What’s the Plan?

Benjamin Franklin once said that “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” There’s a lot of truth in that little statement. In my previous blogs, I’ve talked about the importance of planning ahead—like laying out your clothes, getting a head start on breakfast, or even showering the night before so that you can buy valuable time in the morning.

Truly, a little planning, a general routine, will help you to accomplish so much. It will keep you from running around at the last minute to do the things you need to do, which further delays your ability to work toward your goals.

I’ve made a list of my non-negotiable activities for my morning routine so that I know that I am starting my day off on the right track. I encourage you to make a list of what you feel are the top-five most important things to you. Here are mine:

1. Spirituality
2. Relationships
3. Exercise
4. Nutrition and self-care
5. Goals

If you find yourself cramming too many activities into your morning routine, then move something to the evening. Or if your evening is crowded, move something to the morning. Whatever you do, if you have decided that something is non-negotiable, find a place for it somewhere in your morning or evening routine, and stick to it.

Spirituality is my top priority, so I like to care for it first thing in the morning. I don’t wonder when I will be able to get to it during the day. Reading my Bible and praying have become part of my morning routine and are non-negotiable. I encourage you to do the same with whatever you decide is non-negotiable. Make it part of your routine, and just do it.

Or how about exercise? If your gym is 10-15 minutes away from your home, and working out is part of your evening routine, then get your gym clothes, shoes, and tunes ready the night before you leave for work so you can grab them the next morning on your way out the door. If you wait until later in the day to decide to workout, when you know if you “feel up to it,” you will only exercise sporadically at best. Here’s a scenario:

You get up and run out the door to get to work. Later in the afternoon, as work is winding down, you find you’re full of energy and ready for a workout. Unfortunately, you left your gym bag at home. Your commute is long, and traffic is bad. You pass the gym on the way to your house, still determined to workout, but as soon as you walk in the door, hungry children throw themselves at your feet. What are the chances that you’ll grab your things and run to the gym now? Slim to none.

Making your workout non-negotiable, and your gym-readiness part of your routine, will set you up for success. Don’t ask yourself if you’re going to do something you’ve already decided is non-negotiable—JUST DO IT.

With good planning, you can even make your goals part of your routine. For example, my husband has been wanting to convert all of his hard copy files to electronic files. So he decided to spend 10-15 minutes a day doing just that. It’s going to take some time, but every day he chips away at the stack. His goal of going electronic has been worked into his routine.

So, if you don’t have a solid morning or evening routine, sit down and think seriously about what you need and want to do, then write it out. Put the routines on post it notes and stick them on your bathroom mirror. In a short time, and with practice, you won’t have to think about them anymore because they have become, well . . . routine.

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The more you plan, the more you can accomplish in a day, in a week, in a month, in a year, in a life. Choose to Nest Pretty by making your non-negotiables part of your morning and evening routines, because if you succeed in planning, your plans will succeed.

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