My best man and I used to meet once a month to review what we called the ‘pillars’ of our lives, which another great friend and I later coined “Solid Foundations.” These are seven areas that intertwine and we felt needed to be invested in to build a sound, holistic foundation for our lives:
“Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock.”
Matthew 7:24-25 NLT
“After you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.”
1 Peter 5:10, NLT
Each time we’d meet, we’d open with prayer, review each pillar, and make a list of specific action items to be done before our next meeting. I’ve found that having an accountability partner (aside from my spouse) can be an excellent way to keep our priorities in check. The following is an overview of the pillars and items for which we’d hold each other accountable:
Prayer time (and specific lists of people and needs for which to pray), Bible study, church attendance, small group participation and leadership.
- Developing a healthy social network and fellowship, volunteering, prioritizing tasks at work and home.
- Taking time to laugh every day, including Christian comedy like Bananas Comedy DVDs, and clean Christian comedians on Pandora and Spotify.
“A relaxed attitude lengthens life.” Proverbs 14:30, NLT
- Staying fit in four key areas: Cardio (cycling, running, swimming, etc.), Strength (weight lifting/plyometric drills), Flexibility (yoga, stretching), and Nutrition (eating whole, real foods; limiting processed foods, and knowing which supplements are needed).
- Team sports are encouraged for accountability, teamwork, and fellowship, in addition to individual activities like prayer hikes.
“Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31, NLT
- Developing a budget and sticking to it, and adjusting spending as needed.
- Keeping debt to a minimum, for essentials such as a home and education.
- Being a cheerful, generous giver; not giving out of legalism.
- Investing in key relationships – our “12 and 3” like Christ had. These are twelve people in which you regularly invest time, and three people that are your closest, key advisors/mentors.
- Setting up healthy boundaries, and cutting ties with unhealthy relationships.
- Developing a meaningful career that is a crossroads between the world’s needs and your giftedness. Developing and adhering to a continuing education plan to keep your skills sharpened.
- Developing a strong network, not just making shallow connections on LinkedIn.
- Volunteering for trade associations and other organizations that you feel that God is leading you to.
Scheduling regular time with family and friends for fun activities, and personal time for ‘recalibrating’ one’s mind and spirit. This needs to be intentional time away from the stresses and distractions of life, and can be as simple as a 30 minute prayer walk in the Metroparks.