Starting the new school year off right is a wonderful thought.
What a great time to get rid of a few bad habits, start a few good ones, and pledge to do things a little better than the year before.
See . . . told you it was a wonderful thought! Here are five simple suggestions that I know I will be using this year. Maybe they will be helpful to you, too.
Commit To A Daily Quiet Time With God
Maybe you already set aside time in your daily schedule to spend time in God's Word. Great! Keep it up! If you struggle to keep a daily quiet time schedule, don't freak out. Many struggle with setting aside this time. But let me encourage you to really commit to making time each day to spend reading God's Word, praying, and listening. As those who lead youth, there really is no excuse for us not to be in God's Word each day.
The older I get the more I find that I am in need of healthier eating habits. Long gone are the twenty-something years when I could eat whatever I wanted and burn it off while watching TV. Eating well is carefully choosing what we eat, and maybe more importantly, what we don't eat. No crazy diet or weight loss plan. Just eat what is good for us. Moderation is important. We're not challenging the 10th grade boys to a pizza eating contest. We all know we feel better, and in fact are healthier when we choose to eat well. Our health is a huge part of being an effective youth worker. If you don't feel good, it's hard to be effective!
Get Out And Exercise
Working out is not my favorite thing. But if I make it through a couple days, working out begins to feel better. I have a little more energy. I'm a little more productive. And I feel healthier. Not to mention the reduced stress levels. Plus, next time you play killball, you can get back at that 11th grader who knocked you out because you had to stop and catch your breath. And if that's not motivation, I don't know what is.
Create A Routine
Routines can be good when they help us establish good working habits. I find when I stick to a routine, I accomplish some of the little things that I may not always enjoy doing. For example, when I arrive at the office in the morning I set up my laptop, check email, check my calendar for the day, return any messages, check my favorite blogs, and develop my plan of attack. All of this happens within the first 90 minutes of the morning. Then, I move about my day!
I can be a real procrastinator. In high school I was great at waiting till the last minute before tackling assignments. Even in ministry, I find there are a few tasks that I would just rather not do. That makes it that much easier to put them off. But I was given some very wise advice, many, many years ago. If I were to get into the habit of just doing what I disliked doing right away, I wouldn't have to deal with the agony of knowing I still have to something that I really didn't want to do. So don't procrastinate! Attack those undesired tasks right out of the box and get them done. It's better to have a few minutes of "pain" instead of a couple hours of "torture" knowing you still have to get it done.
So, there you go, five simple ideas to help you start the new school and ministry year off right.
What tips would you add?
(Originally posted in 2013.)