THE '11' PLAN: Another FU on Kicking My One Words’ A@$

Download “Time” by Salvatore Vuono via

If you’ve been following the SPACE sagas, then you’ll appreciate this post.
(No this has nothing to do with NASA or Star Trek)…

This post is the A@$ kicking for anyone who has flunked out of My One Word, their New Year’s Resolutions, or their attempts to stop over-scheduling themselves. (Don’t worry, I’m guilty too, and it’s my A@$ kicking also.)

Anytime we decide we’ve had an Epic Fail at anything, 
is a time we need to remember the following:

- I am human (that alone is a FREE PASS to err)
- I am NOT perfect … (No, we're not...sometimes I think that is our problem- we think we should be)
- I’m allowed to screw up (refer to above line)
- I’m allowed to admit it (another ‘ick' moment but necessary)
- I don’t have to quit (even though it feels like we already did, we really haven’t until we CHOOSE to)
- I’m privileged to be able to start over (don’t treat it like a chore…)
- I am allowed to do it differently (…make it an adventure!)

Now that we have that out of the way (don’t worry, it might take you some time and practice)…
it’s time for the 11 Plan to help make

Over the next 5 months I will be doing the following 11 things (albeit some I should’ve never stopped):

1. Sundays must remain sacred (take that any way you wish- as long as you aren’t scheduling that day, or doing boring stuff like chores)

2. Phones must be turned off- at dinner, at bedtime, at the movies (this is really for our Friday nights at home, but it’s excellent advice for the movie theatre too)

3. Stick to the ‘Just 1' Business appointment a week

4. Stick to the ‘Just 1' Leisure appointment a week 

5. Preferably 3 & 4 will NOT be scheduled back to back or two days in a row (you’ll see how difficult this one is, but it’s one of the most helpful for me)

6. Read daily (This habit has never steered me wrong. I got out of the habit because I go to bed too late (because I’m scheduling too much) so therefore I fall asleep upon starting to read and cannot get up early enough to begin reading before the day starts…seeing a cycle here? Me too. (Getting back to reading for leisure and growth in any form is a successful habit to be in and stay in.)

7. Write Daily (a.k.a. journaling). Recently, a day before heading out on a camping trip/digital sabbatical I purchased the first journal that I’ve had in years. It was random. It was shocking. It was incredible! All the years I can remember back, I’ve journaled. Mostly therapeutic, beginning in high school and ending mainly after my divorce. The good, the bad, the ugly. As I zipped through the store for business supplies, I hit the aisle I forgot even existed in the digital age: the journals section. (WHOA… it was like seeing a record --- you know-- the vinyl ones). Daily or every couple of days (or heck a couple times a day- whatever works for ya) write something. A word, a phrase, a feeling. A question, two questions, a statement. Just write it. There’s nothing like looking at your thoughts on paper. To be quite honest, the really scary things aren’t as scary on paper, and the ones that seem insignificant ones turn out to be thbig huge amazing ones! Try it, you’ll see what I mean.

8. Refrain from answering the phone (or texts) 24/7! If you are conversing with someone else, in line at the grocery, getting gas (especially), driving or doing something that requires your (and someone else’s attention) DO NOT pick up the phone. Unless your child (or dog) is missing (long story) DO NOT PICK UP THE PHONE!!! (It’s just another distraction and is probably timed poorly and it’s going to be one of two things: your child at home is ratting out a sibling, a child at college is asking for more money. If it's a social call it should wait until you have complete focus (which that caller deserves). --And now my friends are realizing why I can’t ever call them back or pick up; I’m never without being busy doing something (but they should see, it’s because I care that I have to wait ugh).

9. Spend time alone in the quiet. I know it feels weird, but it’s good for you (and me). This is the time we need to regroup, hear things in our heart, connect spiritually or just clear our heads for the next task. I will be scheduling mine… I have NO clue when, maybe when I’m done here I will take some of that time, to figure out when is the best time for quiet time!

10. Practice Listening. When you are listening, you are quiet. When you are quiet, you can hear: birds, water, peacefulness, someone’s needs (this last one is a biggy as a parent). When we are still (a.k.a. in the moment) we are better in tune with the people and things around us.

11. Slow Down. I have a very good friend who begins to pray every time she sees me rushing (no it’s not her, she’s not weird, it’s me). She always sees me running around from one task to the next; one job, child or project, etc. She always says in her slow voice: 'Amber…slow down’ and then it starts, 'Dear Father…' (I always laugh and wave her off, but then when my dad says, 'Amber you should take a break, slow down’, I guess I’ve gotta listen. Or at least should.) 

Stay tuned for the FU to the '11 Plan' 
and the ways we won’t find helpful when trying to 
do less and ‘be’ more.

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