Humans have long been inspired with great intentions to achieve great things. Whether it’s launching a successful business, raising Godly children, graduating from college, or preparing to enjoy retirement, each of us have goals and dreams that we long to achieve.
The problem we all face is finding a peaceful balance between everyday reality and far off ambitions. How can I properly prepare for the future while also maintaining life today? How can I sacrifice to make a better tomorrow while not surrendering a happy today?
You may have the respectable goal of funding your children’s college education. However, with a pile of your own student loans to pay off, that goal might seem more like a distant dream.
Perhaps you’d love to save for a family vacation to Disney World next year; but, first you feel it pressing to upgrade your cell phone plan to the newest iPhone (I love my iPhone by the way, so I’m not picking on Apple).
Maybe your like me and you’d love to one day buy a house or you have daughters who will one day get married (the average wedding in America costs around $26,000), so you’d love create a savings for the future.
Maybe you have the best intentions for consistently tithing to your Church. But if you don’t prepare before you give to give, you more than likely won’t be able to give.
As determined as you are to create better tomorrow, you must start TODAY to make that happen. Determination will not always produce results. But prioritizing what’s important starting now will. (Click to Tweet that!)
Leadership guru Stephen Covey once said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
Here are a few things in my life that I consider important; therefore, I have made them a priority – and it shows!
1. My Schedule
Every day my calendar is full of tasks that I regularly do every day. Every Tuesday at 11a.m. I pick up my daughter from day care. Every Wednesday I have a lunch staff meeting. I maintain the same sermon preparation every week. So I have programed the Reminder App on my iPhone to remind me of what is next on my agenda each day. Since I have prioritized what’s important to me by scheduling it ahead of time, last minute additions don’t take over my schedule.
2. My Tithe
Every month my family contributes a tenth (tithe) of our salary to our Church as we believe is expected as a Christian. It’s a commitment my wife, Amber, and I made when we first got married almost nine years ago and we still believe it to be important today. I used to write a check every month to the Church; but, I remember a few occasions when I couldn’t give because I forgot my check book. Last year my Church started Online Giving and this has help me take another step in prioritizing my giving. When I sit down to plan my monthly budget, I can go online and automatically set up my tithe to come out according to the date I would have written a check. I can even automate my tithe and it will come out the same date every month so I never forget again! It’s safe, secure, and simple to use.
3. My Bible
Every morning my iPhone reminds me to read from my daily YouVersion Bible Reading Plan. I made it a priority to read my Bible everyday when I became a Christian and by setting my YouVersion account to daily remind me, I am more consistent and less forgetful.
4. My Day Off
I believe what the Bible said in Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” to be one of the most neglected commands in the Bible today. God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. God commanded the Israelites to work six days, and commanded them to rest on the seventh. For some reason we believe that since we’re New Testament Christians, that we’re somehow exempt from that command today. The principle of this commandment transcends covenants: Your Body Needs Rest.
I have one day every week (every seven days) that I will not work on. It’s a day to sleep in, relax, enjoy my family, take care of things around the house. Due to a Church schedule, I typically enjoy a weekend off of Friday and Saturday. Often the Church schedules something for Saturday. And if that’s the case, I protect Friday. I refuse to schedule something seven days in a row. And if ever an exception must be made, I gladly make it up with extra time off soon after.
5. My Savings
I recently started reoccurring automatic transfers from my checking to my savings account. Whether it’s funding an emergency account, saving for a vacation, or buying new tires for your car, if you don’t save today, you won’t have the money available tomorrow. Even if it’s just a few dollars a week, making it priority to save will help prepare you for your goals down the road.
So tell me, what do you find important enough to prioritize? Do you have goals that you’re prioritizing today so you can achieve them later? I’d love to hear your thoughts. So leave a comments below.