The W.I.N. principle - What’s Important Now – came from Lou Holtz (former football coach of Notre Dame, motivational speaker and sports commentator) via my husband. If you’re not into football, don’t get hung up on the football origin, it’s a great life principle and one that gives sanity back to overwhelmed lives.
W.I.N. applies at all times of life – daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and during the seasons of life. It applies in all places – home, workplace, ministry, etc. It has a way of reducing stress, keeping life in the moment.
What’s Important Now is the question I constantly ask myself.
Let’s take the Seasons of Life. They don’t last forever, although some feel like they will. Whatever season you’re in will eventually move into another one. Plus, if you live in the “Someday,” then you won’t be applying W.I.N. Not that goals and dreams aren’t important. It’s the wishing for something else that gets you sidetracked. When I get the kids in school….When I make enough money…..When I’m retired. W.I.N. helps you accomplish the goals and dreams for the Someday, yet it helps make the most of the current Season.
Are you Single? Newly Married? Parent of Small Children/School Age/Teenage? Are you an Empty Nester or Newly Retired? All of these Seasons of Life bring something important for the time and the question – What’s Important Now?
I remember when our children (now grown) were in junior high. It was important that either my husband or I was home when our children got home from school. I readjusted my work hours to 8-4 and didn’t take a lunch hour. It was more important to be home after school than to take a lunch hour.
The high school senior year for both our children brought that question up time and time again. We knew it was their last year in school, and the most important thing was to be at all their events. We knew that life would be crazy, but we also knew that considering the grand scheme of time, it would be relatively short. And sure enough, that season quickly moved on to another one. Now that we’re empty nesters, and one of our children wants to visit, suddenly nothing else is important. We readjust to spend time with them (especially because they asked!).
W.I.N. is on my mind daily. I’m a list maker, and I used to get so overwhelmed with everything that needed to be done. I’d actually feel anxious as I wrote the list. But then I learned to ask myself What’s Important Now? I didn’t need to think of the big get-together we were hosting next month. I only needed to think about the week ahead. I could break down the event into small bits and get something done towards it on a particular week. Then I’d break the week down into daily bits. What’s Important for TODAY ONLY. I don’t need to worry about tomorrow (didn’t our Lord say that?).
Gordon MacDonald in his book Ordering Your Private World, talks about the rhythms of life – daily, weekly, annually. Are you a morning or night person? Whenever you feel the most energized, tackle the big things that need attention. Are there certain days of the week within your schedule that you are more productive? Again, tackle those Most Important Things then. Annually there are rhythms as well. The winter months may be better times for catching up on your reading list, indoor projects and crafts, etc. When the holidays arrive, you know What’s Important Now. It’s probably not the best time to repaint your living room.
Finally, as a part of my prayer life, I ask W.I.N. What’s Important on God’s agenda today? What does He want me to accomplish? Who can I call or write a note to? What am I called to do TODAY? W.I.N.