Examining the New Year as CEO of Your Life

Like it or not, you are a CEO, and appointed as such by God no less.

The Bible informs us that we are a steward, which is an antiquated word for manager. Just as a CEO is hired by owners to manage a company with the objective of producing maximum profit, God has given us an array of resources and is holding us responsible to manage them so as to produce maximum profit for Him.

Doing so does not just happen on its own as we go about our daily lives. Producing maximum profit demands analysis of our resources and a strategy for implementing those resources. Unless we take initiative to do that we will fail in our responsibilities as a CEO.

Of all of the resources a CEO is required to manage, time is probably the preeminent one. All other resources must be employed within the context of time. You might recall the old management adage, “Time is money.”

Because of the primacy of time, companies tend to manage other resources within the framework of time. For example, they produce annual budgets and develop management plans with weekly, monthly, or annual objectives. As the CEO of our life, it is essential for us to do likewise.

That is one purpose that changing the calendar to a new year can serve. Since we do not have a board or owners requiring us to submit plans and reports at certain times, the approach of a new year provides us with a good reminder that we need to examine last year’s profit and loss statement of “me company,” determine how well we implemented our resources, identify areas of success and those needing improvement, and develop a new plan for the year ahead.

Doing so is especially important for several reasons. The first one, already mentioned, is that failure to consciously manage our lives will result in a performance substantially below our potential. God has not only created us with management capabilities, He has also designed life, including our personal lives, so as to require management. Virtually every aspect of life that works well is doing so because someone is actively analyzing and strategizing in order to produce that outcome. So also people who are succeeding at life are realizing that success because they are actively engaging their minds and volitions in the oversight of their activities.

A second reason why management is important, especially as we approach the new year, is that time has a way of slipping by rapidly. I think of life in terms of a long hallway of open doors of opportunity. As we walk down that hallway, each year the doors that we pass slam shut, limiting the number of future options available to us.

Without management we will probably pass up important doors that could have taken us down optimally profitable corridors but are now no longer available to us. Even if you have the talent to play in the NFL, if you are 22 years old and did not play college football you probably don’t stand a chance. That door is forever closed to you. But if we carefully analyze the doors open to us as we walk down the corridor of the coming year and enter the ones with the greatest potential, we will not need to live in regret over doors now closed.

A third reason why actively functioning as CEO of our lives is critical resides in the reality that an unmanaged life quickly deteriorates. If we fail to manage our diet, just eat what we are inclined to consume, our waistline will soon expand and our health will decline. If we do not manage our exercise program, we will tend to have none. Failure to budget finances will lead to fiscal chaos. Likewise our spiritual life will quickly erode without active oversight. But, as noted above, since we have no one demanding regular reports, it is easy to neglect analysis and planning. The prospect of the ball dropping once again in Times Square can serve as a good reminder that it is time to write out our annual efficiency report and then read it to ourselves, identify changes that need to be made, and produce the 2017 plan.

Though being subjected once again to Guy Lombardo’s quivery, hollow rendition of Auld Lang Syne may not be a happy prospect, hopefully it will motivate us to serious self-examination, thoughtful adjustments, and a 2017 that will someday receive God’s “well done.”

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