That’s my “one little word” for 2011.
If you aren’t familiar with the one little word concept, go here to see what Ali Edwards has to say about it.
So, why PROACTIVITY as my word for 2011?
Because I do not want to be lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – because if that is what I choose to be, God will spit me out (Revelations 3:16), and I don’t want to be spit out. I want to be pressing “towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
It is time to get a few things done, and getting things done can’t happen as well with reaction or passivity. I have to get out there and do it.
One definition I found for proactivity goes like this: Action and result oriented behavior instead of one that waits for things to happen and tries to adjust (react) to them. Proactive behavior aims at identification and exploitation of opportunities and in taking peremptory action against potential problems and threats, whereas reactive behavior focuses on fighting a fire or solving a problem after it occurs.
It is time to get out of the habit of cruising along responding to whatever comes along. That is just too stressful.
Not that there won’t be things that have to be responded to – there will. But I read “If you’re proactive, external events can only affect your time of arrival and the exact path you take to your goal” as opposed to determining what your goals will be.
I like that idea.
So, what do I want to be proactive about? The list quickly gets long.
Spiritually: This is a place where I can get discouraged if I look to my failures in the past. My goals here are:
1. Daily time in God’s word;
2. Daily prayer with my husband.
If I can accomplish both of these things the benefits and impact in my daily life will be huge. Not that suddenly all challenges and difficulties will disappear, but handling them will be done better – not easier, just better.
Parenting: planning what is best for my son. Teaching what needs to come next for him to mature and develop good Godly character. Seeking what is best for him based on who he is, not on what happens in the culture and the world tells him or us should be happening. Preparing him to be able to leave the nest in the next decade or so.
Finances: This is pretty clear-cut as I just finished Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace” book. I am ready, willing, and hopefully able to make some short-term sacrifices in order to achieve long-term peace. By short-term I may very well mean a couple of years – but to get decades of peace, I’ll take it. The order of priority here is:
1. save money to pay taxes in April;
2. save an emergency fund;
3. pay off consumer debts
5. pay off mortgage early.
There is a lot that goes into these steps, and I know it is not simple, but being proactive, I am thankful to know where we are going. Sure, we may get TEMPORARILY knocked off course, but we will get to these goals! I promise!
Health and fitness: This is probably the hardest for me because it is easy to get discouraged based on past lack of success. But, I will do it. One little step at a time. To get there I’m planning to:
1. Return to eating clean;
2. Exercise 4 times a week at a minimum.
Yep, two seemingly easy steps will accomplish it! But I know they are hard steps to maintain long-term. They require planning of time and supply resources.
So, this is what proactivity looks like in my personal life. I won’t even go into the details of what it looks like at work – too complicated for this post.
Proactivity mean a lot to me – it means taking charge. Yes, I admit I’m a bit of a control freak at times. I don’t mean for proactivity to be an excuse to control others. I intend for my behavior to be controlled by this.
Life will not just happen to me. It will be something I participate in and have an influence on the outcome.