“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” — John Pierpont “J.P.” Morgan
Am I the only one, or do you feel a thrill of excitement when you get your brand-new calendar? Now I know why…a crisp new planner offers a vast openness where the sacred space of possibilities is birthed and takes form in the New Year. (The planner I use!)
Am I the only one who feels a tinge of fear as well? Because with all the immense potential the new year offers, we can become paralyzed by the empty hours, days, weeks, and months and avoid planning out our year and living it to the fullest.
Apply Your Heart Unto Wisdom: Organizing Your Calendar Fearlessly
In Psalm 90, the psalmist rightly reasons that we only have 70 or 80 years at the most on this earth. They pass quickly, and then we fly away. He concludes the thought with this prayer, 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
Each year, to get over my hesitation to fill up my new calendar and start applying my heart to wisdom, I do five simple things. Maybe this will help you leap into the New Year fearlessly!
- Family- This is an easy exercise because you already have the information! Go through your calendar and make sure to write down all your family’s birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, days off, and holidays.
- Ideal Week- The first time I ever did this was through my Nav Coach Debi. She suggested I create an Ideal Week through time block scheduling. This method helps you to set up your daily, weekly and monthly routine visually. Of course, you can’t plan for everything, but it is helpful to have a pattern that works for you. When I create my Ideal Week, I’m not striving for perfection, but balance! I use Google Calendar and set up my typical week on the calendar app. By color coding the different activities such as daily quiet time, work, exercise, meal prep, Bible study, etc. Here is a great free form from my friend Donna.
- Work- After I get the chunks of time out of my schedule, I go back through and define my work schedule. Because I work from home, and for myself, I have a tremendous amount of flexibility…but this can also be a problem. I have found if I don’t write down my daily, weekly and monthly goals they will not happen. So, this is where I define the blocks of time I have reserved for work including writing, outreach, book work, social media, etc.
- Goals- For probably the last 35 years, my husband and I sit down every New Year and start writing down our hopes, our dreams, and our goals. Dreams are where we hope we can go or the ideal outcome of any given situation. Goals are a step by step process required to achieve the result. We organize our goals in a 1, 5 and 10-year timeline. During the beginning of the new year, we’ll take our goals out from the previous year, review them and make plans to move them into reality while we make plans to achieve our new targets.
- Relationships- For me, relationships are the most crucial part of my life. So, I take one last look at my calendar to make sure I have created time and space for them. I start with my relationship with the Lord. Do I have a daily Quiet Time scheduled and a plan for the new year? (I use a Selah Study.) The next thing I look at is self-care, my relationship with myself. (I cannot give in relationships to others if I don’t have anything to give!) Do I have time to feed my soul by reading, exercise, and pursuing interests? Then, I take a look at my relationship with my husband. Have I carved out time to be with him doing things we both enjoy? What about my children? Do I have a daily time in my schedule when I can connect with them? Friends, how do I nurture the relationships that nourish me? Time for a phone call, visit, letter?
Girls, please make certain you don’t just read this article on organizing your calendar fearlessly and file it away. Instead, open up your calendar and follow these five simple steps to make your year the best yet!