Start the New Year with a Time Jar Inventory

“Success requires the emotional balance of a committed heart.  When confronted with a challenge, the committed heart will search for a solution.  The undecided heart searches for an escape.”  (A. Andrews in “The Traveler’s Gift”)

From infancy, each child in the family needs to develop a sense of who he is in relationship to his parents without feeling like he has to constantly compete with his parents’ busy schedule of the demands of his siblings for mom and dad’s attention.  There is a simple way to build a wonderful relationship with each of your children in a fun, non-threatening way.  You will gain new insights into your child’s special gifts and concerns.  You will enjoy some relaxed, “down-time” doing activities that your child enjoys.  It only takes 15 to 30 minutes per week for each child.  BUT, if you can’t spare that small bit of time, then you are too busy, and you need to re-evaluate your time priorities before learning about the Magic Moment.

Try this fun object lesson with your family. Get two pint canning jars and a cup each of play sand, pea gravel and small river rocks. Divide your family members into two Teams.  Which Team can fill their jar with the sand, pebbles and rocks fastest and with the least amount of sand, gravel and rocks left over?

This object lessons illustrates Stephen Covey’s concept of putting in the “big rocks” first when you choose how to use your time. The winning team probably filled their jar first with the big rocks, then the little pebbles, then the grains of sand. Our time is like the jar – it can be filled with a myriad of large and small activities.  If we start filling our time jars with sand, our lives will be cluttered with thousands of tiny commitments which will sap our time and energy, and there won’t be room for the big, important things of life.

If we don’t take time to plan and selectively choose how we will use our personal and family time, our lives will be controlled by the “tyranny of the urgent” – unexpected interruptions or demands from others which don’t fit into our overall goals and priorities.

So take the time this week to talk through your personal and family goals with your spouse and children, and fill your time jar with the “big rocks” first. Hopefully, building meaningful relationships with each family member will be among the biggest rocks that fill your time jar.   NEXT: The Secret of the Magic Moment