Monday, May 14, 2012

Thinking about goals and accomplishing more of them

In the past couple of days I have been taking a closer look at my goals and thinking about why I don't get more done each week.  A couple of incidents have given me a clue. 

First of all, I have a scrapbook type journal which I've been trying to get back to writing in regularly. 
One of my scrapbook  journals (I'm on my second book by now.)

Many months tend to go by between my times of journaling there.  (I have another journal which I use during my quiet time.) This scrapbook journal is where I am apt to jot down menus, lists, incidents from my day, special events, etc.  And lately I just haven't had time to do it.  But I've recently picked it up again, and as I did so I've noticed how much I used to get accomplished in a day.   It made me wonder what changed in my life in the past couple of years, because actually I was much busier (and far more stressed) back then than I am now, and I still got quite a bit done. 

Secondly, I was saying to Mr. T just yesterday how upset I was with myself for not getting certain things done (exercise was the specific issue right then, but there are others) day after day.   I reminded him that when I was the busiest with eldercare responsibilities, I refused to miss a day of exercise no matter what because I knew I needed to take care of myself first in order to be a help to others.  But yet now that the eldercare load has lightened, I will get in my own way of taking proper care of myself.  His common-sense reply was that if I wanted to exercise daily, I needed to schedule in a time for it and follow through.

And with those two occurrences, after some hours of all this percolating around in my brain, the light bulb went on.  Scheduling.  That's the answer. 

Back in those ultra-busy, exceedingly stressful days, I kept a weekly calendar of all that I needed to do in a given week.
(An older weekly schedule; I have revamped it a good deal.)
And I would make a to-do list each day, scheduling the events of the day in half-hour increments into the most likely time slot for each one.  In one of Elizabeth George's books, she compares this to flower arranging.  You can just cram flowers into a vase every which way, and they will look okay.  Or you can carefully arrange them flower by flower, and they can potentially (in any hands but mine) look stunning.  In the same way, you can just cram events into your schedule as they occur to you, in no particular order, and it may work okay.  Or, you can carefully place the events into your schedule where they will fit most effectively, and your day will be much more productive and fulfilling.  This is a brilliant thought, and I know it works!

But for some reason, I got away from it.  I don't know why, but I do know this:  I'm getting back to it.  And yes, I've exercised today, as well as accomplishing a lot of other things!  I am so thankful that the Lord showed me where my problem was and has helped me begin to solve it.


  1. I so love your scrapbook journal! I have tried doing one, but I didn't think to work in it often and it fell by the wayside. Maybe I should try again, since you say you only write in it occasionally?

    I feel the need to have a schedule, but so many times, when I try to work by a schedule, my husband (a pastor) has something he needs me to do with or for him, and I have to put aside whatever is scheduled for that time. Any suggestions? I have so many things I'd love to do, but I can't just stick them in when I feel like it. Otherwise, I'd only do fun things, 'cause that's all I ever feel like doing! LOL

  2. Hi Susan!

    I think you should give the scrapbook journal another try. Although I don't write in it every day (and truthfully, sometimes I even skip a month or more) still, I enjoy working in it when I can and it is fun and informative to look back at some of the entries. So I definitely would encourage you to get yours out again!

    As for the scheduling, I can so identify with the doing things for/with your hubby. Mine is not a pastor, but sometimes he gets entire days off due to weather. Sometimes he will get consumed with a project, but other times he is full of suggestions for things to do together (sometimes fun things, other times necessary projects). And I love that! But as you noted, sometimes these activities wreak havoc with a schedule.

    I don't get overly concerned if not every item I've scheduled gets checked off the list. I just move it to the next day, and place it where I think it's most likely to get done. I do think that our husbands come first. After all, helping them is our specific assignment from God! So I move other things around if I need to do something for/with my hubby. To me, the schedule is simply a tool to help me use my time more wisely. As you and I have discussed before, if we aim at nothing, we'll be sure to hit it. The schedule is my way of "aiming at something."

    I put fun, creative things into my schedule too, because otherwise I wouldn't find the time. Hope this helps a bit!

  3. Thanks, Mrs. T!!! You are so right - I am my husband's God-designed helper. I find that I have to schedule the creative things, too, because I feel guilty if I'm doing them & other things are not done. Thanks for your advice!


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