Intentional Seasonal Planning-- Beyond Responding to the Immediate

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  I am a natural-born planner. I enjoy it. It helps me. I find freedom in having a plan. And without planning, I accomplish very little-- Because it's so easy for me to respond to the most immediate instead of the most important.

That said--before I share some ideas for intentional seasonal planning, I want to preface this post with three thoughts:

First. All planning must be proceeded with a big-in-bold-and-underlined--LORD WILLING

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"—

Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring.

What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

Instead you ought to say,"If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."

As it is, you boast in your arrogance.   All such boasting is evil. ~James 4: 13-16

Second.  "The point is fruitfulness, not efficiency. You should want to be fruitful like a tree, not efficient like a machine."  ~Doug Wilson

Third. I've shared before about the rats in my cellar. You know...those little, ugly guys that are always there, hiding in the dark. They're rarely seen unless you throw the lights on quickly and catch them by surprise. I don't always have the best response when plans get disrupted. So, it's important for me to always remember that--God's plans are always best. They are truly the plans I want. And sometimes the unexpected interruptions are actually the plan.

The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's "own," or "real" life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life -- the life God is sending one day by day. — C.S. Lewis

So, with all that said...this is what my intentional season planning process looks like--

First, I find a calendar that covers the months included in the next season of the year.  For me, this next section will include January through March (or whenever spring break is this year).

Next, I take time to brainstorm my way through the list of questions below (not in any order of significance).  I try to keep my answers very practical and realistic so that I don't get overwhelmed or discouraged.  After including my own ideas, I share the list with my husband and see if he wants to change or add anything.

Finally, I try to find ways to work our seasonal goals into our actual family calendar.

 

Intentional Seasonal Question Suggestions--

What places would we like to visit?

What specific educational goals do we have for each child?

What 3 books would I like to read this season?

How and when am I going to spend time in God's Word?

What is my plan for exercising and staying active?

Are there any friendships we'd especially like to develop or rekindle?

What household tasks do I need to keep up on?

Are we planning to take any extended trips or vacations?

What reoccurring weekly activities would we like to include (sports, service, lessons, traditions)?

Are there any specific skills we'd like our children to learn?

What character traits or heart issues do we need to work on with our children?

Are there any specific skills I'd like to develop personally?

How can I make sure we have unscheduled time (is the calendar looking too full and if so, what can we cut)?

Are there any fun movies we'd like to watch together?

How and where will we celebrate any birthdays, holidays or special occasions?

What will hospitality look like for us this season (how can we use our home for God's glory)?

Does my husband have anything that is important to him that I need to include?

Do we have any house project goals?

What will our kiddos' chores look like during this season (what do I need to teach or re-teach)?

What are some unplanned activities that we'd like to include more often (games, reading, taking walks, swimming) ?

Are there any schedules I want to add to the calendar (library, church, local events) ?

Are there any other goals that I've missed and want to include?

And what about you?

Are there any intentional questions that you'd add to this list? 

I'd love to hear suggestions...

Wishing you an intentional, joy-filled, Christ-honoring 2012 !!!

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