Several years ago—probably before I even purchased my first Blackberry (do they still make those things?)—I printed out MapQuest directions to a friend’s jewelry show. Thank God I looked at them before leaving home, because after telling me to drive for 18 hours, the map instructed me to jump in the ocean and swim south-west for something like two days. (Clearly I should have saved this printout. Then I’d have a fabulous picture for you.)
I don’t know about you, but these days I rely heavily on Waze, my navigation app. Each time I leave my home for an event I have a rough idea of where I’m going, but Waze keeps me on course. Whether I rely on an app or my memory, achieving my goal only happens if there is some sort of roadmap in mind.
Planning is that roadmap for life. Most people (I hope) have a rough idea of where they want life to take them. But oftentimes we get lazy and are lulled into complacency by the rhythms of life. Then we just drift along, taking life as it comes and not running hard after our dreams and goals.
So how do we break out of that pattern? By planning for success. Today we’ll look at the why behind planning. Then in the next post I’ll address the how of planning, going from the big picture of a year to the daily tasks that help us inch toward those goals.
What’s your purpose in life? Have you nailed that down? If so, what are you doing to fulfill it?
In this post I talked about my Mommy Mission Statement and the artwork I created to go along with it. Every morning I look at that canvas and remember, Hey, that’s what I’m doing today: raising brave kids who love God and love people. Then I ask myself what I must do today to get one step closer to that goal.
When we have purpose, every day can be exciting. Working on our success plan invigorates us. Each incremental step forward is worth celebrating, because we are growing. And that leads me to…
High school basketball is my favorite sport. No, I never played, but I went to every game I possibly could during my siblings’ high school careers. They might have wished otherwise, especially Luke (I will be *that* mom), and especially when I screamed myself hoarse.
Imagine your favorite sport in a world without scoring. What’s the point? What are we celebrating? Yeah, I get that “it’s not whether we win or lose; it’s how we play the game,” but seriously? Play the game well and score, for crying in the ever-loving sink.
Planning shows us our score, if you will, on how we are doing in achieving our purpose. As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” We might not win every game or even have a winning season, but planning and goal-setting gives us something tangible to work towards.
Most days I feel like this:
Especially as women, we are constantly juggling all the things. By planning and working from a list, I give my brain space to breathe and focus. I can fully engage with the task at hand, knowing that my list will keep me on track for what comes next.
Right now I’m experimenting with the bullet journal. Those of you who know how much I love my Erin Condren Life Planner might be picking your jaws off the floor, but here’s why I’m giving this system a try: it gives me a place to dump everything that flits through my brain, and a system for finding it and determining how to deal with it. The jury is still out on whether this system will work for me (believe me, I’ll let you know), but any tools that might help me juggle life are worth a try.
There you have it: purpose, excitement, accomplishment, and sanity—the four reasons planning is necessary for our success and needs to be part of our lives.
Are you a planner or a winger? I’d love to hear your thoughts on planning, whether for or against. We all have room to grow and I’m excited about the process.
Up next: Planning For Success: The How