Monday, March 10, 2014

Five P's and a Daily Plan

Walking the path of the day, there are times when life is more purposeful, and times when I  seem to float wherever the tidewaters take me.  In an attempt at remaining open to God, while still living a purposeful life, an outline can be helpful, as long as I remember it is only an outline – a reminder of what might be next.  Last year, I spent some time working on a daily docket, along the lines of the one available from   There are multiple versions of this, including Ann Voskamp's version, a lovely take on the quotidian.  These daily planners inspired me to create my own outline for the day, one that reflected my goals for each day.   I created a basic outline, but set it aside and never completed it.

 I have lived the past year in a floating bubble of preparing and caring for a newborn, allowing many things to fall to the side in order to fully inhale and experience these fleeting moments.  I am loving every precious and beautiful day.  I also know that at some point, a new daily rhythm must find itself within our home.  The cold, dark days of winter always turn my thoughts to how I can better manage my home, and so I returned to the long abandoned daily outline.  I know there is no perfect plan, and no perfect day.  Planning must be balanced with flexibility.  I also know that without any kind of plan or goal, we remain static;  if you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

In thinking about what to include in a daily plan, I went to my personal mission statement, inspired by Holly Pierlot's A Mother's Rule of Life.  If you are not familiar with this book, Holly breaks down the roles of a mother's life into the "Five P's" of Prayer, Person, Partner, Parent and Provider.  In that order, she looks at each facet of a woman's life and how to find the correct balance of priorities.

In keeping with these Five P's, here is my take on the day's plan:

Primary - these are the three most important things of the day.  If only these three are accomplished, the day is a success!

Prayer - the first "P" and the principal thing of the day - here is a place to write down a memory verse, a quote from the lives of the Saints, or other inspiration from morning prayer time.  At the bottom of this box is a place for Partner - the third P.  Here is a place to write out a reminder of how I will serve my husband today - whether it is praying for him, doing something special for him,  or just a reminder of a daily habit to work on in my interactions with him.

Provisions - a place to jot down the family meals for the day - I may eliminate the breakfast and lunch options, since those are pretty fixed around here, but I left them on for now.  By looking at that first thing in the morning, any dinner prep (thawing meat etc.) that needs to be done early in the day is not forgotten.

Personal - the second P in Rule of Life, this is the fun part!  Here is a place to think about the ways I make sure I am getting what I need to enable me to serve those around me.

Pursuing the creative - my favorite, whether it is sewing, painting or building a new material for the atrium, here is where I note any project for which I want to make time 
Pursuing the orderly - a small goal, habit, job to help improve upon or maintain the rhythm of the home
Pursuing the beautiful - a project, moment, idea for bringing beauty into my home and my life 
Pruning - an area of personal growth that needs work - a reminder of a character habit to be working on

Also included in the personal care of self is maintaining good physical health, so there is a place for documenting daily workouts and water consumption.

Praises - here I took a cue from Ann - a place to write down daily thanksgivings, offering praise to God for each gift given.

Planting Mustard Seeds - a place to consciously think about how I am going to participate in the growth of the Kingdom of God on a daily basis.  This serves as a reminder that the smallest of acts, the tiniest of moments can grow into a tree that offers shelter to many.

Parent and Provider - the final two P's, here is a place to make notes on anything related to the kids and basic household duties.

Proposal for the Day - a place to jot down when I plan to complete those Primary priorities, and add in other scheduled events of the day

Projects and Pursuits - another spot to make notes, jot down ideas for future projects, make lists of items needed for a co-op project or the latest idea seen on Pinterest  :)  

There may be a few areas of redundancy here, and this page is certainly a work in progress.  With some of the reading I have been doing lately, I have considered shifting this to a weekly planner format.  As a new regularity begins to manifest itself to our days and weeks, I will likely make a different plan.  Until then,  I have to start somewhere!  For now, it will serve as a roadmap for the day.  A day considered is a day well lived, and I pray that each day may breathe with its own unique life while also maintaining a consistency and direction.


Maria said...

No newborn here, but I too have been distracted by various things and feel the need to get back on a purposeful track with my family. What better time than Great Lent! I'm really tickled to see your beautiful planning page just when I'm in the need of some such thing. Best wishes to you. Something our bishop said recently in a sermon and which I repeat to myself often, "Change takes patience, even good change." So good patience to you, too. Another "P" word!

I'm saving and printing your page now. Thanks!

Unknown said...

And I thought I was just happy to have connected with you for the Catechesis!!!

This post is *so* timely for me. Somehow in our move and life with 4 kids and trying to work from home (not to mention facing the reality that I suffer from ADD) any sense of routine has been absolutely shot. I've read several of the resources you've mentioned but haven't tried to do much with them even though I keep being frustrated by the lack of routine.

Thank you!!! :)