Because our physical life is a good, as stated in a previous article, another aspect of our plan of life should be exercise. Thirty minutes of brisk exercise at least three times a week is a feasible goal. We must also combine this with a healthy diet and proper sleep. God gave us the night to rest and the light to work. Staying up late and sleeping in late are often signs of imbalance and disorder in our life.
We should cultivate friendships with people who share our goal of holiness whenever and wherever possible. We are social creatures by nature. God often works for our good through others. He has not created us in isolation. Social networks of family and friends provide the proper context for practicing virtues like charity, patience, generosity and motivate us to be more conscientious when putting effort into our daily resolutions.
This is also why it is so important to find a suitable spiritual director. Spiritual direction is designed to provide for us a voice of objectivity in our goal of holiness. He or she holds us accountable to our spiritual goals, as well as helps us enact them in a healthy manner. They also assist us in seeking these goods in a balanced way. Therefore, a suitable spiritual director is someone who should be practicing daily meditation, knowledgeable in the doctrines of the church and unflinchingly obedient to them, frequents the sacraments, exhibits a hunger for holiness, and is receiving direction already.
Finally, never get discouraged. In the early pages of the Introduction to the Devout Life, St. Francis de Sales said, “We should not get discouraged at our failings since holiness consists in fighting against them; and we are guaranteed victory provided we do not give up the fight!” In two different places in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus himself connects the virtue of perseverance with salvation. (Mt 10:22; 24:13).
This list is overwhelming to someone who has just begun serving Christ more intentionally. It would not be prudent to try and enact a plan of life this detailed right away. Rather, start simply. Begin with daily meditation and pray for the Lord to lead you to a competent spiritual director. We should not be anxious about our spiritual life, just vigilant. Once we have committed ourselves to following Jesus in word and in deed, he will do the rest.
May God give you the grace to grow in holiness on your journey as a disciple of Jesus Christ.