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The #1 Planning Mistake

The #1 Planning Mistake

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It’s no secret that I love to plan. Whether it’s for an upcoming event or just life in general, I love to have a plan so I know what to expect in the days ahead.

Because we have been in limbo trying to sell our home, planning has taken a back seat for a while. I mean, it’s hard to plan when you’re not sure what the future holds.

For example, when we had our house for sale, I had a hard time deciding what to cook for dinner. Well, I always have a hard time, but I found it more difficult during this time because I didn’t want to make meals that would cause lingering odors should we show our house the next day.

Also, we put off doing some organization projects and small home management projects because we thought it would be a waste of time since surely our home was going to sell soon.

As I told my husband when we were deciding whether to continue trying to sell our home or take it off the market, we have just been existing the last 2 years. We have not been fully living because we thought we would sell our home and move on. We were not able to live like we would have if our home had not been able to sell.

So that brings me to the title of this post: The #1 Planning Mistake.

Because I love to plan and have some sense of control over my life, and because I was not able to plan a lot while our home was for sale, I became very discouraged. That’s where the mistake happens.

The #1 planning mistake is focusing so much on the future and what may happen that we forget to live in the present.

If I had focused on living in the present during the last 2 years, I most likely would have embraced the journey and would not have been so discouraged. I’m saddened by all the memories we could have made as a family that I didn’t take advantage of when I had the chance.

It’s not been just the past 2 years either. I’ve noticed this pattern in my life for many years where I put so much focus on what may happen in the future that I forget to enjoy the present.

So, how do we overcome making this mistake? Here are a few ideas:

1. Remember that today may be the only day we have.

Ok, that sounds a little morbid, but it’s true. We don’t know how many days God has given us to live this life. So, it’s up to us to make the most of them and do what we can to live out the purpose God has given each of us individually.

While it is important we be ready for the future, we can’t assume that the future will happen. So, we need to make the most of the days we are given.

2. Try to avoid the rush and hustle of life by scheduling down time each day.

Our world tells us to hurry, do more, be more, achieve more. When we strive for more, we miss out on the beauty and simplicity of life. Taking some down time each day to relax, recharge, and refresh will put our current and future plans into perspective.

Scheduled down time helps us to eliminate the unnecessary from our day and energizes us for what is to come the next day.

3. Don’t live for the future, live for today.

I mentioned above that we put off doing some things around our home while it was for sale that would have made our home more livable and enjoyable for us as a family. Now that it looks like we are staying here, at least for the next 4-5 years, we can do some of those projects.

However, there is a great temptation to think because we plan to move in 5 years we should not make a lot of changes or investment in our home. I have been through that same thought process of trying to save money with our last home. As a result, I was miserable in our home the last 5 years we lived there because I felt like it wouldn’t be financially wise to make any changes.

This time, though, I have a different perspective. As I mentioned in the first point above, we don’t know what the future holds. So, I want to fully live in this house. I’m not saying we are going to do thousands of dollars of updates. But I do want to embrace this home during this season and make it work for us as functionally and aesthetically as possible.

What about you? How do you plan? Do you live more in the moment or are you drawn to more future planning?

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