The Three Month Master Plan

Tracy / February 3, 2018

The Three Month Master Plan is a system I’ve created to help you (and ME), set and MEET our goals!

If you are content where you are (and you may be, which is fine, if you are happy), then this post is NOT for you. Just turn away. Walk away right now. This post is NOT for you.

If you are not ready (and you know who you are), and you are full of excuses, walk away right now. Right now… (in my best mama voice!)

We are wanting only positive thinking and words in this little internet space.

This post is for those of us who realize that God has only given us a certain number of minutes, days and weeks. It is for those who are stretched out of place, and are toting the weight of the world. It is for those of us who try so hard to make things work, but we get pulled aside by all that life throws our way, and we never manage to dig ourselves out. Each day becomes another week, and another month just gone. We aren’t happy with our relationships. We aren’t happy with our homes. We aren’t happy with ourselves. (Does this sound like you?)

We KNOW we can do more. We know we have something beautiful inside just waiting to be known, but we can’t manage our lives in a way that will allow us to actually become that person.

The truth is you ARE that person. She is deep down inside, just waiting on you to be brave enough and strong enough to allow her to emerge. Like a butterfly, she is there…just waiting.  (Some of you may not realize that you are more than your problems, and more than your life that frustrates and leaves you empty. This post is for you.)

So, this is my post about clearing away the clutter in your life. It’s about setting the stage to actually reach your goals. It’s about focused living.

Want to know more?

Let me introduce the Three Month Master Plan.

This year has been different.

I mean, it’s been really different.

In the later months of this last year, I looked back over the accomplishments of the beginning of the year and felt disappointment.

I had gotten a few items done on my yearly list of goals, but not many. Really, not even half of my goals were met. From big things to little things- they were all important. I cried out to the Lord to help me find something new- I needed a way to make my goals more manageable and more realistic. I want my dreams to come true! How would that happen if year after year, at the end of each one, I just felt disappointment with what had not been done?

I started planning how to finish my goals. I knew that it wasn’t going to all be done at once. It needed to be in bite-size pieces- something that could be done by finishing a series of small projects.

Lots of prayer went into those months.

Step 1- Find a Mentor!

I heard a speaker say late last year to look around you and find the people who are doing what you want to do. The only reason they can reach those goals, and you don’t, is because you aren’t willing to do what they are doing.

Did you get that?

It stung a little for me.

Step 2- Throw Those Excuses Out the Window!

My entire life has been full of excuses. It’s too hard. I’m just not strong enough. I’m too busy. I can’t afford to do those things.  The list goes on and on.

So this last 6 months, I’ve replaced all those excuses with a new mantra: “EXCUSES ARE FOR LOSERS”.

Now, it sounds a little harsh, I know, but it is definitely a motivator. Do I always want to be the person who doesn’t reach my goals? Do I always want to be that person who is going to fall short somehow?

The reality is, I’m human. I’m always going to fall short of where I want to be, BUT, I can make some serious change. I can look back and love the effort and the results.

So can you.

You just have to start.

Excuses are for losers.

Don’t let today be the day you offer up more excuses. Take the time to make some real change- you can do this and so can I!

So here is where it starts. You can’t be half on board. You gotta be willing to throw a hundred and ten percent into this change.

What is the Three Month Master Plan and How Does It Work?

Step 3: Establish Goals

This is SUPER simple, and for me, the most fun part.

I thought back over the previous year. I looked at last year’s goals. Where are the places I wanted to see change, but didn’t? As I thought back over the last year, where were those places that brought a bit of sadness as I thought through them? The goals I need to set are those places of regret.

I felt like a failure looking over the past year, viewing the places and things that needed work, or to be organized, but had slipped through the days and events pressing on my time.

I decided something had to be done. I prayed and thought through the reasons I had failed in the past. There had to be some kind of change. A different result.   At the end of the year, if I expected to have a different result, I couldn’t do the same old things. 

