It takes a plan to get somewhere in life. If we are driving to work or a store, or even on a long trip, we have to have some sort of plan to get us there. Our plan may be written down or it may be a mental image, either way we have an idea of how to get from where we are now to where we want to be.
Without a plan we could be going in any direction and have no idea where we will end up. Without a plan to give some structure to where we are going we will be like water that flows in any direction on a path of least resistance and always settling for the lowest point.
If we want to build a house, get an education, start a business, or go on vacation, we always start with a plan. So why is it, when it comes to having a great marriage and family we are often just caught up in the moment and just winging it as we go?
Alan Lakein, author of How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, has made one of the most popular statements in the business world when he said, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” His book is a classic in the area of time management and has been used to shape the lives of presidents as well as CEO s. In it he also says, “time = life, therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.”
He teaches that it is all about making good plans and sticking to those plans. I love the way he puts it, that “planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it.” And he makes it very clear that “in all planing you make a list and you set priorities.”
So if you want to do something about your marriage and your life this year it is very important to make some plans based on your list of priorities. This type of planning is going to require some communication and some mutual agreements between you and your spouse.
We do not buy into the notion that the man makes up all of the plans and his wife comes along dutifully submitting to whatever he has decided. We do believe that the husband is called to take a place of leadership, but a good leader always collaborates with his partner instead of dictating his orders to her.
Now this is going to require some prayerful thought from the two of you. And as you work through this process you will want to ask yourselves some basic questions that will help you define what type of plans you should make.
5 questions: What? Why? How? Where? & When?
What are the areas of life you want to improve? Be specific. Your marriage, your health, your financial life, your spiritual life, and your children are all some very important areas to take a look at. Be specific about the issues that need to be resolved in all areas of your life.
Why do you want changes made? Based on your priorities in life, why do you feel there needs to be some changes made? Who will benefit from these changes? Knowing why goes a long way to motivate yourselves to see these plans through.
How do you plan on making these things happen? You will need to set some achievable goals. In some things you may be able to take some giant steps and see some overnight changes. In other areas you may have accept the small steps it takes to get where your going. Either way, make sure your goals are realistic and achievable.
Where can you go for help? We all get stuck in certain patterns of doing things and when we try to change we often fall right back into the way we have always done it. That’s why it is so important to reach out for help sometimes. The point is get the help you need. Look for the resources that are available and would be relevant to where you live and what you and your spouse would be willing to do.
When will you do it? When making plans and setting goals you have to set a time frame, otherwise it’s just wishing and hoping. You need to set some dates to start certain things. You need to set dates for when you expect to accomplish some things. And you need to set dates for certain events that will help you reach your goals.
We’re in the same boat
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not speaking as someone who has already got all this figured out. We are in the process of making some definite plans on where we want to go in life and what actions we will have to take to get us there. Even in our marriage, we still want to make some improvements and grow in our relationship.
That’s okay though, because we know We Can When We Have A Plan.
Let us know what type of plans you are making. It would be great to hear from you.
God bless and keep up the good work you are doing.