Plan Your Work & Work Your Plan

I learned this phrase during my years in network marketing.  Sadly, I learned the phrase, but never put it into practice effectively.

I believe “planning my work and working my plan” will be essential to achieving self-discipline in the year to come, and so I downloaded this daily planner – “The Day’s Draft” – from A Holy Experience.  It’s beautiful, covers all the major points I’d like it to cover, and best of all – it’s FREE!  Each night, I lay out my plan for the next day.  I love the fact that there’s even space to pencil in when you’re going to do each thing, totally encouraging me to… plan my work and work my plan.

Thus far, I have been much more productive, and much less frustrated.  I am doing far better at setting my priorities and putting first things first.  I’ve had days where I got nearly everything on my plan done, and I’ve had days where life happened and I got almost nothing on my plan done.  But that was OK, because I made a conscious decision to set my plan aside and rearrange priorities for that day.

Here are a few other disciplines that I am implementing for 2013, which having my “plan” is helping with immensely so far:

One Hour Personal Development Reading Each Day

Historically, I start non-fiction books, get about a third of the way through them, and never finish.  Guess what?  I finished one book on Saturday, and am well into three new books (you can see the list at the side.)  Once I have read something educational for an hour, I reward myself with reading a “fun” book, which right now happens to be a 900 page historical fantasy novel.  That one might take a while.

Showing Gratitude

I love Ann Voskamp’s idea of recording three things each day, and adding them up to over one thousand things you are thankful for by the end of the year.  She has a great download that gives three things to look for each day, so you’re always recording something different.  My list of gratitude is much more thoughtful, poetic, and  meaningful because I’m seeking out those three things. Today, I’ve found “dusky light” and “surprising reflection,” but I’m still searching for “beautiful shadow.”

Meditate on the Daily Mass Readings

This is the first of Bishop Coyne’s resolutions that I’ve decided to tackle, since growth in the Christian life must be based in God’s Word.  The hardest part of this for me is waking up early enough to do this before the craziness of the day begins.  If I don’t wake early, I am likely to read the daily Mass readings, but chances that I will actually meditate on them are slim to none.  Funny thing about reading without meditation.  The words tend to fall on barren ground, and are eaten up by little birdies, ages 2, 4, 6, 9, and 40.   Or perhaps the roast that I’m cooking for dinner drops on those words and drowns them.  Or they get all tangled up in four loads of laundry, or obscured by the dust on the dining room table… which leads me to a fourth new discipline:

Wake Early

I mapped it all out, and to accomplish all I want to accomplish before getting the kids off to school, I need to wake at 4:20.  I’ll be happy with 5, thank you.

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