When I was in nursing school, I had to come up with a nursing care plan. Anyone who has been in nursing school will tell you how hard nursing care plans when one is starting off. The process was interesting. The day before my nursing clinical day, I would go to the hospital and gather information on patient like their diagnosis, what kind of medication the patient was on and why. It was important to ask the charge nurse about the patients because they knew which patient would still be at the hospital the following day and which patient was hard to write a care plan on. Writing a care plan taught me many lessons. I learnt to come up with goals, outcomes, and interventions. I never knew that information would help me later in life.
Every experience we go through is not wasted. I never finished my nursing program however the information
I learnt on how to come up with a nursing care plan has helped me greatly.
It is important to put a personal plan in place. Your personal plan should include steps you need to take to achieve your big picture.
What does your personal plan do?
- It provides focus and gives you direction.
- It makes the process of prioritizing easier.
- It promotes continuity.
- It gives you a guide in anticipating your needs.
- It brings order into your life and improves your skills.
As you plan, keep in mind this verse: Proverbs 16:9 states, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” The Amplified version says, “A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.
Do not leave God out of this process.
Your personal plan must include goals, interventions, and outcomes. To write your personal plan, you need to do the following;
- Gather information and Analyze it – Recognize where you are and what you need to get to your big picture. For example, one of my biggest desires in to grow in my relationship with God and part of it includes reading the Word of God. I know that I have not been able to go through the book of Romans because it is not an easy book to study, therefore one of my goals is to do an in depth study of the book of Romans. What resources do I need? A bible would be a good start? What other resources do I need? Be truthful to yourself. Also think about the things that are standing in your way? What would deter you from accomplishing your goals? What are your troubled areas? What are things that have stopped you in the past from accomplishing your goals? Write them down.
By the way, goals simply put are desired results.
- Think about how you will go about achieving your goals. You can have short term goals and long term goals.
Short term goals happen quickly. Long term goals take a long time to be achieved. Make sure at least majority of your short-term goals are stepping stones toward your long-term goals. A short-term goal is something you want to do in the near future. The near future can mean today, this week, this month, or even this year. A short-term goal is something you want to accomplish soon. A short -term goal can be achieved in 12 months or less. Long-term goals take 12 months or more to achieve.
Here are some simple ways to achieve your long term goals
- Align your short-term goals with your long-term goals. Use your short-term to achieve your long-term.
- Prioritize Prioritize prioritize. This is important. You cannot achieve your goal if you do not prioritize. Prioritizing means that you decide what is most important to you right now. All your goals are important, but it’s impossible to work on all of them at once. Choose what is most important right now and then focus mainly on that goal. Add additional goals as you become comfortable with your efforts.
- Be flexible. Sometimes life happens, and you must be flexible to a change of seasons in life so that you do not get frustrated. This will help you adjust.
After you come up with your goals, the next step is your interventions. An intervention is an action you will take to improve a situation. Interventions provide a pathway to meet your goals. Interventions must be specific, measurable, reasonable and time bound. Here is an example.
Goal: Relationship with God to grow. This is a long -term goal.
Interventions: I will study the book of Romans every Monday and Wednesday from 9 am to midday in the months of March and April.
It is specific – Study the book of Romans
It is measurable – Every Monday and Wednesday from 9 am to Midday.
It is reasonable – It is possible to study a book of the bible within two months.
It is time bound – Months of March and April.
Outcomes: Will your interventions make a difference and bring you closer to your goals? For example, reading the book of Romans changes my mindset. The word of God in Romans 12:2 states,
“And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
By studying the Word of God, I will be focusing on godly values which in turn will transform my mindset and bring me to a place of spiritual maturity.
Let me make a few points here:
- You must be self-disciplined otherwise you will not be able to achieve your goals. Daniel was able to pray three times a day because he had self-discipline.
Here is a quote from Warren Buffet – “We don’t have to be smarter than the rest; we have to be more disciplined than the rest.”
Elisabeth Elliot said, ““Discipline, for the Christian, begins with the body. We have only one. It is this body that is the primary material given to us for sacrifice. We cannot give our hearts to God and keep our bodies for ourselves.”
Zig Ziglar said, “It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”
- You must be consistent – What we do occasionally is not what shapes our lives. What shapes our lives is what we do on a consistent basis.
- You must not give up – Many are the times goals are not met because of discouragement. We all go through difficult times. We cannot give up. We ask God for help and continue pushing on. You are not alone. If you are born again, you have a helper, the Holy Spirit. He is willing to help you.
It is never late to write goals, interventions and outcomes. Just sit down come up with your own and work hard as you pray and ask God for guidance.
Author of Hopeful Living, Trusting God to Guide you through Life and Waiting for a Husband, The Godly Way.
Speaker and Podcaster
President of Woman Transformed @www.womantransformed.org