Are you a natural planner?
Whether you see yourself as a natural planner or not, planning can be a powerful tool in your life!
I have personally reaped the benefits of a habit I formed years ago, which is why I am excited to share it with you!
There is so much information out there when it comes to goal setting and it can be extremely helpful. However, if you set goals without first taking time to truly evaluate, then many times, those goals are never achieved. Which is why so many people either brush it off as not important or they say they tried and it didn’t work.
Think about it. Have you ever set a goal or New Years Resolution and in January you are running full force towards that goal just to burn out by March?
My heart with this post is to help us break that cycle, dig a little deeper and truly work on the things that matter most. Those things that are going to align with our core values and priorities, so we can intentionally create the mindset and life we want to live.
At the end of each year, I like to take some time to reflect. I started this habit many years ago and have found it to be extremely helpful.
During this time, I like to look back and evaluate the year, what went well and what could have improved. I also use this time to refocus and set goals for the year ahead.
It’s inevitable, time passes quickly, whether we like it or not. We can’t change that. We can only change what we do in the time we are given. After all, it’s what we do each and every day that ultimately creates the life that we live.
That’s why, taking this time has become a must for me.
In this post, I will share a few questions that have been most helpful as I reflect and plan. I encourage you to give this a try.
Before we dig in, I want to encourage you NOT to over think it!
YES…take your time with this process, pray about it, journal through it and make it purposeful but don’t allow your mind to make you feel like you are too big of a mess to clean up.
We all have to realign ourselves with our true values and priorities from time to time. It’s not always easy but nothing worth having is. Nor is it built overnight…it takes a lifetime because after all, its a good life we are living to create.
My heart with Wildfire Breaking Free, is to help you continue to grow and break free from anything that’s keeping you from living the life you truly desire. My hope is that you will utilize what you learn here, to do that.
It goes without saying, 2020 was a tough year! Yet, even in a year like that, I firmly believe there was so much beauty that came from it. In fact, it’s the hardest times we face that refine us. No, it doesn’t feel good in the moment but it has such power if we allow it to.
The first thing I like to do when reflecting on the year, is to write a list of things I’m thankful for. Things that happened in that year.
Maybe you accomplished something that you’ve been working on for a while, like a degree, eating healthier or even managing your anxiety in the middle of a tough year! Maybe kids went to college, you spent more time with your family or your marriage is stronger than ever. Write it all down and take sometime to soak it all in!
One of the biggest mistakes we can make, is not taking time to soak in and celebrate each win, no matter how big or small. True success isn’t in a moment, it’s not one huge accomplishment, it’s a beautiful life created over time.
2. Write a list of your top Values. Values are your principles or standards of behavior. Its your judgement of what’s important in life. Knowing your values will help you in every decision you make. If you are a people pleaser or find it hard to make decisions, this is even more important and may even need to be a list you keep visible so you can read it often.
3. Write a list of your top 5 priorities in life. This list will remind you what means most to you in life and will be helpful to reflect on, along with your values, when you start to set goals.
4. Take a moment to dream. Stay with me! This may sound silly but hear me out. How many people get near the end of their life and say “I wish I would have”…fill in the blank? Time passes without our permission and often times we find ourselves simply making it through the day, without ever thinking about the compounding effect of those days over time. Are we wasting time or using it wisely?
Now here’s the deal. Its easy to dream up an elaborate life and feel like yours simply doesn’t measure up. This is why knowing your true values and priorities in life matter so much!
By all means, live your life to the full, make the most of every moment but be sure its by doing what truly matters most.
Some questions that I like to think on:
At the end of my life, what would have mattered most? Who will I want surrounding me? What do I want to be remembered for by those who knew me best? What do I want to do with this one life I am given?
Now, write down that big dream. Not just a moment in time…this is what I mean.
What would the perfect day look like in the kind of life you want to build? How would you spend your day? What would you do?
6. Choose a word of the year. Once you are done with your reflecting (this could take one day or it could take many, its up to you) think of a word that will be your WORD OF THE YEAR.
I learned this from John C. Maxwell and its been lifegiving for me!
Each year I choose a word that will remind me of the kind of life I am working to build. Its a word that aligns with my values, priorities and goals.
To help me choose my word, I pray, think about the way I answered the questions above and I look up and write down the definition of each word that stands out to me.
This year, my word is intentional. I choose this word as a reminder that time is passing by and I do want to be more intentional with my time.
Working online can easily take over if I allow it to and although I love the beautiful friendships and connections I have made here, it’s the things I do off line that matter most.
7. Create Goals that will help you live the kind of life you want to live.
I have found having no more than 6 -8 goals helps me stay focused and not so overwhelmed. I try to remind myself that a dream life isn’t built in a day but it is build intentionally. So set goals that you can achieve. I don’t mean lower the bar and don’t work hard! Building a beautiful life is work! But I do mean be realistic.
I like to choose areas of my life that I want to improve in. Health, Spiritual, Marriage, Family, Business, Financial are a few areas I usually focus on. Think about your priorities and go from there.
8. Break it down. Next, break down each goal into action steps. What will you do each day to help you work on achieving this goal?
One of my physical goals this year is to be healthier. Its easy to say I want to be healthier but how and why? In order for a goal to work, you have to have a plan and then follow that plan. Otherwise, your goals are simply wishes and that dream life is just a pipe dream and ain’t no body got time for dat!
In order for me to achieve my goal of getting healthier, I determined how much weight I need to loose in order to be at a weight that is healthy for my body type. Then I decided what type of workouts I would be doing and when. I made a schedule and I am sticking with it.
I also determined how I needed to change my nutrition and how I would do that. For me, I needed to plan out my meals, get the junk out of the house and set realistic goals for when I would have sweets, what I would cut out and why, so on and so forth.
I am sure you get the point but if you have questions please feel free to ask in the comment section below. Better yet, if you have some new goals you would like to share for accountability, please share them with me so I can cheer you on!
This year, my friend gifted me the new planner you see in the photos.
This planner walks you through all these steps I shared but in greater detail. It also provides a place for you to track how you are doing and place to sit down and refocus each month!
I have already found it so helpful that I decided to reach out to the company to see if I could become an affiliated!
I am excited and honored to share that they said YES!
To be an affiliated with such a beautiful company, that has simplified the steps I started taking years ago, is truly a blessing.
I have found so much value in what they have put together and I know you will too!
The company is called Cultivate What Matters and this is the bundle I have been using.
It is so close to what I have been doing for years but I have found the questions they ask and the steps they take you through, extremely helpful, especially if you tend to get in your own head when trying to set new goals.
It also gave me a pretty little place to keep it all!
Listen, if you don’t get this planner, I still want you to go through this process and write it all down in one place. Then, keep it in front of you DAILY! Out of site, out of mind right?
This is your one life, go create it beautiful!
With Love & His Spark,
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If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.