Everyone knows that 2020 has been one of the craziest years in our memories. Some have lost jobs or loved ones. Some have started families or businesses. Some have had to pivot all their plans regarding vacation, schooling, businesses, speaking engagements, conferences, etc. Let's not even get started on the numerous memes and jokes going on about expectations regarding 2020!
But let's approach it from a different angle. The reality is, this is the year the Lord has given you to live. He is still Master of our days. He is still the Lord of our life and Savior of our souls. He still has plans for us to know Him deeply and make His name known.
Therefore, let's take a deep breath and look at September as a mini New Year. A time when school kicks off, fall begins to arrive (for some), and pumpkins come out of hiding. A time when hope turns to something new like a new school year, or upcoming holidays. Here are 5 steps to a Happy Mini New Year!
Step 1: Review 2020 so far.
Take an honest look at the pros and cons. What have you had to endure? How have you grown as a person through that process? What have you created? What do you hope for in the next 4 months?
It is so important to process the past, mourn losses, and celebrate wins. For me, sometimes a win is that I was anxious; I did some deep breathing and thought about blessings from Jesus; and I overcame my anxiety and experienced peace quickly. That's a big win in my book!
Step 2: Look at the Monthly tab in your Blaze Planner.
It's time to pull it off the shelf, if it has lived there through 2020. Dust it off, and open to the September tab. Think through your job, your family life, and community commitments. Write down all the important events, meetings, trainings, projects, and conferences (even if they are solely online) you have for the month.
Now do the same for October through December. Think through holiday plans. For instance, I like to put up fall decorations Labor Day weekend. So this week, I wrote down to bring up the fall stuff from the basement and go through it one evening, so I am ready to decorate this weekend.
Step 3: Look at the Weekly Plan.
Now that you have a monthly plan in place for your important dates, open up to the Weekly tab. Find a fresh, clean weekly review page and move the Poly-Blue "Weekly" Page Locator to the section. We will tackle this section in chunks. For now, let's just focus on the right-side.
Enter the "Week of" dates. Put in the dates for the upcoming week on each day.
Look at your phone and monthly tab. Are there any important events this week? Write them on the corresponding day.
Think of tasks that need to be completed for your work. Pick one major task to complete each day.
Think of tasks that need to be done at home. Pick one major task per day to complete.
Finally, think about the dinner plan. On nights that you may have a major event or training, consider something simple or fast. Plan the nights you wan to eat out versus in.
Having a plan at the beginning of the week helps to make it go smoother throughout the week and prevent decision fatigue.
Step 4: Look at Birthdays and Anniversaries coming up.
Turn in your Blaze Planner to the blue tab labeled "Lists." The first page is the "Birthdays, Anniversaries, & Other Celebrations" list.
Take time to fill out the dates for September through December. Seeing them there throughout the year will help you be better prepared for them when they arrive.
Plan which of the dates you will send a card or letter for. In my experience, people generally love a thoughtful card or letter for their special day. However, if you are crunched for time, there are services online that you can prep special occasion emails to be scheduled ahead of time.
Plan which of the special occasions will have a gift or special celebration with it. For instance, we are not planning big get-togethers this year, but I still want to make something special or send a gift for upcoming birthdays.
This might also be a good time to think through your Christmas list. Plan some time in October or November to collect addresses and work on Christmas cards. Write it on your monthly tab. That way, you can send them all out at the beginning of December and just focus on family the rest of the year.
Step 5: Pick 1-3 goals to accomplish by the end of the month or end of 2020.
Open the yellow tab titled, “Goals” in your Blaze Planner. Flip to a clean page.
I would recommend starting with the Life-light Area of Personal Care and Health. If you are unsure of what the Life-light Areas are, don’t worry. We have more training coming, but you can check out this video here.
Think of one long-term goal for you to complete by the end of 2020. Make your deadline December 31, 2020.
Think through and write down the benefits of completing this goal. These benefits can be having an organized space for your quiet time, but also the eternal perspective will be that you have a great space you want to come to every day to pray and know God more through His Word.
Now, pick 1-3 action steps you will take and complete before the end of the year to achieve your goal. Make sure they are do-able and realistic.
Bonus: Make the last 100 days matter for eternity!
The last 100 days of 2020 begin September 22, 2020. Make them count! Not just for your time on earth, but also for eternity!
Think about ways to love others more intentionally, connect the best you can, pray more fervently for our nation, and be ready to love and forgive easily and whole-heartedly.
If you need help, be bold and reach out. If you have a burning passion that the Lord has laid on your heart, take the next steps in faith. If you are ready to stop thinking about the past and move forward, commit each day of the rest of the year to doing what God has for you to do that day.
We at The Blaze Planner, love each of you dearly! When you need prayer, reach out! We pray for our Blaze Nation, but we would love to have specifics if you want to share.