“Opportunity does not waste time with those who are unprepared.” ― Idowu Koyenikan
I was poking through the bread department at Walmart picking up some things for my spouse. I was leaving for a few days and, although hubby is quite capable of feeding himself, he has a lot going on, so I wanted to do what I could before I left.
My cell phone rang and a number I did not recognize came up. I get a lot of “junk” calls from places I don’t recognize nor know anyone from, and Spearfish, South Dakota definitely fell into that category. I normally ignore, even block these calls, but for some reason I answered this one and, thankfully, did not sound too annoyed.
Custom Made Opportunity
The call was from an organization asking me if I was available to take a trip to help with a special project. The details of what, and where are not important, but as I stood there in the middle of the bread section of Walmart, I found myself saying “why not?”. And so I am off to exotic places and an opportunity to do work I was made for. It is not a vacation. It is better than that, it is an adventure with meaning.
Prepare To Be Surprised
This trip will interrupt my plans. It may even put me a bit behind for the holidays. By nature I am a person that makes plans and executes those plans. So how does this impromptu opportunity fit into my “plans”?
You see, in early 2016 I took time to formulate a Life Plan. I used the framework outlined in the book, Living Forward. The last of my Life Accounts is “Other Interests”. One aspect of the envisioned future of that account is ” I see David and I traveling, taking meaningful, purposeful, restful and satisfying trips to both familiar and new destinations.” Even though my husband is not going on this particular trip and from a physical standpoint it may not be “restful”, it still fits. For me, rest can come just with a change of venue and doing needed work. In other words, satisfaction equals rest in my world.
Plans are a template, a road map from which to make decisions. This is especially true of a life plan. It serves as a filter through which to make choices even in the middle of Walmart.
- I did not have any commitments that were not flexible in the timing of this trip
- I had already determined boundaries with my life plan, I knew this trip was not just a bright shinning object, distraction or a rabbit trail.
Living Forward While In The Now
This is the time of year I begin to think about next year’s goals. My first step in that process is to review my life plan and ask:
- Are the life accounts still relevant to this season of life?
- How am I doing in seeing the “envisioned future” of each account move toward “lift”?
- In light of this, are any of my current activities, mindsets, or goals causing “drift” from my life plan?
My goal’s are reviewed daily as I plan the day’s activities. I also review them in depth each week and then in conjunction with a Life Plan review each quarter.
However, this time of year, I review my life plan and goals with an eye on next year. I find October is a good month to draft a few things out before the rush of the holidays. I am then poised to take these thoughts and ideas into a plan for the year during the week between Christmas and New Years. This allows me to both end the year strong while staging for an intentional start to the New Year.
So I am off on an adventure of service. While traveling into tomorrow (in this case, literally), I will have time to reflect, read, revise and think about 2018. By the time I get home it will be time to celebrate the greatest gift of all time: God’s Son to His Creation – US.
When do you begin to prepare for the New Year? What are some activities that facilitate your process? Please share in the comments below.