Happy Easter! My original title was Happy Easter: 5 Steps to Develop a Life Management Plan and Resurrect Your Life! That was a bit long. I am openly Christian and if that takes away from my readership, then so be it!
So I was listening to the sermon this week online, of course. Pastor Dale was preaching just what I needed to hear as I wade through the early stages of My Early Retirement Journey and this blog. The lesson was on wisdom and timing and he provided some guidance on developing a life management plan. Some of the things that stuck out to me were:
- Adopt a life management plan (and My Early Retirement Journey was born! )
- Delay gratification to make your life better (i.e. this is how evil gets us; we want the easy life, but don’t eat the ice-cream if good health is your goal)
- Don’t do nothing waiting for inspiration; get out there and do something and let inspiration come
- Make a plan + apply discipline = SUCCESS; without this you just have good intentions
Are you sure I need a plan?
Proverbs 16:3 (TEV) Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.
Proverbs 21: 5 (MSG) Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
The idea here is that sometimes what you need in life is not a miracle, but a plan! When the children of Israel came to the Promised Land, God stopped the miracle of dropping manna from the heavens and instructed his people to develop an agricultural plan. So if they need a plan, so do you!
5 Bible-Based Steps to Develop a Life Management Plan
1. Evaluation – where am I spending my time right now? Do a time study. Like any good budget, look at what you’re spending; this time instead of money, your other valuable resource is time. What are you spending most of your time on? You will discover a lot of waste in your life, much like a financial budget. Evaluate your time budget!
2. Allocation – where should I be spending my time? If you’re going to get to this goal of who God wants you to be, you must allocate your time accordingly. Just like you need a money budget to reach your financial goal, you need a time budget to reach your life’s goal and purpose. Create a calendar, create a plan (x hours with kids, y hours with spouse, z hours reading and gaining knowledge, w hours for work, etc…) This will be helpful along your Early Retirement Journey and after. For one thing once you reach FIRE, you will be able to re-allocate your time from musts like work to desires that help fulfill the purpose for your life. Here is an example of one FIRE’d blogger’s weekly schedule.
3. Review – did my day go the way I thought it would? About once a week, reflect and adjust. Look to the next week. Am I going anywhere with my life this week? If not, adjust your budget to reflect how you intend your life to go. Be flexible with your plan.
4. Be aware of your weakness – all humans have limitations. Some weaknesses that waste our time resource include immaturity with emotions (i.e. wasting a whole day being mad or irritated about something evil planted in our life); procrastination; laziness. Build fences to protect yourself from your area of weaknesses. I write lists to combat laziness. Sometimes when it seems like I have too much to do, I start listing it. If it starts to feel overwhelming as though I’ll never get it done, just writing it down is a task I can cross of the list. Then if it seems as though I won’t get it all done today, I start to feel defeated and my instinctive desire is to do none of it. To combat this, I ask myself what is at least one or two things I can do today to make some progress. Sometimes, all I can do is divvy up the tasks into other days. Now I have a plan and it breaks up what was a mountain of tasks into little molehills to conquer. Additionally that feeling of accomplishment is enough momentum to approach the tasks over the next few days.
5. Make adjustments – your seasons of life change; that’s why I use the Seasons category in my blog, both as an homage to my favorite hobby, television watching, and to the different seasons of life I anticipate on My Early Retirement Journey. Things happen in life. Make sure your plan is moving your development of what God has assigned to you for your life. You want to be the best at it it. Meaningful success is being the best at what God has assigned to you!
James 4:13 -15 (NIV)
13 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
FINAL THOUGHTS: Make a plan. Ask God to bless your plan (Prov 16:3, James 4:13-15). Apply discipline. Achieve success.