Do you feel like you are thriving or do you feel like you are wilting? Is life taking its toll on you? Are you stressed out, overwhelmed, or just plain done with it all? Do you want to change and grow? Do you want to thrive but feel like you are barely surviving? For the past year, I’ve have been there.
Wanting to thrive…
Wanting to grow…
Wanting to change…
Feeling like I was barely surviving…
This year though I’m tired of feeling that way. I know I need to change. I want to change. I want to thrive, and I know that in order to thrive this year I have to come up with a plan.
Start Where You Are Now
Take an inventory of your life. What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it? Rate each area of your life. Michael Hyatt has a great tool called the LifeScore Assessment which is what I have used, or you can simply grab a copy the Life Assessment Tool that I created.
What areas are you doing well in? What areas do you need to focus on improving?
Write down what your day typically looks like or spend a day tracking how you use your time.
Draw a Picture of Where You Want to Go
Okay. Not literally unless you just want to, but take a moment and close your eyes. What would a perfect day look like? Focusing on where you are right now. What would that day look like? Take a moment to envision it and then write it down. Make it as detailed as possible, but remember this is not a perfect day in some distant future. It is a perfect day based on the season of your life right now. This is the mistake I always made. Someone would ask me to write down a description of my perfect day and I would write a very detailed description of some beautiful dream far in the future that I had no knowledge of how to make it happen. It usually included living on a horse ranch with my husband and children. For now let’s just focus on this season.
The perfect day for my season of life right now would look something like this:
Wake up early in the morning. Exercise for about 30 minutes. Shower and get dressed. Eat breakfast with Grandma. Finish getting ready for my day. Spend about 30 minutes to an hour in Bible study and prayer before leaving to go to my sister’s house to get my niece and my nephew ready for school. After getting my niece and nephew off to school. Return home. Check on Grandma. Then spend the morning writing. Fix lunch for Grandma and me. Spend the afternoon either working on the blog or crocheting or crafting. Then prepare supper. Eat supper with Grandma & my parents. Clean the kitchen with help from my parents and then spend the evening either reading, watching TV and crafting, going for a walk, or spending time with a friend before getting ready for bed and falling into a nice peaceful sleep so that I feel refreshed in the morning.
Map Out the Road to Get You to Where You Want to Go
Now it is time for a little planning. How do you get from where you are starting from to where you want to go? Look at your life assessment tool. What areas do you need to work on the most? What habits do you need to develop in each of those areas? Write down 2 or 3 goals for each area. Make them measurable. If you are doing long term goals (unlike me), write down a deadline for each goal. Since I’m actually concentrating on developing new habits this year instead of long term goals, I’m not worried so much about deadlines as I am consistency. My plan is to focus on developing 2 or 3 new habits every month and hopefully by the end of the year I will have gained enough self-discipline that I can start focusing on making my big dreams come true.
My plan looks something like this:
Build the Road between Where You are Now and Where You Want to Go
Now that you have made your plan it is time to get started. They say that getting started is half the battle. For me personally, I found that getting started can be the easiest part at times and the hardest part at other times. It all depends on what I’m trying to get started on, how motivated I am, and how much fear I have about doing it.
Take exercising for example. I have started many exercise programs through the years. From kickboxing to walking to Curves circuit training, I have found it easy to start, but usually after a month or so I end up with bronchitis and end up quitting before I even really start to see results. Getting started has never been the problem. Being consistent and continuing to do it even when it is hard has been.
On the other hand, I know that I need to get connected to a local body of believers through a Bible study or something since I can’t attend church on Sundays, but I’m finding it hard to get started because I don’t want to walk into a room full of people that I don’t know and because I’m afraid that if I invite people into my home for Bible study they won’t come. The first reason is because I’m an introvert and I don’t like crowds. The second reason is because I have invited people into my home before for different things and no one has showed up. If it had happened just once, it wouldn’t worry me, but it has happened every time I have invited people over in the last five or six years. These things make getting started on reconnecting with the church very difficult for me even though I know that it is of the utmost importance.
Today we are lucky though because for most things there are some great tools out that can help us get started and that can help us stay on track. It is just a matter of finding what works for you. If you like paper planners, I have designed a Habit Tracker printable to help you develop new habits or break old habits. There are also many apps that can be found for your smartphones or tablets to help you keep track of your goals or habits no matter what area of life you are working on.
When it comes to developing a plan to thrive, everybody’s plan is going to look different. For some people, their plan to thrive is going to be about making their big dreams come true. For others like me, it is going to be more about the small things that you do every day to create a healthier, happier you. Whatever your plan, just know that I believe in you. In Christ you are a new creation, and He can and will give you the strength and determination to see your plan through if that plan is part of His will for your life.
As they say in Korea, “Fighting!”