I’ve Gotta Plan

imageFour days ago I accepted my truth that I have been wasting time.

Getting out of the bed to face the day was an ongoing battle.

If I had nothing planned to do for the day I could easily lay in the bed for a good 10 to 14 hours. Not necessarily sleeping but definitely not working to achieve anything purposeful.

I am not sure if it was simply laziness, depression or a combination thereof, but I can tell you that the fire in me was most certainly out.

I mean I went to work, spoke with friends and did things with my kids but the sense of purpose was gone.

I was waiting on a break.

To be honest I was cynical about a break coming.

I talk and write about a break coming but somewhere in myself I wasn’t believing it.

Truthfully, when someone would tell me they thought things would get better for me – I cringed.

I would cringe because it seemed like every time I had an inkling of hope it would get dashed.

So for the most part I had given up hope.

Career and relationship expert Mel Robbins explains that the major reason that we don’t get what we want is because we have accepted where we are.

I can not speak for anyone else but I know that for me I had given up and started to go beyond being content with the scraps that I was receiving to actually being complacent.

Sadly, just getting by and having just enough was being accepted by me as normal.

To make matters worse I married that complacency with self-doubt and blamed God for my results.

As I have written before I have a bad habit of believing for other people but when it comes to believing for myself there is a disconnect.

But don’t fret I am working on it.

Thankfully, I have been blessed that my entire life I have been surrounded by positive teachers. Life has found a way of sending some of the best motivational teachers and speakers into my life.

For example, I went to school with Les Brown’s nephews. So at the age of 14 I had the opportunity to listen to him speak for free because he had come to speak at his nephew’s graduation who happened to be graduating the same year as my sister.

At the time I didn’t know who he was, but he impressed upon me that I could achieve greatness.

This is just one example of how I cut my teeth and was nursed on some of the most positive teachings out there, without even consciously trying.

But despite all of the teachings flowing through my mind, there I was laying in bed feeling broke, busted and disgusted and I realized that I was literally wasting my life.

I had allowed myself to believe that the reason that things were not working out the way I wanted was because God didn’t want them to.

I figured I tried and door after door had closed upon me.

I tried doing right and treating people right and I still had received what felt very wrong.

My line of thinking was I tried, so clearly the failure wasn’t on my part.

I was lying to myself.

God, the universe, life wasn’t failing me.

I was failing me.

I was sitting there waiting for life to happen to me.

I had forgotten the words of Henley that “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.

And I had forgotten that “I have dominion on this earth”.

I had effectively given my power away and was laying in bed waiting to die.

When the phone rang or the email came and it didn’t carry the break through that I was looking for I thought to myself that God didn’t want me to have it.

Never mind the fact that I am not trying my best.

Never mind the fact that I am allowing fear to paralyze me.

Never mind the fact that I am sitting there in a bed of pity.

Joyce Meyer says “you can be pitiful or you can be powerful but you can’t be both”.

Joyce Meyer is right.

Sure I have had setbacks, hang up, bang ups, let downs and break downs.

But who hasn’t.

I have had people betray me deeply, I have lost loved ones to death in tragic ways, I have experienced a major health crisis and financial ruin and am still going, this is proof to me that I am made out of the stuff of champions.

So what was a champion doing laying in the bed waiting on life to happen to her?

I was waiting on life to pick me up.

I was playing the role of victim instead of a victor.

In my past doing a good job, treating people right and doing what I thought was right got me very far.

And so of course I thought that the same things that had brought me blessings would work again.

My line of reasoning was quite simple – I am a good person, so good things are supposed to happen to me.

But I have reached a new level.

While I do receive miraculous blessings which I am confident are stemmed from the goodness that I have I sown; I have also accepted that for me to get to where I am going it is going to require me to put in the work.

Because like my children – my dreams, my purpose, my destiny aren’t going to come easy. No they are going to be brought forth through labor pains.

Here I am spiritually pregnant and dreading labor.

I have to do the work to break her forth, because if I don’t nourish this dream inside of me I will miscarry.

Life isn’t going to hand me anything without me doing the work to get it.

For I know too much to continue to be treated with kid gloves.

Life has knocked me down and I waited for someone to pick me up.

I gave half-hearted attempts.

And when I couldn’t stand to my feet I blamed it on God’s timing.

Don’t get me wrong I do believe that for everything there is a season, but I can assure you that I have not given this thing called life my all.

I have been wasting time.

I was literally laying there as time continued to move.

That’s when I decided it was time I go back to basics because clearly what I was doing wasn’t working.

