Numbered Steps

I keep seeing these lists floating around

Stairs…and they are all numbered, and in some
semblance of order or priority they tell me things I’m supposed to do in order to ________________ (you fill in the blank, as long as it’s something good you want to do…).

Some are really good lists, others meaningless to my situation, but they all get my attention…

…And, this got me to thinking.

What’s On My List Today?

Fred Meyer, a Northwest favored market, uses this as their tag line… Only they say, “What’s On Your List Today? You’ll Find It at Fred Meyer.”

True… I follow “To Do” lists regularly – adding, removing, accomplishing – all normal “To Do” lists tasks. In fact, this is one of my major tasks in the morning – review my list, add things to it, remove others, mark the accomplishments, prioritize, etc.

I am easily perturbed when someone can just rattle their daily to do list without looking at a piece of paper and then tell you where they can fit you in, or when a task will be completed… Show-off!

Without order and structure my life would be a mess of contradicting tasks and poor follow through on many fronts. There are areas in my life that are a mess… and contradicting… and requires better control and follow through – but that’s a different story (don’t look in my closet)….

Without order… There must be a starting point. We begin our months with 1-January of 12 months, Week 1 of 52,  00:01 starts a new day, 1 starts a new birthday although we count from 0 after 9 months of gestation. Even the Bible talks about starting points!

And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. (Exodus 12:1-2 KJV)

This helps me to think about my routine and it’s order this morning. I’ve been writing about this the whole month of October…. There are some changes I need to make.

  • Changes to make at church, home, education, calling, career, retirement, etc.
  • Changes to make in my mobility and diet.
  • Changes to make in some personal habits and projects.

How do you make lists to accomplish all these tasks if you do not have an overarching principle in living and doing? Categories each have their own list… But there is much conflict between each category and the tasks required – they overlap, butt heads, contradict each other, and … well, I hope you get the picture.

So. Perhaps. This could be the kind of thing you and I need to think about. Long range plans. Not short term fixes. It’s like the stairs in my house. I never intend on just walking up halfway. No, my intent is to travel the length of them. Knowing that I’m ascending (or descending) helps me know what the ending (landing) will be like.

What if I could organize my world with a focus of what’s at the end?

Where do I want to be in 1, 5, 10, 30 years of work, finances, family, health, education, etc.? It’s too late to reach back into time and re-start your life with a better focus. You simply have to see where you are at today, and make some positive movements on those stairs and get your life in order.

What are your Goals?

  • Goals will point the way of where you are headed – traveling with the end in sight is very important.
  • Evaluate your Goals – ensure they are achievable, and that you think it worthy of your effort?
  • Some Goals will need to change as time progresses, especially when you consider how the world is always changing – housing, economics, career, etc.

What are my milestones so I can measure my status at each major step?

  • Milestones are simply markers I put into place to see if I am in line with my Goals.
  • Milestones are things that I can Measure – If I have an investment goal of a certain amount and all things I know about investments state I must be at certain levels along my pathway, have I achieved them at that particular time.

Determine the costs.

  • Some things you want will cost you – money, time and effort. Be prepared to weigh the cost against the rewards.
  • You must determine the costs, at all cost…

Make room for major adjustments to your Goals and Milestones.

  • Nothing stays the same. Life changes all the time. Can you be flexible in the changes these adjustments will make to your life?

Celebrate achievements.

  • I dislike planning parties, or big celebrations. Maybe you do too…Maybe it’s something you can delegate (and probably should)…
  • Celebrations can be a simple reward of a particular thing or trip that you want – just factor it’s cost to you and be sure it fits in.

Have an accountability partner that you will answer to in each of the Milestones or Direction.

  • If you are traveling with a spouse, then that person needs to be your “FIRST” go-to person. They should not be kept in the dark – they are your partner!
  • As a team, you need to find someone to help you check your successes and failures along your path. It may be simply a close friend or family member, or it may be someone you have engaged to help you along the way – investment coach, etc.

Regardless… And this is the bottom line of it all….

If you have no plan, then you have already arrived at your destination – you just do not realize it yet…

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