I hate plannING. I hate plannERS. I hate Schedules. I cringe at the sight of my “super organized” friends who scribble profusely into planners , or use their smart phones to set reminders and alarms for their every move, meal, and breath! So you might imagine that I was a little intimidated when I heard these words concerning 2016, “You have to organize your life for where I am taking you”!Initially, I panicked!! Because, well, “what EXACTLY does this mean??!!!!” See, I did not always hate the process of planning, and I’ve even tried to be an organizer in a former part of my life. In fact, for many years, I religiously purchased a planner in January. The problem was, the efforts never made it out of the month of February. Since I could not stick to it, I resolved that planning wasn’t “for me,” I kind of decided that I would take a more “relaxed” approach to life!
I am so glad God knows what is “for me” though because as I have embraced this mandate for 2016, I am learning more about the reasons planning is so important to my life. And the biggest reason is, greatness cannot be stumbled upon! I have many dreams and aspirations that are the will of God for my life, but they’re not going to just happen, I have to do the work to make them happen. Oh how I wish I could just stop everything that I have going on right now and run full-speed after my dreams, but I know that I am not ready for that kind of freedom yet. I do not have the discipline for it. Truth is, if that were to happen right now, it would be detrimental for me! So in order to plan for the day that I can live my dreams full-time, I must become a great steward of my time by becoming more disciplined with my “yeses” and “no-s” , and I must accept this fact, I CANNOT WING-IT!!!
There are so many things that I have done at a good level, that if I’m honest, I just winged. I did not do my due diligence in planning or preparing. I’ve just jumped in, and God, in His rich grace, has allowed me to see a level of success at many things with this strategy. However, He has revealed to me that the next level of my life, the life He is calling me toward, will require more from me, I will have to become disciplined in all areas of my life, I have to become comfortable LIVING, not just occasionally BEING, outside of my comfort zone, and I have to allow myself to be challenged, so that all of the “good” can be purged out of me, so that I can get to the best, no, not just the best, but the EXCELLENT version of me. This entire journey frightens and exhilarates me at the same time!
Planning and organizing my life fits into our “You Matter” focus for this month because I find that I don’t make time to take care of me in a way that I am able to fully enjoy. Even the things that I consider “necessities” like hair appointments, manicures/pedicures/waxings, and occasional shopping trips are not enjoyed in my life . Because I have so much that I need to do, these things begin to feel like burdens. Additionally, I am unable to sleep well at night and relaxing is a joke because I have so much hanging over my head that I know needs to get done, but I don’t have the organizational strategy established to do them. So I have committed to learning to become an organized planner! I am inviting you to join me! If you too, have untapped greatness to get to, but you have not made the time to become your best version of you in order to obtain it, this invitation is for you!
Here are the things I am committing to in the 1st half of 2016:
1). At the end of each day, spend 15-20 minutes writing 3-5 things in my planner that I will get done the following day: I realize I am not ready for long-term planning and not even short-term planning for that matter, so right now, I am going to focus on day-to-day planning. Looking ahead to the next 24 hours and determining what deliberate steps can I take to strategically pour goodness into my life’s legacy.
2) Treat the Plan Like a “Self-Promise”: Let’s face it, it’s easy to break promises to ourselves that we would not dream of breaking to other people. About 5-6 years ago one of my pastors said something like this – Self-confidence is built, not by the promises that we keep that we make to other people, but by keeping the promises we make to ourselves that no one knows about, but ourselves! (paraphrase from Pastor John Knowlton – Christian Life Center). This has stuck with me. In fact saying this over and over in my head before my workouts helped me to lose 79lbs at one point in my life, so I know it’s a principle worth living up to!
One of the holes in my former planning strategy was the things I wrote down in my planner were really ideas, they weren’t things that I told myself I had to get done. That is the main reason it did not work, but this time I am going to treat my plans like promises, which will definitely help me to become more conservative with what I write down, and that is good stewardship!
3) Get Back up!: This one should not be interpreted as a license to cheat myself on my plan. This is just for those, should be, rare occasions when “life happens” and I am unable to keep my promise. I will not wallow in that! I will learn from whatever went wrong, and I will spend my allotted planning time, and GET BACK UP and ON IT, the following 24 hours!
4) Receive the grace of God: This entire process of planning and organizing is like a weakness for me, but I am so happy I know that God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness! Receiving God’s grace is expecting that if I take the step I CAN take, He will enable me to do more than I imagined I could do, through His empowering grace!
I want you to be my accountability partners throughout this journey. I am going to share my mountain-top experiences with you and my valley experiences! And trust me, it’s not going to be easy to share, but I know it will be worth it!
I hope that something has been awakened within you as you’ve read because that is always my goal to awaken hope in others. Maybe you are organized for the most part, but you’ve got some self-promises that you need to Queen-up and keep! Or maybe, you have been wallowing, when you just need to receive the grace of God and GET UP! Wherever you are in your life, as you’ve taken the time to read this, I hope you feel like you can go a little further now, I hope in some way you realize, you are not alone, AND you can do this!! So LET’S DO THIS!!
Thank you for reading, I am nervous and excited to share more of me with you!