“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”
– Psalm 20:4
Planning the Solo Life
by Lella Santiago
“The difference between those who accomplish their dreams and those who only dream of accomplishing them is planning and control.” – Charles Givens
“What can we do to repair the brokenness of our homes, hearts, health, marriage, relationships, and children? We can begin by looking at the 8,760 hours we have each year and reducing the 70 percent of stress in our lives that is caused by disorganization…. My secret and key was that I had a plan and I worked my plan of organization…. You should schedule a plan and plan a schedule.” – Emilie Barnes
What Charles Givens and Emilie Barnes said about planning resonated well with me. When I first read Emilie’s book, I had just finished taking my Masters in Entrepreneurship where I learned about having a vision and mission for my business. Our thesis was a real business plan. To translate planning and visioning into my personal life made a lot of sense.
In school, we were given a template to use in creating our business plan called VMOKRAPISPATRES. It stood for:
V – Vision: how you see your business 5 to 10 years from now
M – Mission: the significant things your business will do to make a difference in the world
O – Objectives: the concrete steps you will take to make the Mission a reality
KRAPI – Key Result Areas and Performance Indicators: measures of success for the Objectives stated in figures
SPAT – Strategies, Programs, Activities, Tasks: how you will achieve the Performance Indicators broken down into detailed steps
RES – Resources: the funds and human resources you need to put the strategies into action
What I did was I combined this business plan template with the More Hours in My Day Triangle of Success which had the following components:
Purpose (Mission in Life) – This is the base of the triangle where you put what you want to do or your reason for doing what you do. This involves discerning God’s unique calling for you.
Goals (Dreams with Deadlines) – This states the specific quantity, start and completion dates and is written down.
Planning (To-do List) – This utilizes the four organizational tools: To-do List (or the Call, Do, See list), Calendar, Telephone/Address Source List, Simple Filing system.
Scheduling (5-3-1 Years) – This is where you schedule for long-term (two to five years), mid-term (two months to two years) and short-term (less than 1 month) goals.
Projects – This sits at the top of the triangle and is where you list activities that will help you reach your goals. For instance, if your goal is to build your dream house, your project could be to make an appointment with the loan officer of the bank to discuss funding.
Before I wrote down my personal Vision/Mission/Purpose (VMP), I first did a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of myself. Very business-like, huh? But it was actually a useful exercise that helped me see myself clearly — where I’m coming from, what my good points were, what I need to improve on, what opportunities are open to me, and what I have to be careful of.
When I reviewed the notebook where I wrote this down many years ago, I listed “crafts and communication (oral and written)” under Strengths. And under Opportunity was “U.S.A. trip — market research.” Then I remembered this was what pushed me to go on that trip where I planned to take classes on Accessories Crafting but was prompted by my SWOT to also take a course on writing. That led me to work as a writer, which I found to be my core gift. And see, I am now writing this book, which is my dream project. So believe me, it really helps to do this. It will give you clarity of purpose.
And I believe that purpose is God-ordained. This was what I had written at the very top of the page where I had drafted my VMP:
Then the Lord answered me and said: Write down the vision; clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. (Habakkuk 2:2-3)
This excerpt is taken from The Happy Solo Kit by Lella Santiago.
Photo from Pixabay.com
YOUR ULTIMATE SURVIVAL GUIDE TO SOLO PARENTING IS HERE!
Hey, solo parent. Are you on the verge of losing your marbles?
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