Every July I stop consulting for personal downtime. The time usually includes visiting grandparents, a study break or special trips with the family. Each year I learn a little more about the importance of taking such time.

This year, the stakes feel higher with personal clarity for a variety of reasons. My ministry is growing, my family is growing. Growth always means more complexity; more options, more distractions, more opportunities, etc.

In order to maximize the time, I created a list of question to think through. What's most interesting to me is how some of my questions have changed. The questions with the astericks are ones I have never considered before. The main point of this post then, is not to give you my questions but to challenge you to write your own.

Here's what it looks like for me:  A month before my downtime I carved out a 3-hour time of focus. For me its a plane ride. I spent time in the Word and prayer.  I journaled a bit. Then I wrote questions. I didn't worry if they are good questions or not. I didn't worry about answering them.

Why not give it a try?

Here is what I will be thinking about over the next 30 days.

  • What is God teaching me right now?

  • How do I want to spend my time every day?

  • What is the single greatest way I want to change how I spend my time everyday?

  • What is the single greatest thing I don’t want to do everyday that I currently do?

  • What are my greatest strengths as I understand them now?

  • What are my greatest limitations as I understand them now?

  • *How have my accomplishments enabled me to better leverage my strengths?

  • *How have my accomplishments magnified my weaknesses?

  • *How is money influencing my strategy and direction inappropriately?

  • What are time-limited opportunities that I now have?

  • *How am I misdirecting my best time and energy?

  • *Where do deepest my frustrations come from? Why?

  • What ideas am I most excited about?

  • What is the single most important thing to do or decide to do right now to achieve my life vision?

  • *How am I failing to give my best time and energy to my family. Why?