Living On Purpose Part 2: Where To Begin

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I started doing reno’s to our house a few years back and the for first few jobs I had to either go out and buy or run around trying to find someone who had the tools I needed.  After a few times at this I realized I needed some specific tools for the jobs I’d be doing and it was in my best interest if I invested in them.  Planning is the same.  There are tools you need– some physical and some mental–in order to achieve the purpose you’re setting out to accomplish.

Here are 4 tools you need to get started planning a life of purpose.

1. Calendar

It doesn’t matter how highly you scored on your SAT’s or how much brain power you think you have, you need a calendar!  I started years ago with a written calendar and I have had my own problems with that method that have led me to go all digital.  But you have to know what works for you.  If you feel better about a physical planner then by all means use that.  I have for years used Google Calendar for all my planning as it gives me room to look years ahead, it is stored in the cloud, and it syncs across all my devices. (simplicity and minimalism is something you’ll hear much about here) If you don’t have a calendar, stop right now and figure out what you are going to use, everything else from this point on will be useless if you don’t have one.

2. Vision

My vision for getting my planning and purpose in order was to spend more time with my family and move forward with what God put in my heart to do.  For you it might be the same.  It might have to do with resting more, working less over-time, completing things you never seem to get around to finishing or just spending less of your day checking and responding to email.  Whats the goal?  What do you want your planning to accomplish?  What is the vision, the preferred future of planning?

3. List of tasks

Write down a task list, start with the rhythms in your week.  The rhythms are tasks or events such as: family night each Friday evening, soccer practice every Thursday night, leaders meeting every other Tuesday or working out.  Before you plug in the day-to-day or one-offs, go through and plug in the rhythms.  Google Calendar has a great feature that allows you to make the event happen multiple times on specific days and times, making that rhythm populate on your calendar throughout your year.  Once you have those in, get your list of one-off to-do items and plan your week with those.  I also suggest using a task management program like Todoist of Gqueues to extensively plan, manage and execute your vision.

4. Time to plan

The first thing to do,  before diving into plugging in your extensive list of to-do items is to plan to plan.  I know it kind of sounds like having a meeting about a meeting but it has to be a weekly thing.  For the first little while until you find a groove and it becomes a part of your life, it’s going to take a lot of time.  This is by no means a 4 step plan to get organized before tomorrow; it’s going to take time, so don’t get frustrated when this isn’t working out the way you dreamed it might this week.  If your life is anything like mine, each week looks differently and requires varying scenarios for how I plan each week.  You’ll need time to work through how each of those look, but don’t give up!  Take time each week to plan.

Invest in these tools and you’ll be on your way to living on purpose!