Posts Tagged ‘planning with a purpose’

I loved this activity on identifying and talking about Scripture Superheroes and was happily surprised that our youth leaders were excited to do it as well.  Here’s our plan – in Planning With a Purpose format.  Refer to this post for more info on how to do Planning With a Purpose and for downloads to help you in the process.


I am now serving as the Stake Primary Counselor over Activity Days – that means I am no longer carrying out the activities.  But we had already planned these activities with our two youth leaders so I want to share them even though I don’t have photos of the actual activity.  I will continue to share ideas as I see them in our Stake.  Enjoy!

1.  What do we value?
click here to see “Value Sheet” download – we use the same values for all of our activities

  • We value accomplishing the Faith in God requirements.
  • We value everyone feeling included.
  • We value people coming.
  • We value making friends.
  • We value respect toward each other.
  • We value learning in a fun way (short lesson plus activity of some sort)


2.  What do we want to have happen? (goals)
click here to see ” Planning Sheet” download

Instead of asking, “What do we want to do?” always ask, “WHAT DO WE WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN?
Refer to your list of values to help you answer this question – your values and goals should go hand-in-hand.

From the Faith in God Book (Learning and Living the Gospel): Tell a story from the Book of Mormon that teaches about faith in Jesus Christ. Share your testimony of the Savior.

For our Scripture Superhero activity, we adapted the above Faith in God requirement in the following way:

  • we want each girl to know more about a scripture person
  • we want to make scriptures more personal
  • we want everyone to feel successful at presenting
  • we want everyone to commit to be more like their scripture heroes


3.  How are we going to make this happen? (plans + implementation)

NOTE: We are sending out an invitation for this activity because there is something for the girls to prepare before they come.
The youth leaders also committed to preparing 2 extra scripture superheroes each (4 total) for girls to choose from if they forget to bring their superhero information.

1.  Youth leaders greet each girl – find out if they have their Scripture Superhero ready.  If not, offer to let them choose one from the extras that our youth leaders prepared beforehand.  This will allow everyone to participate even if they forget to come with a Scripture Superhero.
2.  Welcome (opening prayer) – 5 min.
3.  Short lesson about heroes in battle (who’s side will you be on? – refer to idea found in original Scripture Superhero activity here)
4.  Scripture Superhero Share: before everyone shares their superhero, explain that everyone needs to pay attention because when it’s over, each person will share something they “Liked and Learned” about someone’s superhero.

“I liked Holly’s _____________ because I learned ____________.”

5.  Journaling Capes: using the journaling pages found here, girls will write something that they are going to commit to do to be more like one of the heroes we talked about today.
6.  Treat: we don’t normally have treats because it’s not necessary and it starts to cost too much money.  However, we decided that this time we would have a simple treat of superhero fruit snacks!  Cute.
7.  Closing prayer.


Invitation (use the idea from here to make our invite – send out by 7 days before activity)
Calendar (we deliver a 3-month calendar to all the girls before the activities start)
Text Reminder to Moms (the day before – with reminder of what they need to have prepared)

4.  Evaluate the process and the implementation
Ask yourself often:
What DID we want to have happen?
Is that actually happening / did that happen?
Do we need to change something to get closer to what we want to have happen?
How can we do that?

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We planned a great activity to do before Valentines Day – here it is, in Planning With a Purpose format.  Refer to this post for more info on how to do Planning With a Purpose and for downloads to help you in the process.

Heart Attack Service

As of last Sunday, I am now serving as the Stake Primary Counselor over Activity Days – that means I am no longer carrying out the activities.  But we had already planned these activities with our two youth leaders so I want to share them even though I don’t have photos of the actual activity.  I will continue to share ideas as I see them in our Stake.  Enjoy!

Want to see a Heart Attack activity in action?  This video from the 2013 Primary Auxiliary Training will inspire you.  Click here.

1.  What do we value?
(click here to see “Value Sheet” download)

  • We value accomplishing the Faith in God requirements.
  • We value everyone feeling included.
  • We value people coming.
  • We value making friends.
  • We value respect toward each other.
  • We value learning in a fun way (short lesson plus activity of some sort)

2.  What do we want to have happen? (goals)
(click here to see ” Planning Sheet” download)

Instead of asking, “What do we want to do?” always ask, “WHAT DO WE WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN?
Refer to your list of values to help you answer this question – your values and goals should go hand-in-hand.

