At the start of last year I decided to pick three words that would be my mental framework for how I shape my days. After much thought, I decided the choose Ground, Stretch and Reflect as my three words. As I wrote then, “A conceptual framework isn’t a goal or a detailed plan. It’s more like a mental structure by which you bring order and organization.”
Having lived by the framework for 2012, I decided that it fits me really well and that there is no need to be creative or different and come up with a new set of words for 2013. So I share with you again my three words, this time with a year’s experience behind the framework.
The Ground word means that I will spend time daily grounding myself in that which is most important and foundational to me. Since that is my Christian faith, it requires me to spend time in basic Christian disciplines such as Bible study, memorization, and prayer. Ideally, I would get up early and do this before the rest of my day, but the truth is that I’ve always been more of a night person than a morning person, so it’s just easier for me to take some evening time to do this. My periodic attempts to set the alarm back an hour just don’t seem to last for too many weeks. The danger in waiting until evening is that I get involved with other things and don’t get it done. If it’s important to me, though, I will find the time.
Stretch means that I will try to excel at what I do throughout the day – not just get by with the minimum expectations that others may have for me or that I may have for myself. If I have talents and passions, they ought to be stretched to the max – no excuses – be they work related or personal endeavors.
To Reflect means that I will also take time at the end of each day to ponder what has happened and try to make sense of it all. It meant last year that I wrote a daily lesson learned, and I will continue that in many of my every-other-day blog posts here for 2013. But even on days when I don’t write about it, I need to do it. Asking questions like the following helps: What happened today that taught me something? What did I do well that I’m proud of? What did I drop the ball on? Did I make a positive difference in someone else’s life today? Did I treat others around me the way I want them to treat me? Was I someone to whom my Lord would say “Well done, my good and faithful servant”?
The framework of Ground, Stretch, Reflect works for me, so I’m staying with it. Do you have such a framework yourself? If so, what is it? If not, think about it.