Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Begin With The End In Mind

For the last year and a half, I've been working 4-10's, that is four ten hour days, with a day off each week. Each month I had a different day of the week off, and every other month either a Monday or a Friday so that I had a three day weekend. I learned early on however, that unless I did certain things the night before, I couldn't fully enjoy my day off . One of those was the dishes. We (I) kind of got into a bad habit of leaving dishes go one or two nights during those ten hour days. But I realized I didn't like waking up on my day off to a sink full of dishes. That was enough to motivate me at night to "get 'er done!"

Someone said wisely that we should begin with the end in mind. This applies to so many areas of my life:

  1. My tongue. How will I feel if I open my big mouth and tell them what I really feel?
  2. My house. How will I feel if I leave this or that undone? Why shouldn't I go ahead and toss some laundry in the wash tonight and dry it tomorrow night? What's preventing me from wiping up the bathroom tonight so I don't have to do it on Saturday?
  3. Children. Although I don't have any, it seems like any good parent would want to begin their parenting with the end in mind, i.e. character development, etc. As a youth leader, I long to see the teens in my small group fully committed to Christ in all areas of their lives. My co-leader and I plan our sessions around these goals.
  4. Everyday chores. It finally occurred to me that dinner can be planned and partially prepared the night before. The other night I cooked some brown rice which was a snap to turn into fried rice tonight. The next night, as soon as I came home from work, I thawed some ground turkey while I put together the fried rice. After dinner, I mixed it into a meatloaf for dinner the next day.
  5. My health and especially, weight. How will I feel after I indulge in that latte? Do I really need to supersize everything? Won't I feel much better if I go ahead and take that walk around the block tonight?
I no longer work the 4-10 schedule, having come to the realization it was taking too much toll on other areas of my life. However, if nothing else, I did learn the value of beginning with the end in mind. I think that's the way the Apostle Paul lived and encouraged others to live. "But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14


Katrina said...

Good post Dianne, and a lesson that has been impressed on me as well. In parenting, I think it's crucial to have a plan - begin with the end in mind - or else you are just floundering and will miss many opportunities to teach kids the really important stuff. In my home, I've learned that doing 5-10 minute tasks (wiping the bathroom sink, vacuuming up crumbs) go a long way toward making me feel more relaxed an on top of things. And I ditto your thoughts on the tongue and my health/weight!

Jennifer said...

I'll be thinking on this one a while. What I think is the most gratifying--satisfying whatever carnal need I have at the moment--really is not. In the end, I do feel so much better if I'm making thoughtful, wise choices. I'll keep thinking. . . .

TulipGirl said...

"Children. Although I don't have any, it seems like any good parent would want to begin their parenting with the end in mind, i.e. character development, etc."

I think this is wise. . . Keeping in mind the long view helps with the day-to-day tasks and patience. On the other hand, it's also important to begin at the beginning, "line upon line" so to speak. Parents have been known to overlook the process of infant and child development when they keep "the end" in mind, and get frustrated with the process. . . And that is counterproductive and sets an infant and parent up for frustration.

Susanne said...

A very thought provoking post. Never thought of things like chores and such in those terms. Thanks for showing yourself and commenting on my site. We'll have to compare fave books one day.