I also thought about myself in terms of what would bring me joy where my goals are concerned.

If I were dreaming big- I mean BIG- what would I want to see done?

I thought through 10-12 of my previous goals.

If you are just now making a list of these things for yourself, make sure they are well-rounded. You don’t want 10 financial goals. You want them related to all sorts of things.

My list looks like this:

( I keep this in an Evernote document so I can edit it easily, as needed. I’ve always been a paper and pen girl, but this needed something where lots of notes could be made, things could be changed, photos could be added, etc.)

  1. Losing weight/being in better shape (I’m sure this is common for so many of us!)
  2. Be more consistent with my Bible study
  3. Spend more focused, quality time with Paul
  4. Spend more consistent, focused time with my children
  5. Be more organized with my homeschooling
  6. Have an organized home
  7. Be more consistent with my blog (still working on this one, lol!)
  8. Really work my soap and bread business
  9. Try to be more intentional about my friendships
  10. Grow Food/Grocery Shopping/Paying off debt
  11. Finish Christmas shopping early! (You would find this on nearly all of my goal lists.)

Step 4: Plan Big/Start Small!

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

Change doesn’t happen all at once. Big change happens one step at a time.

It’s fantastic to have big goals but in the end, those goals will only be met by planning a series of little steps. Just tiny bites out of a big task can really make big change!

(**A quick but super important note here- we have faced unimaginable things in the first few months of this year- the death of a precious, very close friend, our bank accounts were completely drained in an account hacking scheme, we have lost three precious babies to miscarriage, Paul has had serious health issues which led to three hospital visits and him eventually being hospitalized, etc. Honestly, in the past, this would have been plenty of reason for me to just say forget it, and try to just focus on those hard places in my life. Instead, I made the decision that I was was pressing on, no matter what! I want that change! The change is worth me pressing on! ….Besides, excuses are for losers!!  *snort*)

What would it look like if you met your goals?

Seriously, you need to dream big!

Think, “If I accomplished each thing on this list, how would my life look different?” Be bold. Be detailed. Dare to dream, my friend.

Write it down.

No, really. Write it down. You need to see the result of your goals before you as a reminder of what you will accomplish if you stick to your plan.

The first item on my list looks like this:

  • I would weigh 100lbs less. I would not be out of breath walking up the hill and steps to my back porch. I could purchase my clothing in normal stores and wear styles I think are cute but can’t currently wear because of my body.  My body would not hurt.  I would feel energized and not be tired every single day I wake up.

Step 5: Create 5-7 Daily Steps For Reaching Your Goal:

For me, to be healthier means making doctor appointments I had been avoiding. Starting an eating plan and sticking to it. Finding a way to exercise EVERY day, except Sunday. Setting a bedtime for myself. Taking time to polish my nails and care for my feet. Making a hair appointment.  (Before this, I could not even remember the last time I was in a salon.)

By the way, the wrong thing to do would be to say, “I will start this when I have exercise clothes.”  Or, “I don’t really have a good place to walk. Those are really just excuses and what did I say before? Excuses are for losers! 🙂

I start most days by reading a list of my action steps for my Three Month Master Plan as a reminder of what my ultimate goals are for that quarter of the year. I printed them from Evernote into my planner that my family lovingly refers to as “The Brain”. (I get asked a bunch- this is similar to the planner I use!)

If I get to the end of the day and don’t feel like I’ve accomplished much, these action steps are small enough that I can push myself to do one or two. All those little steps will add up!

Step 6: Don’t Just Plan- Make It Happen!

I tend to suffer from what my husband calls “paralysis of analysis”. In the past, I have taken a great deal of time planning what I was going to do (I love to plan!), and hardly any time actually doing- this is our year to get to the doing part!

It’s time to work! Make a plan to accomplish one of your daily goals each day and you will absolutely see some change,  and end the year in a better place than the last.

So now what?

