Thursday, June 5, 2014

Escort the days with a Plan of Action.

You’re no longer employed. You’ve retired and most of the day’s hours belong to you. You don’t want your senior years to bore. You don’t want to atrophy. You want a vital, energetic life.

A Plan of Action organizes your day and allocates those hours into categories of tasks.

Without a Plan of Action, the hours don’t utilize time in any direction. Without goals to strive for in the senior years, motivation and vigor lose reasons to exist. Time as it were sits still. It’s not occupied.

Goals contain the aspirations of the heart. In retirement years, goals enliven. They spur on.

A Plan of Action lists the tasks that work towards attaining the goals.

It builds a structure that holds the day in place. It also charts how well you’re doing with following your Plan of Action.

My Plan is printed on 8.5 x 11 in letter size office paper. The Task column on the far left spells out eight activities from top to bottom. The row of days extends out to the right. Each activity or task has its days marked, and I’ve chosen to perform those activities on those days. It’s in black and white. I sheath the Plan into clear plastic and pin it over my desk.


Write Food Plan: To attain and maintain a healthy body weight.
Morning Prayer: To draw spiritual sustenance to live a better life.
12 Step Work: To enable me to be clean, sober and abstinent.
Study Spanish: To become a fluent Spanish speaker.
12 Step meetings: To enable me to be clean and abstinent.
Brain Exercise:                To build up memory and other mental attributes.
Blog work: To practice my writing skills.
Gym: To keep physically fit.

After I’ve completed a task, I put a black dot in the slot for that day and task. At the end of the day, I see a picture of how much effort I’ve put into the achievement of my goals. At the end of the week, I see by looking at how many black dots on the Plan of Action, how well I did on doing my allocated tasks. If I’m slipping on doing tasks, I can see that because I’m monitoring.

I find I go through phases. Some periods of time I’m energetic and willing to tackle my tasks with enthusiasm. It doesn’t take much effort or discipline. Other periods of time, my energy slows. I’m less willing to work my Plan of Action. It’s all kind of like a sailboat. When the wind blows, the sails catch the wind and move the boat forward effortlessly. But when the winds die, the sailboat must switch to an engine to move the boat forward. The engine is like personal strength and discipline necessary to progress when one feels in the doldrums. An engine is like when you need to stretch yourself.

The chart of a Plan of Action informs and guides on the journey towards goals.

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