From the Faith in God Book: Read and discuss the parable of the good Samaritan (see Luke 10:30–37). Plan and complete a service project that helps a family member or neighbor. After completing the project, discuss how it helped your faith grow stronger.

For our Heart Attack activity, this is what we came up with:

  • serve girls in our group who don’t come to activity days by showing love
  • show thanks to bishopric
  • have fun while learning a new way to serve
  • make sure everyone is part of the serving


3.  How are we going to make this happen? (plans + implementation)

NOTE: Holly + Sydney will cut extra hearts before the activity because we probably can’t cut them all and decorate the doors in 1 hour.
Use extra cardstock and paper from Sister Hall so we don’t have to use the budget.

1.  Welcome (opening prayer) – 5 min. (Sydney is in charge)
2.  Read and discuss the parable of the good Samaritan (see Luke 10:30–37).  Discuss that service increases faith.
3.  Heart Preparation: everyone cuts out hearts from donated paper, write messages on some hearts, group into 4-5 piles – 20 min.
4.  Closing prayer before we leave
5.  Divide into 2 groups – each do a bishopric/clerk door and at least one home of an activity day girl who doesn’t usually come.  (The youth leaders thought thought it was so funny to do the doors of the bishopric.)
6.  Heart Attack: use painters tape to attach hearts all over the doors of the bishopric/clerk and activity day girls – try to keep it a secret (Sister Denny get the key to the church)
7.  Leaders take girls home when finished



  • cardstock and paper for hearts
  • scissors
  • sharpies / markers
  • painters tape or masking tape – enough for 2 groups

Use the kitchen counter and kitchen table to create hearts (cover table with cloth)

Everyone helps clean up the mess before the closing prayer and heart attack delivery (Holly in charge)

Calendar (we deliver a 3-month calendar to all the girls before the activities start)
Text Reminder to Moms (the day before)


4.  Evaluate the process and the implementation
Ask yourself often:
What DID we want to have happen?
Is that actually happening / did that happen?
Do we need to change something to get closer to what we want to have happen?
How can we do that?

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Sledding for an Activity Days activity.

Seems like a simple activity, right?  Even our simple activities need to have a plan in order to make them meaningful.  We can always make sure there is purpose in everything we do in Activity Days – not just the big events.

The Planning With a Purpose model outlines steps to plan and carry out leadership responsibilities, activities and real life decisions.  I learned it while serving in the student government at BYU and have practiced it ever since.




Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the Planning With a Purpose model.  And I’m using our sledding activity as the idea we are planning.

Click here to see how we implemented it using two of our 11-year-old Activity Day girls as the leaders for our Snowman Glove Service Project.  This model shows Activity Days but it is ready to be used for Young Women, Young Men, Relief Society – or any kind of planning you are doing.


Thank you, BYUSA for teaching me this wonderful method of planning!  I am lucky and blessed to have practiced it for the last 20 years.

Planning With a Purpose Instructions Planning with a Purpose Instructions

Planning with a Purpose Notebook Cover – 8×11

1.  What do we value?
Make a list of things that are important to us (you can use the download below if you choose).
What does the handbook say our purpose is?
What direction do we have from our bishop or other leaders?
What are the needs of the people in our group?

Holly & Sydney helped us decide on our values – use “guided practice” to help the youth learn how to do each step, including creating values. “Guided practice” can take the form of asking leading questions such as, “What does the handbook say our purpose is?  How should we included that in our values?”  It is ok to suggest ways to round out their thoughts to get a more complete end result.  That modeling is part of “guided practice.”

Whether you are training youth leaders or planning the activities yourself, use these same values while planning every activity.

  • We value accomplishing the Faith in God requirements.
  • We value everyone feeling included.
  • We value people coming.
  • We value making friends.
  • We value respect toward each other.
  • We value learning in a fun way (short lesson plus activity of some sort)

Planning with a Purpose Values Sheet Planning with a Purpose Values Sheet

2.  What do we want to have happen? (goals)
Instead of asking, “What do we want to do?” always ask, “WHAT DO WE WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN?
Refer to your list of values to help you answer this question – your values and goals should go hand-in-hand.

