I didn’t post anything last Monday. It was Easter Monday, and it seems the holiday threw off my routine. Apparently I don’t do posts on holiday Mondays. That’s my thing.
But, I am posting today, and I’m back with a new Monday Musing! My first musing asked where you envision yourself to be in 3 years, followed by the question of what you’re doing to get there. So, assuming you answered those questions, you have an idea of where you want to be and what steps you need to take to get there. Today’s question is, “When are you going to do those things?” I’ve hinted at the necessity of this question in other posts on this blog, but the truth is, if something doesn’t get scheduled onto our calendar, it doesn’t get done.
So, let’s say three years from now, you want to have written a novel. You’ve decided that you need to complete a chapter every two months. Often we stop here and wonder why we never accomplish the goal. It’s a great goal. A chapter every 2 months sounds concrete. But it’s still not specific enough. The essential follow up to that goal is to decide when you are going to get down to the nitty gritty of writing those chapters? This week, when are you going to write? What day? What time? For how long? We need those concrete action steps in order to make any progress.
Let’s say you have a DIY renovation project to complete. You’d like your basement to be finished a year from now. You lay out all the steps that need to be done in which months. Month 1: framing. Month 2: electrical. Month 3: plumbing. Month 4: insulating. Month 5: drywall. Month 6: painting. Whatever steps come next…I probably should have used an example I’m more familiar with…you get the idea. It sounds awesome, but how many days will it take you to frame? What days in month 1 are you committed to framing? Put it in your calendar. Maybe you’ll discover as you try to find blocks of time in your schedule that you don’t have nearly enough time to finish the framing in one month. Well, that’s very helpful information! Now you know, either something else has to be cleared from your calendar to make room, or your goal has to be revisited. Do you need 18 months to finish the basement? Do you need to hire out some of the work? Do you need to give up watching Survivor this season so you can fit in renovations? There are lots of options to consider. Too often, we simply don’t plan it out realistically, and end up discouraged and assume we cannot achieve the goals we set.
So what are some of your big goals? Are you a student with books to read and papers to write? Are you an entrepreneur with prospects to call and a logo to design? Are you a parent with life skills to impart and love to express? Whatever is impressed upon your heart to work toward, figure out the steps you need to take to get there, and schedule time into your calendar every day or every week to take those steps.
The thing that I have found most rewarding about this 3 part process of clarifying goals, identifying steps, and blocking out time to work on them, is not just that I’m accomplishing my goals, but that I have more peace of mind in my daily living. I know that I am going about living my life with my big goals in mind, and I’m taking the necessary steps to achieve them. I don’t feel like a slave to the urgent. I rest at the end of the day, knowing I didn’t get to everything clamoring for my attention, but I did get to the things I’ve prioritized for this season. And in our very busy and sometimes overwhelming world, that is no small thing.