For some people, the new year is the start of a new school year in August or September. For some, it is January 1. Whichever is true for you, here are some tips that may help you in planning your personal and work life for this year. At Walk and Talk, we call them the seven areas of life.
It’s important that you study each area of your life, so you can improve where you need to. In this article, we define the seven areas of life. Before the start of the new year, take some time to reflect and refine some of your goals and problems to solve.
Seven Areas of Life
This list may not be totally comprehensive, but it gives us a framework to discuss most of the things that affect us in the course of our daily lives. We have found it most helpful to define the various categories as follows:
This area has to do with one’s vertical relationship with God. Prayer, Bible study, spiritual disciplines (such as fasting and meditation), personal worship, walking in the Spirit, an experiential understanding of who we are in Christ, and time alone with God, all fall under this category.
This area covers your relationship with your spouse, communication, Biblical oneness, physical oneness (all aspects of your sexual relationship with one another), husband leading/wife submitting, esteeming one another, commitment to your vows, forgiveness (extending and seeking it), conflict resolution, prayer and worship as a couple.
The parental area of life, refers to all aspects of child-rearing including Biblically-based discipline, establishing fair and understood limits, communication of love and support, consistent instruction in respect for authority in attitude and action. Not only does this area include caring for children but it’s also important to nurture within ourselves as parents of the conviction that our children are gifts given by God who ultimately belong to Him and must be released back to Him emotionally and eventually, physically.
Money is often on our minds. In this instance, we refer to the source of provision for the needs of your family, that is, your income, learning to be content with what you have, how to be abased and to abound. It’s important that as 2019 approaches, you create a plan for your budget and how to stay debt-free, a plan for giving with which both of you agree, investing after all your necessities have been met, an attitude of harmony within your family concerning finances in general, and a plan for emergency funds in case of sudden catastrophe.
In the physical area of life, we try to find a wholesome acceptance of the way God made you, adequate, well-balanced diet, freedom from gluttony, sexual purity, proper personal hygiene, and proper exercise. Many people make new year’s resolution to get in better shape. It’s especially important to emphasize cardiovascular fitness to avoid unnecessary risk of heart attack, adequate sleep, freedom from laziness, freedom from drunkenness.
While this area might be high on your list, it’s important to make your goals reachable. It’s better to make a smaller goal and reach it than to discourage yourself by setting a goal that it too far out of reach. Whether you promise to take a walk every day, or use your gym a few times a week, try to be realistic with your goals so that you can better yourself in more than one area this year.
Social and Ministry Area
This area has to do with a balance in ministry outward and relating to your family. Keep your relationships in proper priority, having relationships with mutual accountability, both as individuals and as a couple. Get involved in a local body (more than just Sunday church), involvement in people’s lives, use of your spiritual gifts, outreach to non-Christians, humor and the ability to have fun are all great goals to make this year.
Psychological and Intellectual Area
When making goals in this area, we are focusing on our thinking process, which should be reflecting a renewed mind and growth in knowledge and wisdom. Having eternal values rather than temporal values with singleness of purpose and being a good steward of your emotions by knowing when to express or restrain depending upon the situation are effective ways to practice self-control. Knowing how to walk being empowered by the Holy Spirit, consistent choosing of truth, growing in knowledge and obedience to Scripture in your daily experience are all ways to grow in the psychological area.
Why is it important to analyze these seven areas of life?
- It helps you clarify where you are and where you want to be in your life experience.
- It gives you something to look forward to.
- It will keep you from saying, “I wish I could…” and you never do what you wish.
- It will give you a feeling of fulfillment to actually look at them each month and in twelve months see how far you have come.
- It helps you set realistic goals in 2019.
How do you prioritize your 2019 goals?
After you have a clear understanding of each area, write down what you might need to improve on in each area.
Some ground rules as you go through this process. Don’t take to much time thinking. Just write down what comes to mind in each area.
For example, one year, I put down the names of three couples who my wife Pauly and I were wanting to get together with, but just never made the time. This was a priority of ours in the social area of life. By identifying who the couples were and putting it on our calendar to get in touch with them and suggesting a few dates we were open, we ended up scheduling all three within a three month period and actually spent time with them.
Another goal we had was to “have fun” together as a couple with other couples. We set aside a night one time a month and we went for it. We met three or four times. It was so great to spend time with these people and to have fun and laugh together.
Prioritize yourself, your relationships, and God
We are all so busy that sometimes we forget what is really important. If you take the time to think and write your goals and vision for this year I bet you will find it very fulfilling and significant. Keep them in front of you and review them once a week or month and let us know how it went.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear your stories of what you did and how it worked out.
Have a great 2019! And don’t forget to write!