The end of the semester can’t come too soon.  At this point we are all out of gas so to speak.  Once finals are over, we all transition rather quickly to the next thing.  Whether it’s a vacation, summer school, job or some combination of the three, we get our eyes focused on the future.  Before that happens I would encourage you to pause for a time to reflect.  Reflection is one of the keys to making much needed changes in our lives.  If we don’t reflect, we risk missing out on opportunities to grow and change.  We find ourselves doing the same things but expecting different results.

One of the most practical ways to reflect is to use your calendar to evaluate how you use your time.  Select any week from the spring semester.  If you haven’t already done so, fill out the hours on the calendar as much as possible with details on how you spent your time. Technology makes it easy to color code your calendar entries.  For example, shade class times in red, work schedule in blue and worship services in yellow and so on.

Doing this activity allows you to do a quick visual analysis of how balanced your life is.  Of course there are fixed appointments like classes, work and church but there is a lot of discretionary time in your week as well.  Did you use your time wisely?  How were your priorities reflected in the way you used your time?  Thinking through this data gives you the opportunity to make better choices for the future.

One more personal assessment should be your spiritual life.  Get away for an hour or so to reflect on how you grew spiritually this semester.  Did you journal?  Do you have a prayer record?  Use those tools to reflect on what God is saying to you as He shapes and molds your life.

Before you flip the switch from spring to summer, take a deep breath to reflect on the past semester.  Be decisive and intentional about what adjustments you are going to make.  Implement those changes right away and then have a great break!

Dr. Damore, Provost ACU