Planning weekly and daily helps me be happy.
It is NOT because that life goes according to my plans.
Here is what experience has taught me so far: Life does not go according to my plans.
Put Christ first
Here’s one thing I know: When I put Christ first, my day is happier, not matter what comes. I put Christ first when I try to:
- read the scriptures and try to apply them,
- express gratitude
- take care of my mind and body,
- be kind–especially to my family,
- serve others,
- and keep the rest of his commandments.
At the end of the day, I feel good because I can see the hand of the Lord helping me to do things that I wanted, to do things that were important that I hadn’t planned, and to help others. I more satisfied at the end of my day on days when I try to serve the Lord and put Him first than on the days that I don’t.
Over 12,000 days
I have done both kinds of days my whole life (putting Christ first and putting myself first), so I speak from over 12,000 days of experience. (Those are days after age 14. I figure that’s around when I really started to care about putting God first.) I really like the way my “Christ first” days go.
Planning makes a difference
As a woman, I have learned that planning makes a difference in my days, weeks, months, and years. If I take time to plan, I am more likely to accomplish some of the goals I have set and help my family members accomplish the goals that they have set.
When and how
Here is how I plan:
At the end of November, I start thinking about how the year went, and what I want to change the next year. I begin pondering my personal goals. In December, I begin talking to our family about how the year went and inviting them to think about what they’d like to change and ponder setting new goals. The last week of December I really get down to business, so that on January 1, I begin finalizing my goals for the new year. My values, dreams, and goals drive what I do. Our family values, dreams, and goals drive what we do as a family. We try to configure our schedule to help us accomplish those values, dreams and goals.
Counseling in councils
Sundays are when my husband and I like to visit together in an executive council. Not every Sunday. We wish. But whenever we can. Or during another time if we get needing to discuss something. Then family council on Sundays (again, the weeks when we can) we discuss plans as a family.
Getting to brass tacks: weekly and daily planning
The nitty gritty begins on Monday morning.
Monday morning is when I like to plan. I write down the specific things on a laminated weekly
planning page that are going on in my week. I already have those events on my phone, but I’m a visual person. So I write down what is specifically going on that I need to remember.
Then each morning, I plan my day. If something comes to my mind right as I’m waking up, or in the middle of the night, I write that on a little piece of paper next to my bed. Then when I’m planning, I try to remember to put that into my day plan. I also keep a weekly “THIS WEEK” to-do list on my phone in a note (Notes app) that I can check off if I want.
I plan on a laminated daily planning page. I plan it on a page verses my phone because I am a visual and a kinesthetic kind of gal, and I like to write with my hand and see things all at once to capture it in my mind. I use wet erase markers on both my weekly and daily planning pages so that I can wash away the writing the next day and start afresh. It reminds me that we get to start each new day fresh in the eyes of God. ❤️ And I love color. 😉
I love to begin and end the day with gratitude, so I write down some things I’m thankful for on my plan. I also try to think of at least one thing I’m thankful for as I’m waking up. (see Alma 37:37). At night, I try to write down things I was thankful for that day in my journal. If I’m too tired, I sometimes do that the next morning, if I have time. But I prefer to do it at the end of the day so when I wake up, I’m focused on a fresh new day ahead.
One thing I can plan on 🍋
Life gives us lemons, so we have to learn to make lemonade (just like my mom taught me!). I have learned that when I plan and my day is turned upside down, the best thing I can do is to pray, smile, and go with the flow. I have some absolutely heavenly, marvelous days when an interruption comes and I put aside my own agenda! Not matter what happens, I know that Heavenly Father’s plan is a plan of happiness, so I can plan on happiness!
I wish life went according to plans, in moments when I’m still short-sighted. But I’m grateful it doesn’t, because Heavenly Father and Jesus are so much better at planning my life out for me. I hope I can learn better each year to be more in tune to their plans so that I can have joy in the life that they help provide for me, one day at a time.