I never was much of a planner; in fact, I knew absolutely nothing – z-il-ch…na-da – about planning. Basically, I lived day by day simply figuring life out as it came. I was living quite reckless if you asked me. Fortunately, change sought me out over a year ago; I started feeling that prompt or nudge to plan. I sincerely did not know where to begin so, I started small. I planned my finances, then social media content, and eventually started preparing work schedules. Unbeknownst to me, God was teaching me how to manage. I am so thankful for that day I accepted Jesus! Prior to salvation, I truly did not have the mindfulness to manage my resources or whatever I had. In retrospect, I can now confidently say that learning to plan has completely changed my life. I have learned to maximize both my time and resources which have yielded positive results.
Planning is a critical tool for management, which is also critical for success. Don’t believe me? Let’s try this. Take a moment to think of a person you know personally that sets goals and achieves them consistently or someone you deem successful. If you look closely into that person’s life, you more than likely will find a few critical characteristics, discipline, planning, commitment, and good time management. People who are successful put much thought into how they want their lives to look and subsequently, how they go about their days, weeks and even years spent. They are planners! Planning is not a concept that dropped out of the sky for no good reason. It improves us, it makes us better stewards over our resources, and it is biblical!
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Did you catch that? God also plans. In this passage of scripture, Jeremiah is speaking, as the prophet he was, in a written letter to the people that exiled from Jerusalem to Babylon. They were exiled for 70 years and as you would imagine, they were not happy about it. Nonetheless, God was assuring them that after that period ended, he would restore them and that he was in complete control as he knew intimately the plans, he had for them. The great and wise God that created the universe took time to create a plan for the lives of this entire nation. God did not just have a plan for that nation. God also has a plan for you, me, and the billions of other people on this planet.
With all my heart, I believe that as Christians we ought to be effective managers. To be an effective manager means we must be planners who partner with God to navigate through to our future, our expected end. There are some Christians that live by the school of thought that says, one should only have faith, by having faith, trust God day by day. I would like to clarify, planning does not discredit faith and trusting God for daily provisions. Faith and planning work in tandem, they complement each other, beautifully. For instance, you may fully understand that a part of God’s plan for your life comprises of you becoming a successful business owner. Faith will be necessary along this journey of entrepreneurship. It is essential for you to believe Gods plan. To hold fast to faith, trusting that God will provide and lead you. However, this is not enough. You will have to plan towards building this business; as well as using planning as a tool to manage this business. We are truly God’s hands and feet extended on the earth; therefore, we must strive to be good stewards, managing every resource He has given us. No doubt, this requires diligent planning and management of those resources.
I would like to share what I have learned on my planning journey:
Create Weekly/Monthly Goals
I would love to say that I set daily goals religiously, but baby, I’m not there yet! At the beginning of each month, however, I plan financial budgets and content calendars. Once my monthly goals are already in place, I would then separate these monthly wins into measurable weekly targets. At the very least, I go back to my planning board weekly to see how well I am staying on track.
If you struggle to consistently plan, do not get nervous now. You are not disqualified from progress because of imperfection. There are some months I do not follow my plans to a “T”, still my goals keep me accountable. It is a performance indicator that measures at any time how far I am off track.
Listen to Subtle Nudges & Accept God’s Intervention
There are times when I create a detailed plan. On those weeks, I am most certain I am about to kill it. Suddenly, there is a subtle nudge to post or share something that is not a part of my content schedule. These interruptions are not just confined to content management. They also happen when I am handling my personal finances. I may feel nudged to give in a direction I did not plan to.
My point is my plan is never the final plan. God always has the final sign off. Always frame your mind to that end. “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail” (Proverbs 19:21). This scripture sums it up so beautifully. As believers, we should always be sensitive to this and never hold to our plans when God is trying to adjust. If we chose our plans instead, that is a recipe for disobedience leading to disaster.
Execute Your Plans Consistently and Be Patient with the Results
There is a process to realizing the plans God has placed in your heart. While it would be wonderful if everything fell together in one day, the truth is, that is not realistic. No matter how rough it looks in the moment, stay consistent – I cannot emphasize this enough! The more you are consistent with planning and building the vision God has given to you, the sooner you will experience the vision becoming a reality. I understand how hard it can be, particularly when it feels like the vision is taking forever to manifest. Nonetheless, stay patient. Continue to plan and build, brick by brick. One day you will look up and see a building in front of you.
I am not a planning expert! I have simply reformed my imprudent, reckless attitude toward planning and management, with God’s help. I am still working it out, but I am certainly enjoying the journey.
As with all journey’s, it is so much more fun when you are able to share it with others. Subscribe to my email list here keep up with more tips to improve your quality of life; all while helping you to get closer to Christ.
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