Simple Monthly Disciplines

Aristotle is known to have said, “The hardest victory is over self.” How true that is! When dealing with my simple daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly disciplines, I must stay consistent with them. When I’m not consistent, I lose momentum, focus, and time. Someone once said, “If I could kick the person most responsible for my failure, I wouldn’t be able to sit down for a week!”

My disciplines are important for me as a minister and a leader. However, I would be lying if I said that I am always consistent. The truth is that I struggle with these disciplines during certain seasons in my life. That’s okay. My goal is to get back on track as soon as I can.

There are three Simple Monthly Disciplines I stick to:

1. Plan my task/to-do list

On the first or last day of the month, I spend one hour looking at my calendar for the next 30-40 days and write down all the things I need and want to accomplish that month. I assign days when I am going to work on that task and I adjust for events and meetings. For instance, if I have a lot of meetings on a certain day, then I know that I will not have time to accomplish a lot of tasks. This helps me to stay on the ball when I have many projects that I am trying to juggle at one time.

2. Review my personal and professional goals

If I’m going to accomplish my goals for the year, I need to constantly look at them to make sure that I am moving in the right direction. When I keep them in my sight, I stay motivated, which allows me to stay on course. If I only look at them once a year, I often find that my goals were only a pipedream.

3. Meet with a good leader and learn from them

The best way for me to learn is to spend time with leaders that are smarter, faster, wiser, and quicker than me. I prepare a list of questions to ask so that I can maximize my time with them. Then I meet them in their office and just ask away. I let them do most of the talking and I take notes and learn. These leaders have challenged me to think in ways I never thought possible and have expanded my leadership and ministry potential. I am grateful for their wisdom!

Next week we’ll talk about Simple Yearly Disciplines. But in the meantime, what are some of your Simple Monthly Disciplines? Please share your comments.

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.

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