For our sledding activity, this is what we came up with:

  • have fun practicing sledding
  • be safe
  • lots of girls to come and feel included

3.  How are we going to make this happen? (plans + implementation)
Plan what you are going to do.  Always remember to look at the values to make sure it’s really what you want to have happen.
Ask: “How does this help us reach our goals of what we want to have happen?”
If your plan doesn’t meet your goals in a meaningful way, try something different.

NOTE: Listen to the Holy Ghost as you plan.  
The Holy Ghost can help us feel peace about our decisions and even help us formulate ideas for how to carry out what you want to have happen.

Use this planning sheet or a piece of paper to make your plans.  (this download comes in 2 different sizes below the picture)

Planning With a Purpose Planning Sheet Planning with a Purpose Planning Sheet – Half Page Version

Planning with a Purpose Planning Sheet – Full Page 1

Planning with a Purpose Planning Sheet – Full Page 2

For the sledding activity, here is our plan:

1.  Turn in permission slips (attach to calendar so parents have them already) – Sister Denny in charge
2.  Meet @ Sister Denny’s at 2:30 (wear snow clothes and bring sleds – put info on calendar + text reminder)
3.  Sister Hall + Sister Denny will drive everyone to location (get other driver if necessary) – Sister Denny in charge
4.  Sled for about an hour.  Holly + Sydney will monitor the experience and make sure each girl is feeling included, having fun, and a part of the group.  They will bring them into the group if necessary.
5.  Go home – drop girls off at homes


4.  Evaluate the process and the implementation
Ask yourself often:
What DID we want to have happen?
Is that actually happening / did that happen?
Do we need to change something to get closer to what we want to have happen?
How can we do that?

This evaluation happens after the activity – it will help you plan future activities and build on what progress you are making along the way.  I encourage you to not skip this step!

Give Planning With a Purpose a try!  You can do it!

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10 Lovely Ladies + 27 Snowman Gloves = 1 Fabulous Service Project!


Get ready – this is a long post but it takes you through exactly how I used Planning With a Purpose to teach these girls how to plan and implement a meaningful activity.  It will work for any activity – not just this one.  These are the words and plans of our two youth leaders, Holly and Sydney, after simple leadership training on the Planning With a Purpose model.  I will have the Planning With a Purpose booklet that we used for training available in the near future for download.

What we wanted to have happen (goals):

  1. We want lots of girls to come to the activity.
  2. We want the girls to understand that service can be fun.
  3. We want them to understand that some people don’t have gloves & be grateful that we do.


How we made that happen (plans and implementation):

  • Invite friends and people who don’t normally come.  Tell them it will be fun – that we do activities and not just a lesson the whole time.
  • Create a flyer, announce it in our church classes, send texts to remind everyone.
  • Encourage everyone earn the money themselves for the gloves and candy boxes.
  • Have a lesson to talk about how some people don’t have gloves and why it’s important to serve others.
  • Create at least 20 candy box snowmen with glove hats to donate to a local charity.



We wanted the girls to be in charge of implementing the flyer.  In order to do that, they need guided practice to feel confident and to teach them how to do it.  We made a list of all the information that we needed to include on the flyer, organized and ready for the girls to use as a guide for the final flyer.The key to each step in the planning process is “guided practice.”  In order to learn how to do something, you have to stand by their side as they practice it.  Making a detailed plan of the flyer together was that guided practice.


We asked them to do the flyer without parental help (if possible) and bring it back to me to check it one final time then we would send it out.

The only thing they ended up needing parental help with was creating the border on the flyer.  They did the rest – and were excited to learn how to create a border for future projects.

When the girls came to have the flyer checked by me, they told me that they wanted to roll up each flyer and tie it.  They also wanted to hand deliver the flyers to each girl so that they could connect with every person in the group.


Have I mentioned that these girls are amazing?  Yes, they are amazing.  They had officially caught the vision of what we wanted to have happen.


Texting is by far the best idea for communicating in our Activity Days group.  Because the list of girls changes all the time due to girls coming in and going out at their birthday, I keep a running list of the girls and their birthdays on my phone and refer to it when I make a group text.  Everyone gets a calendar of events for 3 months but I always text the moms (or dads) the day before the activity as a reminder.  It takes about 4 minutes total but our attendance increases when we do a text reminder.

