ask, “What do I need to do each day in each of the four dimensions to live my mission effectively and consistently?”
For example, I know I’m most effective when I:
- Pray 30 minutes each day, attend Mass, pray a rosary, and do spiritual reading for at least five minutes (spiritual dimension)
- Run at least two miles every other day of the week, do a daily mindfulness exercise, eat dairy and gluten free, and sleep for at least seven hours each night (physical dimension)
- Read 20-30 minutes of a leadership book or listen to a leadership podcast each weekday (intellectual dimension), and read a non-fiction book before going to bed
- Have at least two hours of quality time with my wife and boys each day and then, yes, watch at least an hour of-both of the following are enjoyed because they are clean-either Downton Abbey or The West Wing each night with Dene’ (social dimension)
Do I do those things each day or each week? Absolutely not. But, I know that when I do those things consistently, I’m most effective in the mission to which God is calling me.
Now, just as there are common objections to let’s say, getting your car serviced or getting your teeth cleaned (guilty as charged), there will be common objections to making self-care a priority. “I’m too busy” or “Isn’t doing all this for myself selfish?” Then the car breaks down. Then you have a cavity. You see the point? Daily self-care is a priority not for yourself, but for others. When you take care of yourself, you are setting up the necessary conditions to serve others effectively and consistently, to live your mission effectively and consistently.
So, when Stephen Covey talks about the third habit of highly effective people, “put first things first”, what could be more important than putting your self-care first on your priority list? Here are some practical questions to get you started:
- What is my prayer routine? When will I do it? Where will I do it? Write these answers down and commit to them. If you need some help getting started with prayer, here is a simple five-step method.
- What is my exercise routine? When will I do it? Where will I do it? Write these answers down and commit to them. If you need some help getting started with exercise, here are some tips to get you started.
- How will I exercise my brain? What do I enjoy learning? What genre of book do I enjoy the most? Where will I do this? How long will I do this? Write these answers down and commit to them. If you need some help getting started with the intellectual dimension, here is an article to get you started.
- With whom do I spend time? Do these people help me become the best version of myself? Who does help me become the best version of myself? Commit to spending time with these people daily, weekly, or at least monthly, beginning with your family and then moving outward from there.
Writing these commitments down and sticking them is a part of creating a self-culture. If you would like to learn more about creating a self-culture, tune into Facebook Live tomorrow on my (Tyler’s) page where we will have our second episode, “How to Create a Self-Culture: Vision” at 5 PM EST. Have a great week!
What are some recent books you would recommend? Please comment below!
Covey, Stephen. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Salt Lake City, Franklin Covey, 2016.
Fray, Malia. “8 Easy Workouts for Beginners.” Verywellfit, 2018, https://www.verywellfit.com/easy-weight-loss-workouts-for-beginners-3495986. Accessed 11 July 2018.
Greenfield, Jeremy. “The Best Way to Find the Next Book You Want to Read.” Forbes, 2013, https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeremygreenfield/2013/08/21/the-best-way-to-find-the-next-book-you-want-to-read/#2ab8378a4bde. Accessed 11 July 2018.
Ignatius Catholic Study Bible New Testament. 2nd Edition. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010.
Rosser, Tyler. “VLOG How to Create a Self-Culture: Prayer.” Effective Catholic, 2018, https://effectivecatholic.com/2018/07/06/vlog-how-to-create-a-self-culture-prayer/. Accessed 11 July 2018.