How Do You Measure a Year?

“525,600 minutes, how do you measure, measure a year?”

That’s the question the Tony award-winning musical RENT asks in the opening scene of the second act. And that’s the question we ask ourselves as well at the beginning of every year. Twelve months, 52 weeks, 365 days, and 525,600 minutes. How do we make them matter most?

We make them matter most by doing this: Instead of asking ourselves what kind of year we want, we first ask ourselves what kind of life we want.  Our days must be an extension of our drive to achieve what matters most.

The problem we have as human beings is that we assume because we are so busy that we are getting things done. That would be like assuming that if we are driving a car at 100 miles per hour that we are headed in the right direction. Not a very safe assumption. Never confuse activity with accomplishment.

“The consequence of living our lives at warp speed,” write John Loehr and Tony Schwartz in The Power of Full Engagement,  “is that we rarely take time to reflect on what we value most deeply or to keep these priorities front and center. Most of us spend more time reacting to immediate crises and responding to the expectations of others than we do making considered choices guided by a clear sense of what matters most.”

Take the time to complete this exercise before the week is up. Write a one sentence answer to each of the following questions:

  1. What kind of person do you want to be? How are you staying healthy and strong mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually?
  2. What kind of relationships do you want to have? How are you investing in the lives of those whom you love the most?
  3. What kind of work do you want to do? What’s the best use of the gifts and abilities that God has given you?
  4. How are you giving back? What causes are you supporting with your time, talent, and treasure?

This is how you can measure this year differently.

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