“Reminder: Activity Days is tomorrow at 2:30 pm at Sister Hall’s house.  Get ready to make our Snowman Gloves!  See you there!”

Or something similar to that.

For this particular activity, I texted a few days before the Jan. 6 donation deadline, two days after it to tell them they could still drop off the donations, and the day of to remind them and tell them to come even if they didn’t have a chance to donate gloves or candy.  Most activities I only do one text the day before.



I taught the girls a way to give a great talk or lesson.  They (with some help from their moms) used this 3-step plan to create a wonderful lesson.  They had practiced it and were prepared.  Plus, they did it together.  They had experienced success already with this planning process because of guided practice so when I asked them if they wanted me to help them with the actual lesson, they said they could take care of it.

Choose a gospel principle then you need 3 things:

  1. scripture or scripture story
  2. personal experience or a story that you make personal to you
  3. bear your testimony of the principle

As they left the house, with a lesson assignment in hand, I asked, “Are you feeling nervous or confident?”  Holly paused for a moment then said, “Confident.”   Guided practice is the key to confident, independent behavior.


Here’s their lesson:

  1. Read Mosiah 2:17.  Ask: What does this scripture mean?  Share your feelings about the scripture.
  2. Sydney told a story about her mom stopping to help a family get gas when they were stuck on the side of the road.  Then she followed them in their car to the gas station to fill up their tank.  Sydney said, “You don’t have to do something big to serve.  She could have just filled their gas can and they would have been so grateful.  Just serve.  Even if it’s a small thing.”
  3. Holly read the book, “The Mitten Tree” by Candace Christiansen.  It is out of print so getting a copy will cost you thousands of dollars but the kindle version is only $6.99 and you can show the pictures from your computer or iPad while you read it.  Holly’s mom found it at a local library so we were able to see the real thing while she read this sweet story of service – using mittens!  Perfect!
  4. They bore a simple, sweet testimony about service, including a challenge to serve because it would bring them blessings.  (by the way, what they did was straight from “Preach My Gospel” chapter 11 – I could have kissed them, I was so happy to hear their testimony!)

After the lesson they turned the time over to me and we worked on the snowman project.




  • Snoman Candy Box Wrapper – Outline
  • 1″ fabric strips but to about 14″ long (2 per box)
  • candy box (Milk Duds movie theater size is best)
  • knit gloves
  • crayons or markers or colored pencils


  1. Color the snowman wrapper (trim the download across the horizontal lines to fit all sizes of boxes).  Plan where the wrapper will be placed and crease the edges.  Wrap the paper around the candy box then tape the back very tightly.IMG_1131IMG_1134
  2. Place one glove over the top of the snowman.  Place the other glove right behind the one on the box and tie gloves together tightly with a fabric strip.
  3. Add another fabric strip to create a scarf.



27 snowman gloves later (we surpassed our goal of 20 sets!) – it was a fun, meaningful activity that only took an hour.  The girls were so proud of themselves for earning the money to purchase the supplies.


Holly and Sydney knocked it out of the park with their responsibility, capability and teachability.  It has been a joy to work with them through this process.  It’s worth the extra time and effort to go through the guided practice that it takes to actually teach these young people to lead with purpose.


Enjoy this activity but love the leadership training that can happen with ANY activity you choose to do!

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We had a little planning meeting for Activity Days.  No.  A big planning meeting.  We are doing some leadership training with a few of the oldest girls and they are rockin’ it!  Holly and Sydney are headed to Young Women’s in a few months so we decided to go through the Planning With a Purpose model to teach them how to plan an activity effectively and with meaning.  I created a booklet for the training that I will try and share later – the printables will take some time to get blog-ready so I’ll work on that.


What is Planning With a Purpose, you ask?  It’s a planning method that Jason and I were lucky enough to learn and practice over the three years we were involved in student government at BYU (BYUSA) way back when we were first married.  It is based on asking a magical question…. Instead of asking, “What do we want to do?”…


We have used this model for the last 20 years in our lives, our jobs, in parenting, in our church assignments, our community work….everything.  It works for everything.

