Hi friends!! Welcome to our week-long series on Making What Matters Happen!!
If you missed the intro post, you can read that here!
This week, we’ve talked about getting in the Word each day, and how to set realistic goals that we can actually make happen. I think those things are SUPER important, but I think today’s post is just as important too.
Friends, we are not perfect. We can’t ever be perfect. So in the midst of our great intentions and plans and dreams, we have to make sure that we leave room for one thing:
Sometimes, the plan doesn’t work. Sometimes, we drop the ball, or the kids go crazy, or life happens. And while it’s easy to get caught up in all the things we want to do, we HAVE to hold our plans with open hands, and be able to go with the flow when they just don’t work out the way we’d hoped.
I know what I’m talking about here, because I’ve learned (and am still learning) this lesson the hard way. I’m a planner, and I generally have a pretty solid idea of how things are going to play out, before we even start. Which would be fine if I was a single person living alone on an island in the middle of nowhere… but I’m not.
My decisions, my plans, and my reactions to foiled plans – these all affect the people around me. I’ve been the wife who blows up because her husband was late for the fourth night in a row. I’ve been the mom who lost it because her kid’s attitude kept us from attending a fun event. I’ve been the girl who withdraws when plans don’t work, because I’m angry that I didn’t get what I wanted.
It’s no fun to be that person – for me or for any of the people I love.
The fact of the matter is that relationships are more important than plans. And so, as we talk about developing habits and setting up goals for the year, I want us all to keep GRACE in mind.
I think that, when we are talking about planning, grace looks a whole lot like margin. It looks like giving yourself space within your day, because things will go wrong. It looks like choosing 4 goals instead of 14, so that you can really give your full effort to those important few. It looks like reevaluating your goals every few months, to make sure that they still line up with your relationships and priorities.
(I love that the space to do this is actually worked right into the PowerSheets we talked about yesterday. There’s a full section every quarter to take a hard look at your goals and make any adjustments that you might need to make. A year is a long time to commit to something, and we all need the grace and permission to change things that need to be changed!)
Plans are going to change. Things are going to fall through. Kids are going to get sick. Husbands are going to forget. We are going to sleep in. Life is NOT going to go the way we planned! We can respond by fighting these interruptions, or prayerfully finding a way to make them work. I’m finding it’s much easier on EVERYONE if I can just accept that things aren’t going to go perfectly, and leave some space for the change that inevitably is going to need to happen.
All of this habit forming and goal setting is really for the purpose of living intentionally SO THAT WE CAN be sure to keep the important things (and people!) at the forefront of our lives. We’ve got to try to remember this instead of getting sucked into the mindset of just getting things done for the sake of getting things done. Our hearts are for Jesus & the people He’s given to us. As we think about the new year, let’s be sure to give ourselves the grace we need to keep a fresh, Christ-centered perspective!
A Word From Lara…
What do you do when real life isn’t matching up with the goals you had for yourself in this season?
If a goal is really rooted in what matters to you, you’ll do something about it. Our office motto is, “If you’re not excited about it, no one will be!” If a goal doesn’t make your heart sing, you probably won’t act on it. In that case, you can do two things: break your goal down into more manageable realistic action steps OR quit and start fresh. It’s so easy to get caught up in finishing something just to finish it (to avoid the guilt of “quitting”) but quitting can be a really good thing! If a goal doesn’t matter to you, redirect your energy to one that does. You’ll gain powerful momentum. If a goal does matter to you but you’ve lost focus, break it down and take smaller action steps forward. Little by little progress will add up!
A little about Lara…
Lara is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Weddings magazine, where they encourage couples to plan a meaningful beginning to married life. Lara is also the founder of the Making Things Happen movement, a nationally-acclaimed workshop that has been sold out for the last seven years and has toured over 40 cities. She frequently speaks on goal-setting, faith, mission-centered business, and how to make what matters happen. Her first book, Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear, Take the Leap, Live on Purpose, recently released nationwide through Thomas Nelson publishers. Lara loves to garden, explore local farms, and she wishes her neighborhood would let her have chickens. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband, Ari, and their bubbly daughter, Grace, and new little redhead, Joshua. They are also in the process of adopting!
How do you typically respond when your plans fall through? Could you benefit from building a little margin into your life?
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