My wonderful Spiritual Director suggested something recently to me that I thought must be shared.
“Make some rules for yourself.”
Rules? I suppose I asked for it. I had said I felt disorganized and scattered in my prayer life (okay so I’m completely scattered in my real life, not just prayer) but I mentioned the need for some “structure.”
He mentioned St. Benedict and his book called “The Rule” which was a set of…rules. Duh.
So, if I wanna be a Saint I suppose I should try and learn from these guys and gals, right?
The task was to come up with 3 rules for myself that could be anything, not necessarily prayer related.
Example: I will answer all my emails within 24 hours.
The thought is that they should be simple and reasonable rules. And I couldn’t help but think, “This could actually be useful in my other life as a personal trainer with my clients as well as myself!”
That part is coming up…but I digress.
So I have this bad habit of purchasing books/checking out books from the library and just starting them without finishing them. I have about half a dozen books sitting on my shelf that I haven’t cracked open. Which led me to come up with Rule #1.
Rule #1: Don’t check out/purchase another book until I have completed the books currently on my shelf. And I will not read more than one book at a time. I have tried, to no avail, to read 3 books at once. Terrible idea. Never works for me. So back to just one at a time.
Rule #2. I won’t attempt to multi-task while listening to commentary/homilies on scripture. I can’t help but have a slight obsession with learning everything I possibly can about my faith and so I think at last count I subscribe to about 6 different pages/accounts that send out reflections/commentary. You’d think this would be fantastic and a great way to learn but turns out it’s awful for someone like me because I cannot seem to pay attention for more than 30 seconds at a time before I’m clicking the next one. Or I get up and start making breakfast thinking “I’ll just have it on in the background, I can still hear it!” It’s a prime example of why multi-tasking is terrible, for EVERYONE. So my rule is to force me to focus on one message at a time, hence, structure.
Rule #3. Think of a Rule #3. 🙂 I haven’t thought of one. Although I’m considering “Don’t go to Adoration with more than one journal.” I mean. is it my fault that I love to write and I have 3 different journals for 3 different writing formats? 1 is for blog ideas, 1 is for spiritual direction thoughts and 1 is for free thinking. Actually, that’s pretty organized for someone as scattered as me.
As for my “Other Life” as a Personal Trainer – I thought the Rules could be applied to myself and my own clients in their efforts to be healthy and in shape, especially for those who make those lovely “Resolutions.”
- Skip dessert (or wine or whatever your biggest indulgence is) every other day. For me, I’m not a big dessert person but I do love cheese. And Peanut butter. So one of those has to get reduced.
- Get up 15 minutes early 3 days a week in order to make breakfast instead of eating “on-the go.”
- Save the fast food meals for payday only (Limits yourself to just twice a month at the most)
- Don’t purchase a “treat” for yourself until you reach a certain health goal first (lowered blood pressure, loss of an inch in the waistline, held a plank for a minute, etc)
- Walk at least a mile before hitting the “Stop” button on the treadmill/quitting to do something else. I find that the times I really don’t want to workout, if I just say “Okay, just 10 minutes of something then I can stop,” usually works.
There’s plenty more out there but these are just a few to get you thinking…In the meantime, I found this on Facebook and thought it was a great little image to share. (I’m a big fan of anything food AND faith-related.)