Today continues our series on personal growth. So far we’ve discussed annual and monthly planning and now it’s time to narrow our focus further into a weekly mindset.
I want to stress that each part of the plan is vital. The parts fit together in a well run system that guide you in your planning each year. Do not try to skip any part of the planning process in order to speed things up. What will happen is you will stunt your goals, get frustrated, and eventually give up. So let’s talk about our weekly planning and what goes into it…
If you recall, in the monthly planning I mentioned putting certain things on your annual calendar so you could be more efficient in your growing process. As the weekly planning begins, we now must look at our notes and goals, and begin putting real action steps on our plan that we can execute for success. For me, this process is Sunday evenings. I like to go to a coffee shop somewhere, sit down with my planner, my goals, and a weekly printout of my calendar commitments and put my week together. In his best-selling book “Getting Things Done”, author David Allen asks for a “weekly review” as part of his organizational process and this step is very much like that for me. I begin by reviewing my past week and seeing what commitments are still outstanding and need to be given priority in the coming week. I also look at things like my wife’s ever changing work schedule and the school calendar for my children. Certain days are early release days for us so I make it a point to mark these on my planner so I don’t forget. Depending on my wife’s schedule, I might have to drop the kids off at an activity so I make sure to note this as well.
Another important step for me at this stage of planning is to schedule a day off! Sometimes, I cannot do this because of commitments so I’ll look for a block of time where I can free myself from work to do something with my children. If at all possible though, I will try to make it a point to take an entire day off each week. This is healthy and needed if we are going to be effective. I try to schedule my time off in concert with my wife so perhaps I can take her to breakfast, walk the mall with her, go to a park, or something else she might like. I also want to schedule some quality time with my kids if possible. All of these things need to be looked at in advance if you want to have success here. It’s too easy to try to “shoot from the hip” and accomplish these things as time happens but the reality is most likely you will not do it because life gets in the way. My oldest daughter is married now and time is short. If I don’t plan something with her, we won’t get together at all. She’s busy learning to be a wife, a full-time student, and a soon-to-be mom.
The point is, look ahead each week and try to block out time for important things. My quiet time with God is scheduled. Exercise is planned. my reading goals are reviewed and I try to block out time for books. Your life may be different but there’s enough “stuff” for you to plan ahead for. The idea is to maximize your time with a well thought out plan that will let you move further toward your goals. The weekly planning is where the wheels start to hit the road for actually DOING the things you need to do to move forward. Take a little time each week to look ahead seven days and plan your next week!
On Wednesday, we finish our series with a look at the final phase of personal growth…the DAILY plan.