I recently read “A Slob Comes Clean,” wherein author and blogger Dana White makes the excellent point that a system is only as strong or effective as its enforcer. As an obsessed organizer and list maker, I have developed more systems in my life than I can count. The problem is, I’m not always the best at enforcing them (getting myself to stick to them).
Even here on Read Cook Devour you have probably encountered several worksheets or lists. I created a scripture printable with prayers to begin my quiet time. I’ve talked about my meal planning method. I’ve talked about finding ways to serve your community with kids. All of those are great, and many of those I still reference, but reality is, some have also fallen by the wayside. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up, but, sometimes in my enthusiasm for holy living, my lofty goals don’t translate to the everyday.
What I need is a system I can enforce. I know what my end goal is. Each day I want to live purposefully, with my heart set on God’s kingdom.
“Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with the Messiah in God.” Colossians 3:2-3
I will never do this perfectly, but I sure as heck want to try, so I thought about what it means for me to set my mind on things above as I seek to live each day to the glory of God in the season I am in.
I came up with a list of bite-sized aspirations. I made it a one day list so it isn’t so scary. I use it, and at the end of each day erase it and start again. Do you know what I realized? I have effectively enforced a system. Not just any system, but a system that helps me fix my eyes on Jesus, and reminds me to treasure the things in my day that have ties to His kingdom.
This daily worksheet will encourage you to
- Reflect on the needs of others
- Plan to be productive
- Schedule opportunities to serve
- Anchor your day in the Word of God
- Strategize growth and self-improvement
- Think eternally
*post contains affiliate links*
Taking a few minutes each morning (or the evening before) to think about these goals has really helped me use my time better. I actually printed this and had it laminated at Office Depot for $2. I ordered some fine-tip, black dry erase markers, and now I can use the same sheet every day! I’m all for reducing my paper usage.
These questions have prompted me to be intentional. Some ideas to get you started:
“Today I can cultivate quiet by saying no to ________” (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, text messages, phone calls, podcasts, music, the radio, tv)
“Today I can spend some time in prayer while I _______” (Drive, do dishes, drink my coffee, shower, fold laundry)
“A simple action I can take to show my husband love today is to ___________” (text him, call him, pray for him, leave him a note, pack his lunch, create a welcoming quiet space when he returns home)
“I can invest 10 minutes in my physical health today and workout my ______” (arms, legs, butt, core, heart [cardio], abs)
“My children would enjoy it if I _________ with them for 15 minutes of quality time” (read, play [legos, barbies, etc], go outside, craft, sing, cook)
I use this section to write down a take-away from my quiet time, or a quote that encourages or challenges me.
The “Bonus” is to consider how I can serve someone else with my time or resources. Reality is that as a Christian I am called to do this, not as a bonus, but as part of what it is to be a follower of Jesus. Many times those opportunities come knocking when we don’t expect or ask for them, and that is good too. I placed that bonus there as a reminder to myself to go out of my way and seek these opportunities whenever possible.
I hope this Purposeful Living Worksheet helps you zero-in on what’s important each day. Truth be told, I don’t always accomplish all of these goals each day, but putting them in front of me makes me far more likely to.