Stopping the somedays!

Hi, I’m Liz, and I’m a someday-holic.

Okay, so it may not be a real disease, but it may as well be one!

Some signs and symptoms:

1. Constant procrastination
2. Occasional depression
3. Chronic wishful thinking
4. Excessive daydreaming

Terrible!

Ever since I learned how to mind map (thank you to my mind mapping mentor, Eric Villarama!), I constantly make maps of my life that I leave in the pages of my journal. I do these maps to keep myself in check. It helps me remember all the areas in my life that I need to invest in, because sometimes we tend to pour too much time (or money!) in one area while ignoring the rest. It also helps me check if I’m growing. I want to grow!

My life maps usually cover the 4 or 5 areas of my life: personal (my hobbies, interests, personal disciplines, etc.), spiritual (quiet time, discipleship, ministry, etc.), financial (tithing, bills, storehouse, etc.–this year I placed the financial area under ‘personal’ for the lack of paper space, haha), relational (my family & friends), and vocational/educational (work, volunteer work, things I want to learn, etc.). I keep needing to make maps every so often, because sometimes God asks me to let go of some things and focus on others, and as such, I must revise. Here are some examples of how my maps have evolved:

2008

2009

I’m not yet done with the 2009 map, because I’m still trying to figure out what I need to put in the vocational/educational area. Because there are a lot of things I need and want to do and learn, and this year, I know that it’s time for me to buckle down and do ’em! No more stalling!

In my case, I found that the someday-holism kicks in when these following situations happen, and here are some insights I’ve learned that help me deal with them:

1. I hit roadblocks, even if they’re small ones. And instead of trying to look past them and strategically finding ways to go around them, my eyes get fixed on the roadblock. What’s so mesmerizing about the roadblock? Nothing! It’s even worse when we convince ourselves that staying where we are is good enough. In one of my favorite books, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World, Joanna Weaver writes:

“Satan’s never been terribly creative. The tools he uses today are the same tools as he’s always used–and no wonder, for they’ve been quite effective…Satan still plans his attacks around what I call the ‘Three Deadly Ds of Destruction.’ They are: Distraction, Discouragement, and Doubt. Throughout time, Satan has resorted to these tactics to bring down God’s best and brightest. The underlying strategy is fairly simple: Get people’s eyes off God and on their circumstances. Make them believe that their ‘happiness’ lies in the ‘happenings’ that surround them. Or send then good news–about somebody else. When they’re thoroughly discouraged, tell them God doesn’t care. Then sit back and let doubt do its work. It’s really a brilliant strategy when you think of it. Plant the Deadly Ds deep in human hearts, and sooner or later, people will destroy themselves. Unless of course, someone intervenes–which is exactly what Jesus came to do.”

–Watch out for those Three Deadly Ds!

2. I feel like I don’t have enough time. But this week I learned an important insight from an article by Gordon MacDonald in this book I’m reading (Almost Every Answer for Practically Any Teacher):

“Time must be budgeted!…When money is limited, one budgets. And when time is in limited supply, the same principle holds. The disorganized person must have a budgeting perspective. And that means determine the difference between the fixed–what one must do–and the discretionary–what one would like to do.”

So last week, I started setting aside pockets of time for the things that I said I wanted to do “someday” so I can already start doing them TODAY! I remind myself that baby steps are like sowing seeds. Better to take baby steps and sow a few seeds than not to do anything at all.

When I was working in MTV, we were required to submit a weekly Communications report to our office in Singapore. The report consisted of 2 lists: the first was a list of the significant activities that our department accomplished in the past week, and the second was a list of the things that we’re planning to do in the upcoming week. I always found this useful because it helped me check if we were getting things done. If an item stayed in the second list for more than a week, it signified trouble! I ought to do this again, if only to discipline myself to get moving.

And speaking of moving, blogging time is up. Time to move on with the rest of my day!

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