The Three Month Master Plan is a rotation of three month segments- four per year, designed to help you break down your goals into easier, bite-sized chunks. You will be amazed what you can do by just setting these three month long goals for yourself and jumping in! You can do this!

Currently, we are in quarter 2. Quarter 3 will begin July 1st. I notate that by saying 17Q2.This means quarter 2 in the year 2017. It helps me keep up with the progress of my goals.

I’ve been working this plan all of this year. I’ve been so excited about it, I’ve shared it with most of my friends. If you know me in person, you already know all about my Three Month Master Plan. 🙂

I’m going to continue this post as a series. I am planning to write an individual blog post on each of these goals so you can see where I’ve started and I’ll even share where I am now after completing 2 rounds of the Three Month Master Plan.

I’m so excited with my progress! It’s not perfect, but it’s still progress. I really struggle with perfectionism. Perfectionism is sinful. It can steal your joy, and make you feel like a failure. In reality, if you make progress, YOU ARE SUCCEEDING. Don’t let perfectionism paralyze you.

Here’s a little peak at what I’ve done in the first half of this year-

Made a doctor appointment with a vein doctor and WENT! (That is big for me!)

Made an appointment with a surgeon about a place I have on my back and WENT! (…again, that is just HUGE!)

Finally caught up on my dental work

Made an appointment for a colonoscopy that is due (never fun but can’t put that one off)

Lost 23lbs!!!  DID YOU CATCH THAT? I’m down 23lbs!!!

I have gained considerable muscle mass, and I can walk my yard and my porch without being out of breath. I thought that one would take me all year.

I found a great place to walk. I drop my older children off at their jobs, take one or two of my older children (or Paul), and we walk between 3 and 5 1/2 miles. I have walked in the rain. I have walked in the sun. I have walked when I’m sick. I have walked when I had company coming.  I have walked, and walked and walked.  It has become such a peaceful start to most of my mornings.

I looked on Pinterest for workout routines for what I consider problem areas of my body. When I don’t walk, I might not have time to do the entire workout in one section of time, but in between other activities in our home, I can sneak away to my room for a portion for a workout, just a few minutes to work my arms, or my legs, etc. Do it when you are coming to and from bathroom trips!

At the end of the day, I have a workout done for each section of my body. On the best days, I have walked and done these workouts. That is unusual, but it does happen.

I’m sleeping better.

I do have more energy.

I can think more clearly.

I’m setting a good example for my children.

I’m taking better care of this body, the Lord has given.

I could allow perfectionism to keep me from pushing on- I could tell myself, “well I’ve only lost 23lbs”, not the entire amount I want to lose. What is the point of continuing?” Instead, I can hold my head high and say, “in three months, I lost 23lbs!” Just think what I can do at the end of a year!!

In three months, I have caught up on my dental work. Now I don’t have anything major facing me that I have to dread.

In three months, I have drank more water, and I have nourished my body with good sleep. I am still not feeling great, but my blood pressures are lower than I remember them being in decades. I am also not nearly as swollen as I normally am each day.

I’ve gotten some answers to some long-term issues I’ve had, learned about lipedema. That was not exactly what I wanted to hear, but I know more about my body and I can take better care of it- that is awesome.

I’ll write more about all of this in a later post.

With each day and each month that has passed, I have grown more and more excited! I am seeing real results from my work. It’s finally obtainable for me. It’s like a drink of water in a very, very dry desert.

…and this is just ONE area where I’ve been working! I can’t wait to share with you our financial goals and how the Lord has allowed me to make progress with the Three Month Master Plan. We have taken more than a year off of what we owe in debt just in the FIRST month of the Three Month Master Plan.

For now, the Three Month Master Plan is working fantastically well! I can see an end to this year that will make me feel good about what I have accomplished, not sorrowful.

So why do I share all of this?

I need you!

I would love for some of you to make this journey with me. It’s always more fun to work with a team.

What are your goals? Dream BIG!

Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from finding your success!!

We can do this together.

With my love,

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