It is not enough to do good things, but we must do them well, in imitation of Christ our Lord, of whom it was written Bene omnia fecit – He did all things well. We ought, then, to strive to do all things in the spirit of Christ; that is, with the perfection, with the circumstances, and for the ends for which He performed His actions. Otherwise, even the good works that we do, will bring us punishment rather than reward. -Saint Vincent de Paul
I believe there’s a serious crisis within the Catholic Church. Specifically, I believe the vast majority of Catholic men are failing to live up to expectations our Lord expects of us. I also believe we Catholic men are professional excuse makers. And, listen, I’m part of the problem so I’m definitely not casting stones.
You see, we Catholic men make excuses for why we don’t pray daily. We make excuses for why we don’t work out at least 4 to 5 times each week. We make excuses for why our diets are horrible and we drink alcohol several nights a week (or more). And we make excuses for why most of our wives are the primary spiritual leaders in our homes.
Gentlemen, I say it’s time for the excuses to stop. I say it’s time we become intentional about the way we approach every minute of every day. I say it’s time we plan out, hour by hour, how we intend to go about each and every day. And I say it’s not only time to set goals… it’s also time to form a specific, action based, plan of attack for how these goals will be accomplished.
And since this Intentional Encounter blog is a way for me to share the things I’m trying in my own life I’d like to introduce a new tool I’ve started to use as I attempt to rid myself of excuses and distractions – the SELF Journal.
Simply put, the SELF Journal is a 13-week journal that allows you to set 3 big goals. It also guides you through a process of breaking these big goals down into smaller progress goals. And from there the journal helps you identify the daily tasks and activities you need to be doing in order to achieve these progress goals.
The journal also helps you plan out, in 30 minute increments, how you plan to go about your day. And, an aspect of the journal I really appreciate, is how there’s a place to note three things you’re grateful for at the start of each day and 3 things you’re grateful for at the end of the day.
I haven’t been using the journal long… but since starting I can already see, and feel, a difference. I personally plan out my day and then do my very best to stick to the plan. And if something pulls me away from the plan I document it. This allows me to reflect back on what happened so I can make a plan to minimize the disruption in the future. And beginning and ending each day with a spirit of gratefulness has been game changing.
So, if you also struggle with distractions and not getting the things right things done each and every day I’d highly encourage you to give the this SELF Journal a spin. And, if you do pick one up please do let us know how it goes.
Until next time… be holy, eat clean, and do more push-ups!