And it’s so easy that even an 11-year-old can do it successfully.  That’s the flyer they created to explain our Snowman Glove Service Project – the one that they decided to hand deliver to each girl before our activity  (love that idea, girls!)  It was a reminder to me that we should never underestimate the capability of these girls.  Click here to see how we put it into practice.

So, in this leadership training process, these lovely ladies have been taught the purpose of Activity Days, made decisions, been given assignments and have followed through on those assignments.  By serving in a leadership capacity, they are fully invested in the potential of what Activity Days can mean to each girl in our group.  It has been a choice experience to go through this leadership mentoring with them.

The result of the last few weeks of teaching and guiding have resulted in a plan for the next few months.  This is what will be coming for our Activity Days and I decided to share an overview with you if you are in the process of your own planning.


Snowman Glove Service Project
Girls are earning the money to buy boxes of candy (like Milk Duds) and knit gloves to donate to the cause.  This is what they look like (this was an example that Coleman helped me with).  The snowman gloves will be donated to a local charity for kids in need.  Click here for full activity.


(Developing Talents)
Sledding at a Super Sweet Hill at the High School
We’re focusing on friendship, togetherness, being physically active, enjoying nature right here in our backyard, and developing our sledding talents (that’s a talent, right?).



Heart Attack
Classic “heart attack the door with cut-out hearts and messages” activity.  Recipients: girls in our group that don’t usually attend Activity Days and the Bishop and Clerk’s Offices at the church.  (that idea received a giggle, giggle from our little planners)


(Learning and Living the Gospel)
Scripture Superheroes
Found the idea here – we used it as a guide to plan their own activity based on the same idea.  Note: we wanted everyone to feel successful in this activity so the girls decided to each create two “back-up” scripture superhero examples in case someone doesn’t come with something to share.  Holly and Sydney will be in charge of welcoming each girl as they arrive and finding out if they need one of the “back-up” superhero examples to share.

We’ll do an invite for this activity but the links aren’t working to recreate this idea – we’ll think of something else.  And no cookies for us – we decided on superhero fruit snacks for a treat!



(Learning and Living the Gospel)
Mother Daughter Recognition Night
“T” stands for “Testimony” – we are going to have a fun but spiritual night where we learn about how to recognize the Holy Ghost and then act on promptings we receive.  It will include a blindfold obstacle course activity and other games.  We will give the mothers and daughters one-on-one experiences in a “Faith Walk” to talk about things of the Spirit and how to increase their commitment to listening to the Holy Ghost.  We are asking the girls to bring their journals to write their own testimonies in them that night.

Of course, everyone will be encouraged to wear polka dots – and tea party cakes and treats will be served!  More to come about this activity later.  I have high hopes for this activity – I know it will be a treasured experience for these girls and their moms.  Can’t wait for March.

Will someone in our group create gorgeous concoctions that look as fun as these, please?


Come back for more on each of these activities – to find out how they actually came together and to see the fabulous leadership of Holly and Sydney in action.


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Now that you have your values established (click here for Part I of this lesson), let’s talk about where we go from here.  After our values are determined, we don’t really have to keep creating new ones for every situation in your life.  Most often, the values that are important to you will cross over into your whole life and can be applied to everything you do.  You might have to tweak them or perhaps add a value here and there but for the most part, they will sort of remain the same over a period of time.

When should you rethink your values list?  Here’s what I do – when my life changes (such as when I changed jobs or became a mother) then I create a fresh set of values that reflect what is important to me in my current situation.  When I learn new things that make me want to rethink what I am spending my energy on – I revisit my values.  Think about your values as something that grow and change along with you as you go through life.

Now let’s look at Steps 1-3 on your worksheet (again, click here for Part I of this lesson and to get the worksheet).

#1 – Ask: What Do I Want to Have Happen?

This is the golden question when it comes to “Planning With a Purpose” and managing our time wisely.  Instead of thinking about what do I want to do or where do I want to go, we ask, “What do I want to have happen?”

