Pleasurable and Meaningful

Pleasurable and Meaningful

A few weeks ago, I encouraged you to take flight and since then, I’ve gotten a few questions about goal setting at this six-month mark. Questions like: What should it look like? What to do? How do I make this time effective?

I find that one of the hardest parts about flying is taking off.  The actual preparation for liftoff when you’re in the whirlwind of life (work, parents, kids, bills, school) makes it hard to focus on your wildly important goals (WIG’s). In fact, sometimes, all that you can manage is your whirlwind.

Well, Woman of Judah if that’s you, I propose that you and I step outside of our whirlwinds for a moment by starting with small goals. We can choose one or two things to work towards. They don’t have to be huge things, they just need to be impactful. Impactful goals for each person can be different. For one of you, an impactful goal would be to start reading books on leadership, another of you – becoming active and some of you may just need rest.

To do this, I’d like to take you through this exercise that I did in therapy (yes, you can love Jesus and go to therapy).

1)      First, let’s make two lists (use this worksheet or a notebook).

a.       A list of things that bring you pleasure and

b.       a list is a list of things that are meaningful to you.

Now you may have to stew with this for a while. You see, when we start to wear lots of hats, we start to forget what things bring us pleasure.  You may even see some that overlap into your meaningful lists. Those are sweet spots!

If you’d like to see an example, look at my list below:

2)      Second, reflect on your results.

a.  Look at your list of pleasurable things, there is a chance that you aren’t doing (m)any things that bring you pleasure.

b. Now, look at the list of things that are meaningful. It’s kind of hard to get away from these things. In fact, you probably engage in them  daily.

But, I’m almost positive that you would probably benefit from improving the quality of something that you do this list.

So, guess what? Now that you’ve done this, you have your two goals for the next six months.

Yeah, I’m serious!

I would bet that the two small goals that you were thinking of directly correlate back to these lists in some way. So we’re going to work on those small goals by pledging to chunk some time each week to do one thing that is pleasurable and one thing that is meaningful.

Most of you have heard that when you fly on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others.  Why is this an important rule for ensuring survival?  Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.

This is an important metaphor for busy women who run around taking care of everything and everyone except themselves.

So, to make sure that we have enough oxygen, we’re going to add something pleasing back into our weekly routine. If we do that, it’s going to make us better for the things that are meaningful to us. It is going to make us more filled up, renewed, and restored so that we can offer the Lord and the people around us the very best of who we are.

Does this make sense?

I’ll use myself as an example:

If you look at my list of pleasurable things, you’ll see things like working out, reading, art, and music. It is my goal to move (workout or go to the park with my kid) at least twice a week while listening to an audiobook or music, and if I don’t make it, I can do something else from the list. If, I find it pleasurable.

On my meaningful list, you will see things like mothering, wifing, stewardship, and leadership. One week, I may decide to read to my son before bed, if that’s how I best connect with him or maybe I’ll set a goal to listen to a new leadership book on Audible before the week is out.

You see, my pleasurable thing gives me more energy and strength to continue with my meaningful thing and vice-versa.

Now, some weeks, you’ll do all the things, from both lists and some weeks you’ll only be able to manage one.  That’s ok! This flight will get bumpy, but to continue, we must practice putting our own oxygen mask on, first.

And please, please, please…do not feel bad for doing what is pleasurable. In Genesis, God commands us to take care of all his creation. And guess what? That includes us! We are His handiwork, and He wants us to flourish and TAKE FLIGHT!

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