I have recently been reading the book “Scaling Up,” by Verne Harnish, on the Rockefeller Habits and the four decisions every organizational leader must make (people, strategies, execution, and cash). In one of the early chapters, on the development and roles of the leadership team, the book suggests the use of a tool called a one-page personal plan (OPPP). Within this tool, there are five factors listed in the left-column that have been identified (based on research by wealth advisor James Hansberger) as the five things that matter most to people when they near the end of their leaves, in this order: Faith, Family, Friends, Fitness, and Finance.
As I looked through and pondered this document, while also thinking about this current time of the year, I realized that those same five items become a significant part of our thought process during the season of Christmas. It’s the time of the year when we focus on the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ as a baby in Bethlehem, which then becomes the central purpose behind the season for me (Faith). It’s also the time of the year when we gather with family, reconnect with loved ones, and generously give to them (Family). It’s a time when we enjoy gatherings and parties and feasts and activities, all centered on the celebration of the season (Friends). Like it or not, it’s a time when we often over-indulge in food, followed by New Year’s commitments to get in shape (Fitness). And it’s a time of the year when we spend money, and are urged by advertising and stores to spend even more (Finance).
It seems that even if we don’t happen to be near the end of our lives, the Christmas season is one that causes us to be drawn to those things that really matter. It happens without us realizing it, so I would challenge you to make it happen intentionally. At this time of the year, think about what really matters. Start with faith – if you don’t already have a personally relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior, would you please consider speaking to someone about it? – and then think about the value of your family and your friends, and the wise care of your fitness and your finances. Allow this season to be one that helps you to purposefully identify those things that really matter, and make them a priority in your life. Don’t’ wait until your life is nearing it’s end; do it while you have the opportunity to enjoy that which really counts.