I am a huge planner. I love making lists, to-do’s, planning out my time and setting priorities for my week. It has become a lot of what I share here in my ministry because intentionally planning can have such a profound impact on how you run and manage your home.
The funny thing is – whenever I share anything on planning – I always get compliments on how organized and efficient I am. People assume that I am a natural born organizer and that things must just fall into place for me.
When I hear these comments – I laugh!
Because the truth is, that is SO not me. I am not naturally an organized, neat, or tidy person. The current state of my home would attest to that. I am a classic right brain creative type of gal who tends to be all over the place. But I think because of that, I’ve had to learn how to implement systems into my home and my business…and it makes it all the difference in the world.
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If I just always go with the flow and function the way that my brain wants to work – then I end up living in disaster and chaos and end up square in the middle of survival mode. Seriously, my home would be a wreck and this ministry certainly wouldn’t exist.
So for me, I’ve had to learn how to adapt some more left-brained tendencies of being more organized and analytical. I’ve had to intentionally work on my weaknesses to create a more balanced approach to my home. And surprisingly, I’ve fallen in love with systems, planning, and home management because it makes my home flow and function so much better.
Learn your personality
You might be the opposite of me. Maybe you are hyper organized, neat, and tidy…but maybe sometimes its to a fault. Where if things don’t go the way you want or something is out of place, it devastates you and your day. In your case, you might need to learn to go with the flow a little more some days.
So that’s my first advice: take a look at your strengths and build on those, but also recognize those areas you are weak in and might need to improve.
For me, for my personality, and for the fact that I run a busy household of seven people…I need and CRAVE more organization in my day. If I’m not intentionally planning, then my day falls apart.
(As a side note: If you want to get laser focused and intentional this year, then I HIGHLY suggest you pick a word for your year. You can see my word for this year and some tips and suggestions on how to pick your own.)
So how do we plan for a year of success? The first thing we need to address is what does “success” even mean? What does “success” look like?
Ask 10 women what success means, and you will get 10 widely different answers. And this gap becomes even bigger when we ask what success means to a Christian or a non-Christian.
Our identity in Christ changes everything. Especially what success means in our daily life.
But before we really get into the meat of this stuff, I want to share that I have a FREE PDF guide and video for you called 5 Keys to Planning a Successful Day. It covers a lot of what we are talking about today in depth and gives you a great PDF guide for implementing it.
Back in episode #47 of my podcast, we covered this topic of defining success in more detail. You can hop on over and read that or listen to it.
But essentially having a successful day, year, or life doesn’t necessarily mean you have a certain amount of money in the bank, or a thriving business, or children who obey you every single time, or a home that is sparkly and clean every minute.
Having a successful day really just comes down to using your time well. Making sure that the chunks of time you have, are spent going towards the priorities in your life. The big, real priorities.
So for example, on your to-do list for today might be to make a big yummy lasagna to bless your family, to get your hall closets cleaned out and decluttered, and your homeschooling done for the today. But when your toddler wakes up with a fever, in an instant, your plans change. This doesn’t mean you can’t still have a successful day, but just that it’s going to look differently.
Maybe this now means your homeschool routine turns into everyone reading on the couch in their pajamas while you snuggle with the sick toddler. The hall closet remains stuffed to the brim, you ask your husband to bring home a pizza for dinner, and you snuggle and care for that sick kid, which we all know means will probably turn into several sick kids.
You didn’t fail that day. You had a success day, because in the end, one of your biggest priorities is your kids. Yes, your schedule, your routine, your plans got off track. But if we can begin to look at success in a different light, then those big priorities in our life actually become priorities. We can thank God at the end of the day for the time and space to snuggle that sick toddler, to read a book with your kids, for the connivance of a $10 Costco pizza.
I want to look back in 10 years and know that while some seasons are really tough and sometimes my time is vastly more limited…overall, I spent the time well.
