Millennials and Their Lack of Commitment: 3 Quick Steps to Prioritize Your Life

dinner mealEvery previous generation seems to enjoy pointing out the generalized shortcomings of the millennial generation. We’re narcissistic. We’re lazy. We’re relativistic.

I tend to roll my eyes. Plenty of people want to point a finger, not many want to lend a hand. Of course, the problem with ignoring issues is that it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

My friend JR tweeted this not long ago:

I use this specific example because I’m not badgering any of you. None of you skipped this dinner. But you also can’t skip the fact that this happened and it is representative of a general feeling many have: millennials lack commitment.

As a 20-something for a few more days (oh the horror) it feels a bit like the kettle calling the pot black (or however that saying goes) for me to approach this subject. I’m hoping that a fellow 20-something can speak to this subject better than others.

I don’t share the example of JR’s parents because it’s a unique thing, I share it because I’ve experienced it. “I’m hoping to come,” means no. “I just have so much going on, but I’ll try to make it.” That means no too.

Why is it so hard to commit to things that matter?

My Wavering Compass

The first issue is figuring out what matters, and what deserves your time and energy. I also consistently evaluate the top priorities I have in my life. God, family, vocation, health, community, hobbies, rest. Once I’ve made a priority list I evaluate how I’m allocating my discretionary time.

My wife and I do this with our monthly budget. We list our priorities as a couple and a family, and then figure out how our budget can best reflect those priorities.

Too often I see my discretionary time taken over by Netflix, social networks, football games, or any other mindless activity. Even if I call this a time of rest it does not deserve the bulk of my free time. My priorities mean little if my activity does not reflect them.

So for the past year on nights when I’m home for dinner, after I put our son to sleep, I typically sit down to read for at least 30 minutes instead of immediately turning on the tv or computer. I engage with God while tapping into some vocational values, and often I find myself rejuvenated, which is the whole purpose of rest.

My wavering compass is just an example of something I see in my millennial friends. Your intentions can be pure, but if your follow through doesn’t disperse your time among your top priorities you are failing yourself and others.

You can change this by doing three simple things:

  • Make a list of your priorities in life. See my list above for examples.
  • List all the time slots you have outside of work. Name each time slot with a particular category from your priority list.
  • How are your top priorities reflected in your time? What needs to change?

Let’s be people who are committed to things that matter.