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Leap Year

| March 28, 2016
Life Planning

It is Leap Year: the year we add February 29th to our calendar —a full extra 24 hours this year. How are you going to spend it?

If you have ever watched the movie City Slickers, you may recall Curly telling Mitch (Billy Crystal’s character) that the secret to life is “one thing.” When Mitch asks what that “one thing” is, Curly says, “That’s what you have to figure out.”

Have you figured that “one thing” out?

Although it will be different for every one of us, we consider that “one thing” the core of your ability to Live Life on Purpose. I can’t tell you what it means for you – but I can tell you what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean stress or worry. It doesn’t mean resentment or anger. It doesn’t mean confusion or chaos. And it doesn’t mean doubt or hesitation.

In his book “Today Matters”, John Maxwell discusses the art of building a better life through making good decisions regarding the “Daily Dozen.” He says, “I’m not trying to add twelve more things to your daily to-do list. What I’m suggesting is that you take some time to think through these areas and make a major decision in each that will be lifelong.” I encourage you to read this empowering book, but for now I would like to share with you his brief overview of the “Daily Dozen.”

  1. Attitude: Choose and display the right attitudes daily
  2. Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily
  3. Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily
  4. Family: Communicate with and care for my family daily
  5. Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily
  6. Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily
  7. Finances: Make and properly manage dollars daily
  8. Faith: Deepen and live out my faith daily
  9. Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily
  10. Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily
  11. Values: Embrace and practice good values daily
  12. Growth: Seek and experience improvements daily

I want you to take Mr. Maxwell’s Daily Dozen to heart. Start by giving yourself a score of where you currently are in regard to each one. On a 1-10 scale, 10 being the best, what would you score yourself? And remember, progress starts by telling the truth.

Then, as Mr. Maxwell stated, take time to think through each one. Take number one for example:

  • What are the habits you have that support a good “attitude?”
  • Can you think of any instances that are examples of this?
  • What are the habits you have that support a negative “attitude?”
  • Can you think of any instances that are examples of this?

Then, what is that “one thing” or that major decision you will make regarding your attitude that will become lifelong?

Last, set a goal and track your progress. On a scale of 1-10 where do you want to be in regard to each area in 90 days? Write it down and put it on your calendar to review it in 90 days. Then, repeat. Take it from me. One of my coaches, Dr. John Rhodes, has my group do something similar called the “LifeScore Card.” We grade ourselves every quarter to see how we are balanced our lives and where we need to work to improve our lives. I tend to get so caught up in the day-to-day challenges life throws at me that I often find myself losing balance. It has been a wonderful tool for me to take time out of the day-to-day and reflect on where I am and where I want to be.

I forget who the first to quote it was, but I have heard time and again the very best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. The only problem is we seldom do just that. So maybe the best way to spend the extra day we have this year is making this investment. Maybe it is seeing out one of the goals you set in your “Daily Dozen.” Or maybe, it is doing that “one thing.” Whatever it is, I encourage you to write it on a small a piece of paper and put it in a place that you will see it every day—your mirror, a bookmarker for your daily devotional, your makeup bag or wallet. Just keep it there until you make it happen!