When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier
-Roy E. Disney
Your life is a result of the choices you make. If you don’t like your life, it is time to start making better choices.
I’ve read the second quote in a variety of forms, yet I couldn’t find a definitive answer as to who was the originator. Nonetheless, it is extremely popular. In fact, I heard that quote early in my life. “Your life will look like the choices you make,” my middle school teacher would say. In light of Mr. Disney’s quote, since the words “decision” and “choice” are synonyms, the two quotes combined suggest that our lives look like our decisions and our decisions are driven by our values.
To add one more quote in the mix, Vice-President Joe Biden says, “Don’t tell me what you value. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.”
Ouch! Disclaimer: This article is aimed at myself first. I am not insinuating that I have reached perfection in my decision making. There were things that I said were values of mine. Yet, neither my checkbook nor my debit card receipts reflected them. One particular area was the area of working out. I would say that I valued exercise. Yet, for years I made every possible excuse for why I couldn’t consistently do it. I’d say things like, “There just aren’t enough hours in a day.” Here’s one, “I work so hard that when I get home I no longer have the energy to hit the gym.” I wasn’t lying. Working out after work is very difficult for me. However, working out before work was never an option for me. Why? Although it hurts to admit, it wasn’t really a value of mine.
This year, for a variety of reasons, working out really did become of value to me. Now, my budget allots for multi-vitamins and supplements. I don’t always reach my goal, but the goal is to be in bed before 11:00 p.m. so that I can be up no later than 6:00 a.m. to hit the gym. If I go to bed earlier, I can get up a little earlier. If I have early morning work responsibilities and can’t devote the time I would like to, I will still do plyometrics so that my muscles can exert force in short intervals of time. 6 days a week, I will get some type of exercise (not including walking) in. I value being alive for my wife and children. I value accomplishing what I believe God has called me to accomplish. The truth be told, now that working out is a priority, I can’t even remember what I removed from my daily “to do” list to make room for it. It’s just a part of 6 days of my week. Up next: Eating clean to accommodate the exercise. Now that I’ve made adjustments, I’d like to share a few practical things we all could do to be assured that we have enough time to live our values out.
Tell Yourself the Truth
You won’t adjust what you won’t admit! Yes sleep is important. However, if you’re an adult who has to have 9+ hrs of sleep to make it through a day, you either have a medical problem or you’re lazy. Be honest with yourself. Don’t say you didn’t have time to pray or read your Bible, but you never miss your favorite tv show. If you are away when it airs, you’ll record it and make time to watch it later or even get the app that allows you to watch it on the go. Be honest! Growing in your faith is not that important. The moment you can face reality is the moment you can begin to change reality.
Rearrange Your Daily Schedule
I guarantee you that there is something that should be of a lower priority that is taking the place of something that should hold very high value. Like I already stated, when you rearrange your schedule, you may have to remove something in order to fit something else in. If what you are fitting in is more important than what you are removing, after a while you won’t even miss what you removed. You may even completely forget about it.
Employ ‘NO” More Often
I’ve written about saying no several times. Those of you who have been reading my articles for a while know how much of a struggle it was for me to say no. I wouldn’t say that it has become easy for me. However, I’m pleased to announce that it has gotten so much better. In fact, I don’t even feel guilty about saying no most of the time now. That’s a major accomplishment. No is oftentimes your accountability partner. If we would say no more often, we wouldn’t have to worry about overcommitting ourselves and feeling like we don’t have the time to do everything. Remember, you’re human. You weren’t created to do everything. Do what’s most important. Let “no” bless your life!
Romel Gibson is a youth and college pastor, mentor, community leader, motivational speaker, musician, and songwriter living in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He serves as a full- time Campus Life Director with Youth for Christ, one of the largest non-profit youth evangelism ministries in the world. As a songwriter, his most notable works include L. Spenser Smith and Testament (Greater, Surgery), Tonya Baker (Miracles), The Anointed Pace Sisters (Praise and Worship), Myron Butler (Changed), Marvin Sapp (Never), Ruben Studdard (Holding On To You Lord), and Johnny Gill (Black Box).Romel has been married for 12 years to his college best friend Quanedra. Together they have been blessed with three beautiful daughters; Allayna Pilar, Moriah Kelis, and Rylee Addison.