I want to look back in 10 years and know that I got things done that were needed – like paying our mortgage and doing the dishes – but to know that I did it with a larger purpose in mind and that my real focus was on those things that are truly important. A part of loving my husband, raising my kids, and focusing on the Lord is getting these chores and tasks done – but it’s all for a larger purpose.
In my free PDF guide and video training, we get into even more specifics on this topic. So head on over and sign up for it and start going through it right away!
Here are a few more tips for planning for a year of success:
Pick a Method of Planning:
You need some sort of method for keeping track of things and planning. This doesn’t have to be a traditional pen and paper planner (although that’s what I use). There are a ton of fantastic digital resources out there that will help you.
My husband is a digital planner type of guy and always makes fun of me for having to write everything down in my notebooks. He follows the very awesome time management systems laid out in the short book Do More Better by Tim Challies. If you are a digital planning type of person, I highly recommend you get this book.
Stay tuned for a video on my YouTube channel this week where we take a peek inside 9 different planners and how to pick the best one for you. (Hint: Subscribe to my YouTube channel to get updates whenever I release a new video.)
For me, the next key in being successful is setting goals. I set a lot of goals and I tend to be a dreamer, so that means I don’t always hit my goals. But instead of letting that discourage me, I have to recognize that while I may not always hit all my goals, I’m accomplishing far more by just setting those goals than if I never did.
I set goals in all the areas of my life. In homemaking, in my business, in my reading goals, my bible reading, etc. Sometimes the goals are very specific: for example, Jason and I have a goal of reading 104 books this year. And other times my goals are more general and have wiggle room: for example, be in God’s Word every single day in one way, shape or form.
There can be an art to goal setting, and there are certainly some tips and tricks that can really help, but really it’s not that complicated.
Let yourself do a little dreaming.
What do you dream of for 2017?
Do you long for and dream of more rest this year? Set some goals for achieving more rest in your life and your day.
Do you long to draw into a closer relationship with God? Then set some realistic Bible reading and prayer goals for this year, and start working on them!
When you fail a goal, or get behind, don’t let that discourage you. Pick back up and start again tomorrow.
Next week we are going to address goal setting more in depth, so I’ll leave you here with this topic for today.
It all comes down to setting priorities for your life and home and sticking to them.
When you can accurately look at the priorities in your life, when you have a clear picture of what those priorities are, then it’s so much easier to set goals and work your time around those priorities. I think we often have a vague idea floating around our head of what’s important, but when we don’t define it clearly, it’s easy to let that list grow to 20 things, 50 things, 100 things and we are just then left feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.
When we try and focus on 20 different things a day and make progress in ALL those things, we quickly are left feeling overwhelmed and quite frankly, this just leaves me feeling defeated and like I’m a failure and then it’s even harder to get anything done.
So this year I want to challenge you to get intentional. Get intentional with your time, with your priorities, with the direction of your home. Yes, it’s going to take a little time, a little thought, and a little intentionality but in the end, it’s so worth it!!
Resource of the Week:
5 Keys to Planning a Successful Day – FREE video and PDF guide
I know it’s the trendy thing to talk about planning at the beginning of the year, but for good reason!! You have an entire year open to you. Plenty of time to jump into new things, correct things that are not working, and plan for a successful day and year. Even if it’s April when you read to this, it’s never to late to jump in and start correcting things.
So I wanted to remind you that I have an incredible resource that’s totally free called 5 Keys to Planning a Successful Day. The 5 keys guide includes a training video which you can also download as an audio version if you prefer, a 28 page guide to work through the 5 keys, as well as two beautifully designed scripture art prints you can download, print off, and focus on God’s Word more in your home.
The 5 keys to planning a successful day include: planning the night before, picking your priorities, how to schedule in bible reading and prayer, giving yourself incentives for deeper motivation, and defeating the myth that you can do it all. So you can jump into my free training anytime and jump start your year to success! My entire goal with all my resources is to help you think and act more intentionally in your home as well as point back to Christ in all you do.
Links & Resources From This Episode: