Are the pages on your calendar turning as quickly as mine? Here we are in mid-July and 2009 is halfway over. I’m afraid the date on my driver’s license, a chat with my doctor, conversation with family and friends, and a look in the mirror all remind me that the years of my life are moving along more quickly than I care to admit. I know I can’t slow down the process and I certainly don’t want to end it (until God says so). There are things I want to accomplish as I make the most of the coming days-relationships to cultivate and experiences to share with those I love. Yet, I don’t want to find myself so caught up in activities that I miss simple pleasures and the joy life offers. When I come to the end of my days, I want to know that I did my best to use my time well and fully live the life God designed for me. Unfortunately, while my time management intentions are well meaning, the results have not always been the best. Perhaps you can relate. The scenario looks something like this: we step into a new year, determined to make it our best year yet. With a blend of enthusiasm and hope, we set goals. Then, armed with ‘to do’ lists, off we go. We buy memberships to fitness centers and purchase the latest diet books and personal organizers. We declare war on clutter and vow to be more diligent in our time of worship. Instead of grabbing whatever we find in the fridge, we turn off the television and gather around the dining table for a healthy dinner and family connection. We develop a budget to get our financial house in order, and we read about living a balanced life. We’re off to a great start. Then the demands of life come creeping in to take over our schedules and good intentions. Our focus shifts as distractions draw us off course. We grab more fast food in between the activities we’re trying to fit into the already-busy schedule as we find less time for exercise and spiritual nourishment. Family members pass each other, all going in different directions. Our financial house is not quite so orderly and we’ve forgotten what that concept of “balance” means. The “want to’s” are getting lost as the “have to’s” take over. Life gets busy, indeed. If we’re not careful, we find ourselves moving through our days either running as fast as we can to get everything done, going in circles without a clear sense of direction, going through the motions yet finding little pleasure, or overloaded, overworked, overwhelmed, and burned out-not moving at all. Whew! So, here it is, midway through 2009. Time for a personal inventory. Carefully consider these questions as you take note of how you are moving along your life journey. See if there’s a need for any adjustments. (1) What do you envision overall for your life? What do you want to “be?” Now, is what you’re doing bringing that vision to light or hiding it in the dark? (2) Have you set realistic goals to reflect that sense of purpose? Are they attainable for you at this point in the year, if you stretch yourself reasonably? Are they consistent with your personal values and priorities? Do you believe you can reach them? (3) Are you on course to accomplish your goals? If not, what adjustments will you make? (4) Are there obstacles impeding your progress? What will you do to clear the path? (5) What support resources will you turn to for encouragement and accountability as you move forward through this year, committed to building the life you envision? Years from now, when we look back on 2009, will we be pleased with how we approached life and how we managed our time, energy and the opportunities before us? That’s my personal renewed commitment and I offer it as a challenge to you. What do you envision for your life? Now, what will you do to let that light shine as you step into the days ahead? Be encouraged. Nancy Williams, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Life Coaching and Consulting Practice in Kingwood. Send questions or comments to her at www.nancywilliams.net..

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