Without a plan for 2015 you will resign yourself to live by the tyranny of the urgent. Without a plan you simply have hope. We all need hope, hope is necessary for life, but it’s not a plan for success. Once you have a plan for 2015 you need to give your plan some clarity, otherwise you will get to the end of next year and find yourself no closer to living as the masterpiece God created you to be than the day you conceived your plan.
In the Bible the writer Job said: “Listen to me, you wise men. Pay attention, you who have knowledge…’The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods.’ So let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.” (Job 34:2-4 NLT) We are given the responsibility to discover and clarify the good plan God has for us. God promises that His plan for you is good: “…you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Rom 12:2 NLT) “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph 2:10 NLT)
1. Write Your Plan Down
You may have spent some time discerning God’s good plan for you for 2015, now take the next step and do what very few people do – write it down. Writing out the plan God has given you for the next 12 months will force you to think it through thoroughly. You will quickly realize areas that you need to put more thought into. Writing it down will also allow you to have quick access to it when you are discouraged or when you begin to get off course. I have signs with my plans, visions, and values hanging on my office walls, they serve as quick reminders and give clarity.
2. Align Your Plan With Your Values
I wrote about the importance of values extensively in chapter 2 my book Life Palette -Values, Values, Values: “To say we value something isn’t enough; lip service does not prove we value anything. If we don’t live what we say, we may think we value something, even though we don’t. When talking to others about their values, it’s easy to discover what they truly value. When someone says they value living a healthy lifestyle, a few quick questions will reveal the truth. “Do you exercise?” “Do you eat right?” If the answer is “No,” they don’t really value their health. They like the idea of it, but it’s not a value because what we truly value is not only displayed in how we think but also how we live.”
Your values will determine you vision, your plan. Make sure that your plan for 2015 is in alignment with your values. If not, then your plan will not be important or valuable to you and will simply be an exercise in futility.
3. Share It With A Trusted Friend
Share your plan with a trusted friend who knows you and cares about you. Allow them to speak into your life as to whether or not your plan is realistic and at the same time challenging. Having an unrealistic plan will discourage you before you begin and having a plan that doesn’t challenge you will allow you to be complacent and not grow.
4. Review And Pray
Hang your 2015 plan in a place where you can review it every day and pray about it. As you do, God will begin to give you even more clarity and direction. He will begin to guide you in your daily decisions to assure that you live His “good, pleasing and perfect” plan for your life as His masterpiece.
Next Steps For 2015:
Act on the four steps listed in this blog today. Start by writing out your plan for 2015 with as much clarity and detail as possible.