This post is by Patty Lewis.
I don’t really know all that this next year will hold, but I have already begun my planning for it! I value planning time and have seen the fruit of developing tools to help me plan ahead for the upcoming year, rather than let it come at me unprepared.
I’m not really the kind who likes to set specific long term goals that are difficult to accomplish, rather, I prefer to find ways to step back from the details, evaluate what I really want to prioritize and write out short basic important goals for the upcoming year. Some of the tools and ways I plan ahead are to order my planner, to pray/reflect and to expect the unexpected.
Order my Planner
The first thing I do around mid-November is order my planner. I know what I like after years of searching and trying out different kinds, so I stick to what works. For me it is a monthly planner, 8 ½ x 11” so I can store other papers in there as needed, lined for notes and room at the top and sides to write in my monthly reminders. My monthly reminders are to pray for my Husband, pray for my Son, focus on family fitness, nestle up to nature, build in whitespace and outlook. These reminders are written in different colors at the top of the coming month as I near the end of the current month. It helps me remember what some of my goals for the year are and renew my focus/commitment to them as each new month begins. Ordering my planner in November assures me that I will have it ready to rumble when January gets here and the simple chore of ordering it isn’t lost amid the holiday bustle.
Prayer and Reflection
Daily, as I approach this part of the year, I am praying to ask for wisdom and guidance as I begin planning for the holidays and for the coming year. I’m asking God to help me focus on what He wants and I’m focusing on my people closest to me. I want to honor Him, serve Him and love my people well. In addition to praying, I am reflecting on this past year (some previous years too) and I’m using that reflection to dream about what I desire to do this coming year so that I can accomplish my goals and keep the right things my priority. Spending time in prayer and reflection is a great way to stay focused on God and what is most important.
Expecting the Unexpected
I’m planning to go into these holidays and the coming year expecting the unexpected. Our Pastor used to tell us all the time that we should always “expect the unexpected.” I really don’t know if he found that quote somewhere or if it was an original to him, but he often reminded us of this. I know that no matter what I plan, I will always have to be ready for the unexpected. I am expecting the unexpected while still setting expectations, boundaries, being willing to be spontaneous, planning in FUN and setting up new traditions. I can plan ahead and I can also be willing to bend to His will if it is not what I had planned.
With proper perspective, a mind toward planning for the upcoming year, reflecting on what were the best parts of this past year, thinking of what worked well versus what didn’t, praying purposefully so that we keep God in the center of our plans, having my planner as a tool ready to roll into the new year and expecting the unexpected I know that I can confidently develop a plan and be prepared to walk into the next year ready to make memories, love my people well, care for my temple and serve the Lord building up His Kingdom as He calls me to.
May you be blessed and encouraged as you plan for the upcoming year too!!
Patty Lewis lives on the Space Coast of Florida with her Husband, Son, Mother-in-Law and one cat. She is a homeschool Momma, loves serving other Moms and Youth in her Church and community through encouragement in practical ways and enjoys reading, gardening, Disney, anything with her family and laughing really loud.
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