I know that I’m one of the lucky ones. (And when I say lucky, I mean fortunate.)
I have a career I love, one with purpose and meaning and serves God in a way I was created for, people I love working with, and enough income to not stay up late at night worrying about how we are going to pay the bills (most nights, that is).
But let’s be clear… my life was not always this way.
I spent most of my twenties and thirties living paycheck to paycheck, in a job that had no potential, loving some of my coworkers but barely tolerating some of the people I worked with.
Some of that was just finding my place in the world – it’s what a lot of 20 and some 30-year-olds do. But part of it was not really believing I could be successful in what I wanted to do in my life. It was easier (and safer) to just do the day to day and survive instead of having a hope for a better, more successful future.
When did things finally begin to turn around for me? Was it a job promotion or a new opportunity?
No – it was a planner.
It was a simple, paper planner that, for the first time, I actually used to plan what I was going to accomplish instead of using it like a calendar.
I started to write down my dreams and started turning those into goals.
And this is what I’ve noticed with every successful woman I’ve ever worked with:
Most of them have great teams of people.
Most of them get up early to attack their day.
Most of them have supportive family and friends to encourage them.
But all of them take time away from their crazy, busy, jam-packed days to pull back and plan for what they want.
How to Pull Back and Plan
I call it Pull Back Planning because I have to be intentional about pulling back from my regular life and setting that time aside to plan for my day, my week, my month, my year, and yes, my whole life.
Each day, before I end work, I take a look at what is coming tomorrow to see what I need to plan for, pray for and do. I apply the same principle to my week, month and year.
I love what Dave Ramsey says about budgets: “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” It’s the same with a planner – a planner will help you tell your time where it goes instead of wondering where it went.
Proverbs 16:3 (NIV) says:
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”
I love that verse. But we have to know what we are planning to do in order to pray about it and commit it to God.
I want to give my readers the opportunity to try this out.
My favorite planner this year is Valorie Burton’s The Successful Woman Planner. I love the motivating, clarifying quotes placed throughout the week-at-a-glance page layout, and that Valorie (one of the most successful women I know) has shared her wisdom throughout those pages. It is my go-to planner for 2019.
In order to be entered to win a copy of Valorie’s planner and a $50 gift card to Office Max, simply comment below and tell us the next step to success you want to take.
Offer open to US residents only.
Deadline to enter: January 30, 2019.
A bestselling author and Certified Personal and Executive Coach who has served clients in over 40 states and eight countries, Valorie Burton has written nine books on personal development, including Successful Women Think Differently and Happy Women Live Better. She is the founder of The CaPP Institute, providing tools and training that build resilience, well-being, and productivity for life and work.
She has been a regular contributor on CNN, HLN, and the Today show, where she gives practical career and life advice. She has also been featured in and on The Dr. Oz Show, NPR, Oprah Radio, Ebony, Essence, “O” The Oprah Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, and hundreds of others. Valorie’s corporate clientele includes multi-million dollar businesses such as Accenture, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Deloitte, General Mills, McDonalds Corp., and many more.
Join 25,000 subscribers to her weekly e-newsletter at www.valorieburton.com and visit her company site at www.cappinstitute.com.