Think about something that you would like to change or improve or do better at.  It can be something in your personal life or maybe something you want to change in your family.  The example that we used during our activity was: “I want my children to do their chores better.”  OK, that is an issue that many parents face and there are a million ways to go about it.  Another one was, “I want to spend less time on the computer when I could be doing more productive things.”  We also heard, “I want to play with my kids more.”  Or how about, “I want to clean out my laundry room,” “I want to not nag my husband so much,” “I want to work smarter not harder,” “I want to be more patient with my mom as she grows older” or “I want to be better at making healthy dinners.”

the "Meal Planning" display during our "Organization Fair"

What do you want to have happen? Write down something on your worksheet that you want to change or improve about your life.  Let’s just take one thing at a time – there is no reason to try and tackle everything at once because we can get discouraged or overwhelmed.  And remember, what you want to have happen might be completely different than what someone else wants to have happen in their lives.  That’s OK.  I highly recommend you not to compare yourself to others but just focus on what feels right for you and your family.

Now that you have identified something that you want to have happen (and this thing can be big or small, affect just you or other people, or be in any area of your life), let’s look at #2 on our “Planning With a Purpose” worksheet.

#2 – Ask: What is the Best Way to Make That Happen?

This is where we get down to the nuts and bolts of “Planning With a Purpose.”  It is the how-tos that get us from where we are and where we want to be.  We are all unique.  Everyone has a different style, a different way of going about things.  So that means that the best way to make something happen might be different for you than for someone else.

Do you see how when you ask yourself what you want to have happen and think about what you value, that the way you want to spend your time starts to change?  If you want your children to learn to do their chores better then that might mean you need to spend more time teaching them to do it with you.  If you want to spend less time on the computer then maybe you need to track how many clicks you are making with the mouse or how many minutes you are browsing the web and give yourself a limit.

the "Family Calendaring" display at our "Organization Fair"

Or if you value family time and you haven’t taken a family vacation in two years, perhaps it’s time to plan something to do together.  Or you could even designate one night a week to the family where you don’t schedule anything else – it takes sacrifice and dedication but if it’s what you value and it’s what you want to have happen….it seems like it would be important enough to sacrifice a little bit for.

One fabulous woman in our group brought up the point that sometimes what you think will work doesn’t so you have to try something else.  How true that is!  Making what we want to have happen a reality often takes time, creativity and the ability to tweak and change our approach along the way until it morphs into something that actually works for us.  Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t work with your first idea!  Try something else if you need to and just take the good of what you are already doing with you.

#3 – Think About What Feels Right for You and Your Family

I’m going to say it again….everyone is different.  My sister may have a fabulous way of taking care of her yard but it seems too complicated for me.  So I need to not feel like I have to do it her way.  Maybe I keep asking around for other ideas, maybe I look online, or maybe I just adjust or simplify what my sister is doing to fit my needs.

I have started using allrecipes.com.  They send you a recipe in your email box each day.  Sometimes I want to print them out and try them (more on that another day).  This has caused me to realize that I need a new way to file my recipes.  So, in”Planning With a Purpose,” this is my Step 1: Organize my recipes so that I can use allrecipes.com better.

For me, I thought that a 3-ring binder would work great so here is my Step 2: Get a 3-ring binder and have each recipe in a sheet protector.  Figure out how to use half-sheet sheet protectors as well so I don’t have to retype all of my recipes that are on cards.

I’m still working on that.

All along I have thought about Step 3 – how to make this work for me and my family.  I will show you my finished product later but for right now, it is sitting on my desk, waiting to be finished as I figure out the best way to go about it.  The interesting thing is that during our Organization Fair, my friend LeeAnne addressed this same problem.  Her area that she created a display for was “Organizing the Kitchen.”  One aspect was recipes.  She had a pile of recipes (just like mine) and a binder next to it.

She had gone through and typed up every recipe that their family used and put them in her binder.  I was so surprised that she had done this because it was almost exactly what I was in the middle of doing as well!  But here’s the difference.  She had typed them all up.  I don’t want to have to do that so I am trying to figure out a way to either create my own divided sheet protectors or find the right ones online to purchase so that I can just drop my recipe cards into the half-sizes or use the full sheets if I print something out from online.  Options.  That’s what I need.

The point is to do what is right for you.  We both had the same idea but we are going about it in two slightly different ways according to what works for each of us.  Maybe your neighbor has one child in dance group that meets 3 times a week for 3 hours at a time and costs $400 to participate.  Maybe someone else works 16 hours a day.  Whatever someone else is doing doesn’t mean you have to do it, too.  And even in your own families – if one child is involved in something and you realize that it is taking too much time away from the rest of your family, it’s ok to pull back, reevaluate and say no to the next “opportunity.”

