The Perks of Planning Ahead

There are a few times when having a running to-do list works out in my favor. 

Tonight is one of those nights! 

I work for a ministry and this weekend is their big conference. I put in close to 12 hours today…

Got home and my running to-do list helped me get everything done super fast!

Now I’m relaxing for a minute before bed. 

Woohoo!

Planning ahead is awesome. 

Looking ahead to 2016

I’m starting to think of my goals for 2016…

Hard to believe it’s only a few weeks away!

My life’s about to majorly change, so I’m tempted to not set too many goals. 

However, I know the areas where setting realistic goals is appropriate. 

Going into the New Year with no plan doesn’t set well with me. 

2015 has been wonderful–challenging, but wonderful–and I firmly believe it’s because my goals were clear: Do the things I’ve always wanted to do. 

This is now a core belief of mine. Life’s too short to only dream. It’s time to do. 

So, you’ll be hearing from me soon with my 2016 goals. Until then I encourage you to be thinking on it too. 

I look forward to learning and growing with you in the new year. 

The Art of Effective Planning

I love to create lists and plans, organizing my life into manageable sections of activity. Not to mention that marking things off a to-do list is absolutely empowering.

If you think I’m a bit strange, there have been entire books devoted to planning, organization, and lists. Most experts agree that creating a good plan or list is an art. It’s all about finding what works for you.

This is no joke. I’ve pinpointed several good strategies that have really worked. My overall productivity has increased dramatically as a result.

It’s always a good idea to begin with the ideal conditions in mind. If the weather is perfect, everyone shows up, and you ordered the right amount of food…this is the basis of a good plan. Always plan for the ideal, but be prepared for the unexpected. The worst thing you can do is have no plan if something goes wrong.

Don’t make it harder on yourself—you haven’t even included the people yet.

Not everyone sees the benefit of following your well-crafted, ingenious plan. Not everyone gets the memo or likes what you have lined up. Some people won’t understand what you’re asking them to do no matter how you explain it. Like I said, implementing the execution of a plan is a lot harder than creating it. Be prepared to factor in these obstacles as well.

And who knows? Maybe someone has a better idea of how to get something done. Don’t be a jerk. A good plan can only become better.

This advice has been tested. I used to be horrible about either not planning or freaking out when things didn’t go my way. True balance lies somewhere in the middle. Maybe what I’ve suggested won’t work for you. That’s okay too. Find something that does and go for it.

Here’s what you cannot afford to do any longer: To sit around and wonder why nothing is getting done. 

Question: What strategies have worked best for you when you’re planning something?

What I Learned While Cutting Grass

When I cut the grass, I have a system: Look at where I’m cutting, think about what I want it to look like, and proceed.

The main reason for this system is that I have a battery operated weed eater. I usually have about an hour’s worth of juice, so I have to have a plan of attack. If I don’t plan my yard looks horrible and I get really cranky.

As I worked today, I couldn’t help but think of the creation story. I’m pretty sure that God sat back and really thought about His plans. He had a lot to get done in six days.

“Let’s see, first I have to create light and darkness, then land and sea. Yes, get the terrain set and then add the animals. That way everything will be ready for Adam.”

I’m amazed at God’s diligence and thoroughness. He thought of everything to make the world perfect for His ultimate creation: Mankind.

Isn’t it amazing?

The coolest part is that God loved humanity so much He knew that man would sin and STILL continued in His work.

He wants a relationship with you and me.

As I walk in relationship with Christ, it changes how I do the most every day things. I think about the normal, seemingly mundane tasks in life in a whole new way.

God wants to be the God of your family, finances, health—every aspect of your life—and in return He wants you to take responsibility, to trust and see His plan in all things.

It’s a cyclical notion.

That’s how I can see the fingerprint of God as I cut the grass, in the spider who builds His web, in the inner workings of a family.

God is everywhere.

The more Christ opens my eyes, the more I see the beauty of God’s creation, and how I fit into His plan.