When good intentions meet real life
I’ve been following the Read Scripture Bible reading plan every day since the beginning of the year. It’s been great. Genesis is great reading, with dysfunctional families that make a season of Revenge seem boring. Exodus is full of excitement and miracles displaying God’s power. Then, we get to Leviticus. It’s been the downfall of many well-intentioned Bible readers before me, and for good reason. It’s a hard slog!
Many new year good intentions hit a Leviticus just a few short weeks in. The dreaming and planning is finished and it’s time to get things done. The inspiration of a new year full of possibilities and opportunities get us started enthusiastically and carry us for a while, and then we hit Leviticus.
I started the year with a beautiful time blocked calendar, then we had a public holiday and a professional development day in the same week, and my plan went out the window. To top it off my beautiful, generous daughter shared her head cold with me and I’ve been feeling unwell. Not bedridden sick, just sick enough to feel miserable. I put together a very thoughtful and carefully considered capsule wardrobe for work, and the weather has been hotter than usual, so I’ve been wearing clothes from the ‘extras’ side of the wardrobe and breaking my plan almost every second day. Aarrhhh
When it doesn’t even work out for the first month, is it even worth all the planning? Yes!
I’m still benefiting from the plan even though it isn’t working perfectly
I’m more productive even though I’m not quite following my plan. Just having the plan makes me more aware of what needs to be done, where I’m up to, and where I’m falling behind. This helps me prioritise and make decisions about how to best spend the time I do have.
Everything worthwhile takes time and perseverance
Good goals take time to achieve, and everything worthwhile has a ‘Leviticus’ hill to climb along the way. It’s impossible to stay completely engaged and on track with every plan, so we need to put aside the feeling of disappointment and discouragement and push on. Tomorrow is a new day.
Discipline is my friend
A colleague and mentor made this passing comment in a meeting ages ago. I can’t remember the context of the conversation, but she said these profound words that I think about all the time, “Discipline is your friend.” I hate discipline because discipline is hard, and everything that requires discipline is hard. But, when discipline is my friend I recognise the good things that come from the hard work that is needed to achieve my goals. I still find it hard, but I’m learning to be better friends with discipline.
Failure is my friend
Like discipline, failure is a difficult friend to make. All the motivational quotes about failure being necessary for success don’t actually make me feel any better, but, they are often true just the same. Failure is my friend, and I will get to know her well this year on the way to achieving my goals.
Some of the best things in life happen outside the plan
It’s good to hold on to the plan loosely, because some of the best things in life happen outside of the plan. The other day I had an afternoon off and I planned to have lunch with hubby. There are a lot of beautiful places within an hour or so of where we live, so we began making plans for a leisurely lunch to spend some time together. I was exhausted and not real well, which was the reason why I had the afternoon off in the first place. In the end, our lunch went all afternoon and well into the evening. We drove through the mountains, we swam in the ocean, we had dinner at a favourite Italian restaurant with great live music, and drove home long after dark. It was like having a weekend away in one afternoon. It wasn’t the plan. It was much better than the plan!
I hope your new year goals are on track as we begin February, but if you’re already finding them hard to stick to, don’t give up! Persevere and pick up the plan again. Make adjustments if you have to, and then get back on track. Leviticus will be over in another week, and then it’s all plain sailing I’m sure! (Just kidding, but I can hope.)