Maybe you wonder how you will ever accomplish anything important.
Here’s the plan:
Do FOUR important or Necessary Things every day for 90 days. On the first day do FOUR Important Things. On the second day do four Necessary Things. Every other day bounce between "Important" and "Necessary". If you skip a day, just begin again! If you write down your four goals every morning, or every night before you go to bed, you might actually change your life, live your dreams, and get out of survival mode.
How do you differentiate "important" and "necessary"?
In my mind they are the same thing.
They are not really the same, and that is the point. Important things are often the things we need to do to build relationships, impact others, care for ourselves, reach out, and grow. They are things that take time and investment, but are not immanently necessary to survival or managing a home.
Your list of important things may not actually be necessary to survival. For example, it isn't necessary for me to create and publish a planner and start a support group, but it is important. I could do it next year, there is no time limit, just opportunity and need. If I don't do it, know one will really know the difference. It is necessary to trim my toe nails and clean my oven, if I don't there will be unpleasant results... but are these things important? Our life often becomes driven by urgent things that are necessary but not important. We need to focus on the things that are both necessary and important, but to get out of survival mode, you need to make time to focus on things that are IMPORTANT but not urgent.
The reason I am making a difference making a difference in the lives of others is because I make important things a priority, even if they are not necessary or urgent.
We also need to do the necessary before the become urgent. For example cleaning out an oven is something I can put of for a long time, until the crumbs at the bottom catch on fire.
Here is why so many women are in survival mode. You are dealing with having to put out fires, because the necessary things in life were never completed on time, and now you have a mess or problem. You fall behind because you are dealing with the consequences of failing to do the things that were important and necessary at the right time.
If we live in survival mode for too long we neglect the things that are important, because the urgent things rule our lives. If your most important relationships are suffering, chances are you have been busy dealing with "fires" and have no time or energy to invest in relationships, dreams or the future.
We also need to realize that many of the things that the world, or the in-laws, calls important are NOT. Life gets easier when we let them go.
Little Things Make a Big Difference
One of the most important activities we are doing with our planner is THINKING. We are stopping to ponder the question every day: What is Important? Can I do it today? What is necessary? Will I do it today? When we are in survival mode we are just trying to fix the problems cause by neglecting important and necessary items that were not prioritized.
Sometimes we are going through hard times, loss, new baby, sickness and we really fall behind in a lot of necessary things. But I find that when I am unable to get up and do the necessary things, I can still do many important things. I can have a child snuggle up with me and read a stack of books. I can give my children a chance to grow by asking them to prepare Christmas Dinner, because I was up too late on Christmas Eve.
I have found that in times of morning sickness and new babies, I couldn't do the daily things for my family, but I could do important things. I had a lot of guilt in the past for not homeschooling much during morning sickness. But, my kids learn to manage the house and do the cooking, that was important.
Sometimes we feel stuck in survival mode cause of sickness, loss or problems. In these times we need to look outside ourselves and love. We can't sit around fussing because of all the limitations and troubles we feel. We can rise above by loving others in the ways we can. We need to look into the hearts and eyes of the people God gave us to love. We must just ask how we can bless them, even if we can't get out of bed or rise above our pain. Others are hurting too. You may wonder "How can I help others when I am hurting?" You can share God's word with them, or turn on uplifting music in your house.
God will give us His blessings in our limitations, and we can reach out in small ways to do great things. Just a word of encouragement can be a powerful tool to help someone we love today. How long does it take to speak a few words of affirmation to the person in the next room? Just a moment. How hard is it to give a hug to the child that just dumped the Lego box into the sandbox? How long does it take to send a note to a faraway friend or make a cup of coffee for your sweetie?
Little things make a big difference, but we are often so wrapped up in the demands of the moment that we can't even think of what we can do to bless others. As moms we live for others all the time, we do all we can, we do it for love, but often we do it without joy.
Get back to the place of joy that only comes through living and loving intentionally, and thinking about what matters most.
Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between important and necessary, both are "important" but the urgent and necessary things are the things that keep you in survival mode.
Once you start focusing on things that are important that build relationships and help you draw closer to God, you will no longer be in survival mode. Don't expect too much of yourself, sometimes all we can do are the loving things that only take a moment, but do them with all your heart.