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Ever felt out of sorts as a leader? Ever felt overwhelmed by everything (or everyone) coming at you because you’re leading the charge? Ever wondered if you have what it takes to hang in there and keep fighting the good fight?

Welcome to leadership.

Nobody said leading was easy. And if they did, they were lying to you.

During the past weeks, I’ve been posting about the power of getting aligned personally, and offered practical hacks that help you get there.  Healthy alignment helps you become the best leadership version of yourself possible.

In the first two posts of this 3-part series, using the illustrations of spinal alignment and vehicle alignment, we discovered two major benefits of getting aligned:

1. We achieve healthier rhythms that keep us stable and operating efficiently.

2. We handle challenges with more energy, effectiveness, and resiliency.

We discussed the first 5 components of personal alignment:

1. Spiritual – developing consistency in our relationship with God.

2. Medical – collaborating with our physician to ensure we’re physiologically aligned.

3. Psychological – processing life from a healthy thought perspective. Working with a counselor and/or mentor is almost always required.

4. Physical – getting our bodies moving, eating responsibly, and getting enough sleep. Exercise helps us get fit, releases feel-good chemicals that help us think more clearly, and lifts our mood. Eating healthy foods, and getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night help us get and stay physically aligned.

5. Schedule – Figuring out and implementing a sensible and sustainable schedule keeps us aligned, energetic, and healthy

I also introduced you to The Personal Alignment Checklist. This checklist will give you a quick read on your current level of alignment. In today’s final post in the series, we’ll consider the last two pieces of the personal alignment journey: relational, and rhythmical.

6. Relational

According to a Barna report published in 2017, that studied 14,000 lead pastors in the U.S., 66% of lead pastors report they have no deep friendships. Every week, I hear a similar story from leaders. Leadership responsibility has the uncanny capacity to isolate us.

When a leader is discouraged, tempted, or angry . . . who does he or she go to? Typically, they won’t reach out to their colleagues. The leadership fraternity tends to be extremely competitive and often insecure.

Leaders struggling with depression or anxiety usually don’t go to their board or congregation (if they’re a pastor) with this information, due to appropriate concern that it could be held against them later.

Here’s the dilemma:  God has hardwired you and me for friendship. It’s impossible to stay aligned without regular time spent with good friends. The problem is, our schedule often gets in the way.

Deep friendships increase the chances of you and I reaching our full potential. God said in the book of Genesis: “It is not good for the man to be alone.”

The seventh and final component in your personal alignment journey has to do with you being

7. Rhythmical

And by that, I don’t mean being a good dancer. I mean discovering and deploying healthy work/rest rhythms: Let me quickly give you four rhythms that will help you get and stay aligned:

1. Daily rhythm

A daily rhythm has to do to with at least two things: First, knowing when it’s time to stop each day. After so many hours of work in a day (for most people, this is at 8-10 hours), you get tired. Welcome to humanity. Daily rhythms will be somewhat different for all of us, but research tells us that for most of us normal humans, after 8 work hours in a day, our productivity falls off a cliff.

The second part of a healthy daily rhythm is learning to match the high-energy parts of your day with the highest energy demanding tasks. I’m a morning person. Most of my deep work on tasks that require the most energy happens between 6 a.m. til 2:00 p.m.

2. Weekly rhythm

Another name for the weekly rhythm is “Sabbath.” It’s interesting that Father God commanded Israelites to observe Sabbath-rest even during times of “plowing and harvest.” For a farmer, these are the busiest times of the year. Yet even in those seasons God made it clear that rest wasn’t a luxury—it was an essential. When a busy season is on the horizon, deliberately make room in your weekly schedule for rest, relaxation, and renewal.

3. Quarterly rhythm

Every 90 days, get out of your zip code and take a day away for relaxation, reflection, recreation, and rest. This quarterly respite will refresh you and keep you aligned.

4. Annual rhythm

According to Project Time Off, 52% of American workers left unused vacation time on the table in 2017. What I’ve noticed in both the marketplace and church worlds is too many of us struggle to really be on vacation even when we do take vacation. A vacation where you’re answering emails, taking calls, catching up on some work—is not a vacation. Disconnecting from work for a real vacation is not wasted time or selfish behavior. It’s a crucial part of maintaining a healthy work/rest rhythm in the face of the ever-present demands of our leadership calling.

So there you have it. Seven components of personal alignment:  Spiritual, Medical; Psychological, Physical, Schedule, Relational, & Rhythmical.

The better aligned you are personally, the healthier you become. The healthier you become, the more likely it is you’ll reach your full potential . . . without burning out.

If you’d like to start the alignment journey with Converge Coaching, take advantage of our free resource, The Personal Alignment Checklist. You can find it here.

In a matter of minutes, you’ll be able to determine where you need to get better aligned. And it will jumpstart your journey toward health. Or if you’re ready to go deeper on your alignment journey, you can reach out to us at our website convergecoach.com or by email at john@convergecoach.com

Leaders who invite Converge Coaching mentors into their journey are getting healthier, growing more confident, and feeling more competent.

I’m rooting and praying for you!

John Opalewski

Author John Opalewski

John Opalewski is a graduate of Oral Roberts University. He served as a pastor for fifteen years. He has worked in the business world for nearly two decades, serving in multiple leadership roles. John's experience as a leader in both the church and business arenas has made him a sought-after international speaker, coach and mentor.

More posts by John Opalewski

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