Weekly planning is a habit I have started into this year and have found it to be immensely beneficial. Many life coaches, productivity gurus, and others tout the power behind a solid plan — especially regularly planning your days and weeks. In this post, I’ll walk you through my typical planning routine, which uses aspects found from a few different sources.
God has given us the pattern for everything in our lives. I’ve written about the Law of Creation already and shared my thoughts on how God provided a pattern for us in the creation of the world, and it is clear that such an undertaking would take painstaking preparation and planning. It’s no wonder the Lord, to help us prepare for the future, would admonish us to get organized and prepare.
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;Doctrine and Covenants 88:119
Think about what happens when we are not organized and have not prepared “every needful thing.” For me, if it isn’t on my schedule, the likelihood that it gets done is minimal. If I’m not organized on my goals and just “wing it”, then I get fleeting results. Since I have started becoming more organized and preparing more carefully, I have seen a huge improvement in my progress to my goals!
Robin Sharma, Chapter 61 of The Everyday Hero Manifesto
- The things that get scheduled are the things that get done.
- Vague plans produce vague goals.
- World-class weeks soon morph into the sensational quarters that lead into spectacular years that generate sublime decades.
My weekly planning system to get myself organized follows these five main steps, all of which are done in a spirit of prayer and seeking for guidance from God as I strive to fulfill my big 5 lifetime goals.
- Connection: I always review my big 5 and my vision of my future. This helps me to connect with my vision over and over again and ensure that I am focused on what truly matters to me – a visit to my “personal lighthouse” as Robin Sharma puts it.
- Reflection: I then spend a few minutes writing in my journal, reflecting on my past week. I celebrate my victories, express gratitude for those wins, and make note of areas where I can grow and improve.
- Prioritization: Next, I write down a laundry list of specific actions, behaviors, and habits that have proven to me to provide immense value and positive results. I try to link these to specific goals that I am currently working toward, but even if not tied to a specific goal, these are actions I will do this week to ensure I live it to the fullest.
- Templatization: Now I get down to the details. I will map out a template for each day, blocking out time for all that I have made sacred first — my morning victory hour, family, nature, etc. Then I add in my commitments — work, callings, other events, etc. Finally, I block out time for those key actions — my laundry list from step 3. In this way, I can be sure that I have time in my schedule for my goals, because that which gets scheduled gets done, right?
- Execution: Last of all is execution. As we learned from the Law of Creation, doing really is the easy part. Creating and holding our vision, feeling the emotions associated with that vision, and speaking only words in support of that is the hard part. Doing will come naturally as we continually feed our subconscious minds the image of our creation.
During the execution phase, I make small adjustments daily because life happens, and no plan is set in stone. The real growth and freedom comes in the journey. At the close of each day, I sit down and review my day, making notes about that for which I am grateful, specific victories I want to remember, and specific ways I can improve. I seek to recognize the hand of God in my life for that day. President Henry B. Eyring stated in a BYU-Idaho devotional some years ago,
I bless you that every day, if you will ask in prayer to be shown where the hand of God intervened in your life that day, I bless you that you will see that. It will be made manifest to you. That you will see that He is leading and guiding and lifting you, and that He knows you.President Henry B. Eyring, Brigham Young University–Idaho devotional, Sept. 18, 2001, “A Steady, Upward Course”
As I have focused energy to organize my plans and have sought to prepare “every needful thing” to reach my goals, I have found that I have much more clarity of vision. I can clearly see the Law of Creation taking effect in my life and the hand of God moving to support and build me up in my journey. I am forever grateful to the authors, teachers, and thinkers who have shared their wisdom to help me grow!