I am a planner. Not in the “control freak” kind of way, just in the wanting-to-be-intentional-about- life way. So, the new year is an important time for me. Toward the end of the year, I start to think about where I have been, where I am going, and how best to get there. In January, I typically set aside a day or two to review and make some specific plans for the coming year. What does that look like for me? Well, it is different every year. Some years I am more detailed, others I just sketch out a more general framework. But my planning process always seems to involve these four steps:
Four Steps to Planning the Year:
- What happened in the last year? Events? Relationships? Commitments? Life situations?
- How have I seen God working in these things?
- How have I grown? What have I learned?
- What were my goals/priorities/commitments from last year?
- Life goal:
- Other goals:
- Permanent commitments:
- How has my time spent in the last year, aligned with my life goals, priorities, commitments?
- Ask God, “What is Your perspective of what has happened in the last year?”
- Are there any goals/priorities/commitments I need to change or moving forward?
- Are there specific plans that need to be revised? Ditched? Formulated?
- What do I see as the best strategy to achieve my goals in the coming year? In two years? In 5 years?
- How does that translate into how I use my time on a daily/weekly/monthly basis?
- What will help me to keep my life aligned with these goals/plans?
During this process, I continue to pray and seek God’s guidance, insight, and wisdom in each of these steps. And, at the end, I just give my new plans and schedule to God, and ask Him to show me what revisions need to be made.
What is your approach to planning?