Sometimes we spend a lot of time and energy on activities which are not aligned with our goals and priorities. We can reduce that waste with a little self-reflection and self-discipline.
“Consider your ways,” said the prophet Haggai to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. “Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6).
In other words, look objectively at the yield on your investments. Are you getting the results you hoped for, and do you need to rebalance or even jettison some activities which are not productive?
The Book of Mormon prophet King Benjamin had a similar message for his people. “I pray that ye should awake to a remembrance of the awful situation of those that have fallen into transgression,” he said (Mosiah 2:40). Then, he asked them to visualize the positive outcomes of good decisions:
And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it.Mosiah 2:41
Sometimes, when we self-assess, we can be awfully hard on ourselves. Recognizing what we are doing well and want to keep doing can be as important as identifying things we want to change. President Henry B. Eyring gave the following advice:
As you examine your life during the ordinance of the sacrament, I hope your thoughts center not only on things you have done wrong but also on things you have done right—moments when you have felt that Heavenly Father and the Savior were pleased with you. You may even take a moment during the sacrament to ask God to help you see these things. If you do, I promise you will feel something. You will feel hope.
When I have done this, the Spirit has reassured me that while I’m still far from perfect, I’m better today than I was yesterday. And this gives me confidence that, because of the Savior, I can be even better tomorrow.“Always Remember Him,” Liahona, February 2018
Today, I will “consider my ways.” I will evaluate whether my actions are aligned with my values and objectives. I will adjust my behavior as needed, and I will recommit to continue to invest in activities which are in harmony with God’s will.