Growing in VIrtue: Getting your life in Order

Imagine that up until now your motto in life has been “roll with the punches.” You know, just do whatever comes at you, when it comes at you, and never having a set schedule. How can you go from that to a more ordered and scheduled life?

The theory is simple, but the practice takes constancy and fortitude to stick with your resolution. Before we continue, keep in mind that when you plan out a schedule for your life it is always good to run it by a second pair of eyes, like your spiritual director. They will be able to help you distinguish if you are spending too much or too little time on something, and since they know you well they can help you think of ways to fit it in.

Remember to have in mind what was said previously about order; we have to have our ideas and values in order before we can order the rest of our life. As Christians the order of values should be God first, then my vocation/obligations, and finally entertainment, culture, and rest. So when you start writing out a schedule you can start by marking the hour you usually wake up and the hour you usually go to bed. Also when you have class, working hours, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and things that can’t be easily moved. 

Now think about the commitments you have to God based on your state in life and see where you can put them in the schedule in order to complete them well. Why is that important? It is not usually a good idea to leave prayer to the end of the day before you go to bed. The temptation is too great; you know you will fall asleep. So it is important to see where and when you can fulfill your commitments well, giving the best of yourself to God. Then add in the time you need for your vocational obligations. For a student that would be study time, and for a parent that would be family time, bills, shopping, fixing things. Now your schedule is taking form. From there you can look to see where you can add in the other things such as entertainment, sports, exercise, and culture.

This is a way to fit a little order in your life, always taking into consideration that from time to time something could unexpectedly come up and you have to know how to be flexible. But that doesn’t mean changing your schedule every day. Once you look it over with your spiritual director it is time to live it.

You can also check out Life Plan. This is like a schedule but has a greater focus on the spiritual life and the schedule you make to grow in different virtues.

"Try to commit yourself to a plan of life and keep to it." St. Josemaria Escriva

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