Did she just say strategic plan? What does that have to do with me??

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life. ~ Greg Anderson

What will creating your life plan do for you? Just imagine…

  1. Every time you pause to read your plan you will think, “I can do this!” And then you will do it.
  2. Whenever you stop to tinker with your plan, to change or rearrange the words, you will think, “Yes, that helps. I’m getting closer to what I really want to do.” And then you will do it.
  3. When you hear someone say something that rings in your heart, you will look at your plan to make sure the essence of what they said is in there. If it isn’t, you will work to incorporate it. And then you will think, “I am grateful to them for speaking what is in my heart.” And then you will do it.
  4. When you are tempted to do something that looks attractive but does not align with your plan, you will say, “No.” And you will mean it.
  5. Every time you share it with your partner, you will become closer, more aligned and in tune with each other. And then you will both do it.
  6. As you teach others to create their own life plan, you will learn what you didn’t know about planning your life. And then you will learn it. Plus you might be surprised by what your students do.
  7. As your children grow and you teach them how to create their own life plan, you will watch them do it. And then you will marvel at what they have done and delight in their happiness. And you will think a thousand thoughts and remember a million memories and know that whatever you did was worth it.

Is it worth your time to decide what you want out of life? Take a moment to watch this video:

Steven Jobs’ 2005 Stanford U Commencement Address

Together we can create your life plan.

Aloha, Auntie Lynn

Organize your life into nine categories

Photo: Lynn Davison

Being a mom reminds me of being a student. The work never ends, I can always think of more things to do to enhance my grades/family and spending time with the people I love is the best. I remember thinking these same thoughts years ago at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

So here is where my satisfaction with my Weekly To Do List faded. Sure I was keeping track of what I needed to do and where I needed to be (most of the time.) But when I could catch my breath, I was having a hard time choosing what I should do next. Of the one hundred plus things to do, which was most important to do at this time?

I decided to use another tool from my years in business: a project plan. Here I listed my things to do and projects by type. After a few months trying different names for categorizing my next actions and projects, I found I could organize everything I did into nine areas of focus:

  1. Finance: Tracking spending, reviewing our investments and insurances plus teaching our kids frugal habits.
  2. Food: Designing menus, grocery shopping, storing supplies, preparing, serving and cleaning up after meals, researching new recipes, teaching our children nutrition and right-sized portions, etc.
  3. Health: Taking children to the doctor, dentist, orthodontist, therapist, and specialist; scheduling regular medical tests like mammograms and colonoscopies, pap smears, etc. and stress management (!) and teaching our children healthy habits. Oh, and exercising, sometimes. Daily.
  4. Home: Laundry, cleaning, straightening, gardening, maintenance, decorating, painting, garbage, recycling, taxes, cable, internet, cell phones (well, they have to go somewhere,) and teaching the kids to pick up and organize their rooms.
  5. Jobs: School, work, studying, volunteering, and teaching our kids how to work hard and the value of grit.
  6.  Keeping: Cars, clothes, computers, haircuts, library books, postage stamps, dry cleaning and keeping it all organized and teaching our kids lean, uncluttered habits.
  7. Learning: Sports, music, acting, dancing, reading, and tutoring and fostering an appreciation of the arts and sports in our kids.
  8. Legacy: Birthday Parties, vacations, photography, photo- and scrap booking, crafts, pets, movies, television, emotion management, relationship and problem solving skills and teaching our children to savor family time and resolve disagreements in a mutually satisfactory manner through civil discussion.
  9. Virtues: Parenting, family rules and values that guide our actions and teach our children how to realize inner security, abundance and personal moral authority.

It helped me to break my work into these mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive groups as it always does when we break big, scary projects into smaller pieces. It also gave me a way to bring order to the many important parts of being head of a large household.

  • Now I had a way to organize all my projects.
  • I file our papers in one tub with tabs using these nine areas of focus.
  • bookmark my favorite websites using folders with these names.
  • track our expenses using these categories.
  • I organize my files on my computer as well.

I organized my projects, papers, Internet bookmarks, computer files and expenses.  It helped me establish a sense of order around our household. Any parent will tell you that just taming the paperwork is no small task. However, focusing on each of these nine areas helped me the most when I used another tool from my days in the corporate world: the strategic plan.

Aloha, Auntie Lynn