I started back listening to motivational teachings the way I used to in my past and while listening to motivational videos I ran into a theme.

Every teacher I would listen to would continually echo the same thing.

They all reminded me that I was wasting time.

24 hours – 1440 minutes – 86,400 seconds. That is how much time we all are given each day.

I believe time is relative. When I enjoy what I am doing, it speeds by and if I don’t, it drags by.

For the most part I had been living my life on cruise control. I let things happen to me and I sat idly by. I decided that it was time that I discipline myself when it comes to my time and how I am going to spend it. Every second – of every minute – of every hour – of every day counts. And I am going to count on myself to make sure that my life happens for me rather than to me.

I just figured it was about that time!

I am pretty familiar with the whole concept of having goals. When I was a teenager my uncle drilled into my head the importance of having goals and plans for my life.

But something was missing.

I had a goal but no real plan.

Thankfully, while I was laying in bed waiting for life to happen to me I was also reading a copy of Napoleon’s Hill’s Think and Grow Rich that a friend had sent to me.


Napoleon Hill is big on writing out a plan.

This echoed teachings that I had learned from Earl Nightingale to dedicate a period of each day writing down ideas. His thought is that if you write down your ideas that eventually your mind will become conditioned to become an idea making machine. He explains it doesn’t matter if most of the ideas are bad it is about becoming an idea maker.

And when you think about it as Napole0n Hill says, “one sound idea is all that one needs to achieve success”.

So I proceeded to devise a way to achieve my goal, for the Bible says “to write the vision down and make it plain.”.

It was as if everything came together and I knew what I had to do.

The funny thing about planning on what I am going to do is that I don’t have much time to think about my bad habits.

When I execute my plan to exercise, there is no time to eat the bag of chips.

When I read positive literature as planned, there is no time to think about negative experiences from my past.

When I plan on how I am going to achieve my goals there is no time to lay in the bed thinking about how my life is a mess.

And I think it was the combination of the motivational videos, the feeling of something has got to change, feeling accountable to those around me and reading Napoleon Hill’s book among other experiences that lead me to become a daily planner.

I know for people who plan their day regularly this doesn’t seem like much but for me it was monumental.

I was a go with the flow kind of girl.

Sure, I planned things out in my career life but not for my personal life.

I was disciplined at work but lackadaisical when it came to myself.

And I was going to have to start caring more about myself.

I had things that I need to get done but for the most part I hadn’t really planned the execution.

So earlier this week I pulled out a planner that my daughter bought me last year that unfortunately I had never used. I immediately realized it was a monthly and weekly planner which is okay for jotting down things to do.

But my laziness was going to require a daily planner.

I had gone so far into the doldrums that it took quite a bit for me to muster up the willpower to spend a few moments of my day doing the simple task of planning the next day.

It was a sad place to be but it was where I was.

On the top of my list was planning my spiritual time.

For me that consisted of 30 minutes listening to motivational teachings, 30 minutes reading something positive and 20 minutes meditating.

I chipped out how much time I will spend sleeping, working, relaxing, socializing, driving, grooming myself, cleaning and cooking.

For some this may seem excessive.

But the excessive amount of sleep that was taking place in my household by me was getting me nowhere.

I mean sure I had some excuses – I am a single mom, I have chronic pain and I am a bit depressed.

But I decided forget the excuses!

There is no way in the world I came to this earth to lay in a bed and watch life go by and only engage here and there.

I had laid there in that bed long enough.

It hasn’t been long since I made the change but that one change of planning out my day did something inside of me that makes me proud to be me.

It caused me to live on purpose.

I have a list of things to do.

And I hate leaving anything undone when I have agreed to do it (even if I am the one doing the asking) because its my goal to “let my yes mean yes and my no mean no”.

Sure no one else sees the list, but I do and my conscience won’t let me consciously let myself down.

So I got a plan that I have got to plan.

Love yourself enough to know that if there is anything you want in this world you are going to have to work for it and believe it is yours for the taking. If you don’t know what your dream is think back to your childhood and remember what you wanted to be before people told you that you couldn’t or that you had to be something else and start there.  Write your dream down and start making a plan on how you are going to get there. Everyday work with definite purpose that you will achieve it. And know that ironically while you have a plan that life doesn’t go as planned. That is why I took my dream, vision, goal and plan and handed it over to God. I do my part and rest in the faith that the Father will do His.

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman Smith, Renata Nicole and RenataNicole, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman Smith and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original con

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