Tag Archive | plan

Crawling with Crullers

powdered donut 89691937If you’ve ever turned to chocolate or another form of sweets after a particularly stressful day, you understand that it works – albeit temporarily – to boost your morale. Well, other than a lingering cold, I had nothing particularly stressful in my life yesterday, so why did I eat not one, but two cream-filled Dunkin Donuts? It was not because I was hungry – I had just eaten a healthy snack of almonds. It was not because they were calling my name. I really had no desire for them, but eat them I did – at least I did not eat them together.

In trying to make better eating choices in 2013, I am trying to take baby steps to move forward to eliminate sugar from my diet – especially refined sugar and the kind found in the donuts. This is one of my first priorities. I’ve already moved to using honey and other forms of natural sweeteners, so I figured this would be easy. Evidently not.

I am trying to create more self-awareness in this area, however, so this is a start. Instead of making a giant leap forward, I realize I’m not even taking a baby step. I’m crawling, and I’m crawling with crullers, no less. But here’s the real lesson I learned and maybe it is helpful to you. I realized I had no plan and without one, I would do it again.

In this particular case, I did not get into my car and go to the store to purchase them. They were brought to the house as a thoughtful gesture and special treat from someone dear to me. Yet in these moments of weakness, I definitely realized several things – it was a deliberate choice to put them on plates and wolf them down. Was I thinking about the money spent or the thoughtfulness behind the gesture that I did not want to waste these fluffy, fresh, powdered pastries? Probably yes on both counts; nevertheless, I need a plan so that these demons don’t find their way into my mouth at the wrong time again. Any suggestions you have are warmly invited. In the meantime, here are some of the ideas that came to mind.

  • Receive the gift appreciatively and wrap it in plastic, freeze and serve later
  • Cut them into smaller bite-sized pieces before wrapping them in case a treat is warranted at a later date
  • Share them with someone else

Hopefully, today will be better and I’ll take a baby step forward on my way to the giant leap of living sugar free.

Overcoming Murphy’s Law

Does this ever happen to you?  You’re faced with a challenge, you discover a workable solution, and you begin to implement it and WHAM! You’re broadsided by a host of unpredictable situations preventing you from going further with your plan. I often refer to the result as Murphy’s Law – “If anything can go wrong, it will,” because it happens so frequently. Yet in the scheme of life, it is reality. It’s the law, not the exception.

I may be the last of the naïve who, rather than plan for negative possibilities and hindrances, assume that good will triumph according to plan. In many cases it does, but accidents, sickness, financial setbacks and relational issues come to everyone, so I need to change my perspective. In the meantime, I need to plan for these “negative” events, because they surely will come. In so doing, my mind can begin to foresee contingencies and ways to adjust if and when they occur. It really is logical. I’m not sure why it has taken so long to sink into my brain. In some ways, it’s defensive driving for life.

Along with finding a viable solution, I need to put feet to the plan so that I can move forward. (Someone once said that it is easier to direct a moving vehicle than one that is parked.) I need to be moving – even if it is not at the desired speed. This includes a little risk management planning to be really effective, and it may be exactly what I need to overcome Murphy’s Law.

Can you learn from an 8-year old?

Have you ever seen a large-ticket item you feel you’d like to have, maybe even needed, but have no idea where to start to make it happen?

Some people seem to be born with focus. They know what they want and go after it, usually with success. Those on the opposite side of the continuum seem to float their way through life aiming at little and becoming confused by the less than desirable results. Although you can pay a lot of money to find and read a host of books, get training or attend seminars on setting and achieving your goals, you might also like a more simplistic approach.

Instead of trying to remember what each letter of a SMART goal stands for, you can follow journalism’s 5 Ws and an H – What, Why, Where, Who, When and How. With these questions you can define

  • what you want
  • why you should have it and what challenges will need to be addressed along the way
  • who needs to be involved
  • where to find resources
  • when it should take place
  • how to make it happen

You can adapt the questions to your specific purpose.

Without any help from adults or older siblings, my 8-year old grandson came up with his business plan to obtain a trampoline and prepared it in the form of a proposal to his parents. You might like his method. The last I heard, he’s still working on the second phase. I think you’ll chuckle at his wisdom.

ETHAN’S TRAMPOLINE

Why we need a trampoline is because:  It will help with heaLth. How it will help is it will give us leg muscles and we will play outside.

Where will we get the money? How we will get the money is it will be a birthday present from Dallas, and Michael, Sabrina, and Grandma, and Grandpa, and you guys (his parents).

Where will we put it? The options of where we could put it if we got it is:  In the back yard or on one of the sides of our house.

Safety: Make sure it has a net and has unlimited weight.

Other: We can move the basketball hoop towards the trampoline. We can save money because we won’t have to go to the workout gym.

What’s the use?

If you’ve had the opportunity to visit a botanical garden like Longwood Gardens in the outskirts of Philadelphia, you know firsthand about the fantastic displays both indoors and out. It is an awesome experience. You make your way through the various buildings and flora-lined walkways, but as hard as you try, you just can’t take it all in on one visit. 

Can you imagine how many people and how much effort goes into making each garden bloom on cue according to the seasons? (You don’t grow poinsettias in April or daffodils in October.)  They do all of this while maintaining the grounds and facility in readiness for a vast number of tourists seven days a week. Think, too, about the challenges these horticultural wizards face between the elements of time and weather alone. It goes without saying they tackle other obstacles on a daily basis. Yet they achieve outstanding results because they continually focus on the plan. To the outside world, it looks easy. 

As we go through various seasons in our lives, we, like Longwood Gardens, must adjust to new expectations. At times, this requires a total makeover. All of this reinvention requires prayer, organization, time and action in order for a successful change to take place while life goes on and business continues as usual. Some days you can remain on task and schedule, while on others it seems you meet obstacles at every turn. When this happens, return to the plan (or make one if you started off without one), refocus, make adjustments as necessary and move forward.    

Doing this may be difficult. You could find a host of people and situations to blame or throw your hands in the air crying, “What’s the use,” but that won’t get you Longwood results.

Are we ordinary or unique?

My answer is, “Yes.” 

Not long ago, I heard a radio speaker proclaim that everyone is ordinary. His main premise stood on the many Biblical accounts where God used ordinary people to do great things, asserting that the results came from God’s power rather than any special qualities of the individual.  

While I wholeheartedly agree that the Lord only needs willing vessels to do His will and that it is His power not ours at work, I think there are too many other accounts that indicate that God has created us uniquely for His purposes. Scripture reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  He does have a plan for our lives although it requires the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to accomplish it.  

I wonder if the greater lesson I can learn here is rather than malign speakers who make statements I deem faulty, be proactive and check them out for myself. I should be wary of taking what any speaker, politician or others say at face value.  Instead, it would be so much better if I measured these statements against the principles of Scripture.  If they stand up there, I can make them mine. 

So, what do you do when you hear something that does not sit right with you?  Do you go to Google or the Bible?