Several years ago, Judah and I decided to really get serious about growing in our unity and vision for our family for the glory of God, and to use our time more wisely (which we’ve enjoyed sharing about through some videos in the past). Part of this has been developing the discipline of planning together.
Naturally, Judah is the visionary and is amazing at planning, and I’m the one who thrives as the day-to-day implementer. This makes for a great team dynamic… if two people are willing to learn how to work together. I’ve had to learn to hear and try Judah’s big picture visions, and Judah has had to be willing to modify or tone down some of that vision so I can help practically implement it into our daily life.
By God’s grace, we have grown in working as a team. He’s given wisdom and patience and excitement and humility to change in certain ways as we’ve sought to grow in excellence as we pursue His will for our lives.
The Full Focus Planner
In this post, I’m going to share specifically about a tool that has been incredibly useful for Judah and I in this pursuit: The Full Focus Planner by Michael Hyatt. Judah started using this about a year before I did, and loved it. When he suggested getting me on board, too, I was a little hesitant. I sometimes struggle with planners if they are too complicated or not able to be modified to fit individual needs. But I will be forever grateful that Judah convinced me to try this one, because it’s both well-structured and customisable at the same time (I’ll go into that a bit more here in a minute).
A few months ago I was actually quite close to stopping the FFP because I didn’t feel like I was doing it justice (in the original size there’s quite a bit you can fill out that I don’t need personally), and had been using it long enough to have the basic structure down. And then… they came out with the Pocket FFP. This one is the perfect size for me, and still compatible with the Classic size (which is perfect for Judah’s needs).
This planner is a quarterly one, so it has enough space for three months of planning. However, it is geared toward helping you plan out a whole year and connect those quarters together. It does an amazing job of structuring yearly planning, then breaking that down into quarterly goals, which helps you break it down into weekly goals, and then further down into daily goals. It makes those big goals achievable in small, practical steps (which is exactly what this girl needs).
It has spaces to write down your yearly goals in a list, and then pages to help break each of those down and categorize them. If they are habit goals (i.e. exercise five times a week) it has streak trackers that help you stay motivated.
There is a calendar, as well as space to write down what your ideal week looks like. There are other spaces for morning and evening routines and workday start-up and shut-down routines. (I don’t include pictures of everything in here).
[note: the larger one also has a space for rolling quarters, which is one of the elements I didn’t really need].
Then, this is my favorite part of the planner: It has a Weekly Big Three and then a Daily Big Three for each day. This helps prioritize and break down your tasks instead of getting overwhelmed by all of them (which is my problem for sure).
Below the daily Big Three there are spaces below for secondary tasks or notes. There are also spaces to write down anything out-of-the-ordinary in your schedule that day (like a meeting or get-together).
Then, at the end of the week you have a chance to debrief. You can fill out what you accomplished, how much of those Weekly Big Three got done, and what you can improve on. It helps to keep you from rushing into the next week without making improvements or celebrating accomplishments.
There are free videos online that help you to set up your planner, as well as paid courses that go more in-depth, which Judah and I have done several times (these courses are super helpful, but not absolutely necessary for successfully using the FFP).
This tool has been wonderful, especially for us as a couple to use together, and I highly recommend it. That being said, I also know this may not be the tool for everyone. There are some other resources out there that are also amazing, and may be a better fit for your needs. I’d encourage you to look into other planners as well if this doesn’t seem to be what is most helpful.
Plan for the glory of God
Planning is good. Being wise with our time is good. But I want to encourage us that if it’s for our own self-gain and not for the glory of God, it’s useless. Judah and I desire to plan well, but we also seek to leave our hands wide open in case God wants to change our plans up completely. He has a will for our lives that goes far beyond our own ability to plan and carry it out. So even if that means surrendering our own desires when our goals fall through, we can rest in knowing that God has our very best in mind as our loving and all-wise Creator. He is worthy of all our trust.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
May God be glorified in our planning!
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