Once you have your values in place and you ask the golden question, “What do we want to have happen?” then it becomes much easier to make decisions of how we are spending our time.  That, my friends, is the ultimate skill in time management.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.  If you have any questions then please feel free to email me or leave a comment.  I look forward to hearing how it works for you!

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First of all, I know I didn’t get these downloads for you last week – it ended up being a crazy week and so something had to go and in this case…it was blogging about our activity.  Which actually brings me to our lesson on Time Management!  I’m going to divide it up into parts because I think it will be too long for one post.  Today, as you can see, is Part I.  We’ll see how many parts it actually ends up being once I add the Organization Fair report as well.  By the way – that was so fun and fabulous!  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.  I will talk more about that later – let’s get back to our Time Management lesson.

When Jason and I were in college, we met while in the student government program.  There were 4,000 student volunteers who ran all of the activities and service programs at BYU at that time.  It was unheard of to have so many students involved in the student government program, but Jason and I both count ourselves lucky to have been a part of that experience because it taught us something.  Even in our volunteer positions, every event, every service program, every experience that came out of BYUSA was planned with a model called “Planning With a Purpose.”  You might say that by the time our years were finished at BYU (including our last one where Jason was Student Body President), we had practiced this model of planning dozens and dozens of times.  It became a part of us and it has influenced our lives in ways we never imagined or even thought about back in our college days.

our BYU days - only 17 years ago!

“Planning With a Purpose,” to me, is the ultimate time management skill.  When we talked about time management at our neighborhood ENT activity, we did not assess the latest “Busy Mom Calendars,” or determine how to use our clocks more effectively.  We taught how to use “Planning With a Purpose” because, and you’ll find this out once I explain it, it helps us all determine what is truly needful in terms of how we spend our time and then helps us get from Point A to Point B in that effort.  You will find that it is similar to methods of planning taught by Franklin Covey and other groups because the principles work.  This “Planning With a Purpose” model was taught to us like you see it here – but with my own tweaks that I have learned throughout the 20 years I have been using it.

The “Planning With a Purpose” model works in every situation and for every problem, issue, concern, or event you are trying to make happen.  If you are trying to figure out how to get your kids to do their chores?  Go through “Planning With a Purpose.”  If you are planning your family vacation….go through “Planning With a Purpose.”  If you are trying to change a personal habit that you have?  Use “Planning With a Purpose.”  Whatever the situation, this works.  And once you figure out how to use it, you will see that it can help you sift through how you are spending your time so that the important things (the things you truly value) rise to the top and the unimportant things get left behind.

I’d like you to download this handout and follow along with me as we go through learning about “Planning With a Purpose.”  Just click on it and you can print it out and work from it very easily.  Notice how it also can be cut in half and inserted into your ENT notebooks as two pages.

Determine What You Value

The first thing we have to establish when we plan with purpose is determining what we value.  Ask yourself what you value and write it down on your worksheet.  This can be anything – big or small.  Just identify the things that are truly important to YOU.  You can also do this as a family, as a couple, as a team at work….whatever.  I have things that I value personally but then Jason and I have things that we value as a family.  When we had our first committee meeting for our Every Needful Thing program, we determined what we valued and now, for every activity, we go back and make sure that what we are planning is in line with what we value.  It keeps us focused on the right things.

part of our "Organization Fair" displays

Some of the values that we had when we listed them as a group during our activity last week were: family, quiet time, one-on-one time with each child, date night, a clean house, God, etc.  You can see that this was a group of mothers making this list, can’t you!  I know that before I became a mother, the things that I valued looked a little different than they do now.  That’s the beauty of creating a list of values – it is what YOU value.  Not what your neighbor values or your mother or your friend.  It’s for you to decide.

Now, after you have your values determined, we can move on to steps 1-3.  The important part about deciding what you value FIRST, is that everything you decide after that should come back to those values.  It is a simple way to make sure that how you are actually spending your time coincides with what you value because you have already established a list of those values.

Steps 1-3 will be in our next post – the continuation of our time management lesson.  Over the next couple of days, I want you to think about these values more and refine your list so that it truly reflects what is important to you.

I’ll see you next time, with your value lists in hand!

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