Purpose Planning

I have a standing appointment on Saturday mornings. It's at my kitchen table. And what I bring to it are a candle, computer, hot tea, and my thoughts from the week.

I call it Purpose Planning. The idea is to retrace my steps from the last seven days, see if I did what I intended to do, then map out where I'd like to head in the next seven days.

It came about because, a few years back, I was spent. My weeks were smashed full with all these things that I did unthinkingly. Come Sunday evenings, I was wiped with no purpose to show for it.

If weeks add up to months, months add up to years, and years add up to lives, I didn't want to be spending my life on weeks like that.

So on Saturday mornings, I built in this pause to plan out the purpose of the week ahead. I make the tea to help slow me down. I light the candle as a reminder to be thoughtful. And I ask myself five questions:

What matters to you?

Where do you want to be in a year?

What do you want your legacy to be?

What did you do last week that mattered to you?

What will you do this week that matters to you?

There are fast Saturdays when I charge through it, checking Purpose Planning off my list in 20 minutes flat.

But the good Saturdays are when I reach deeply into it, allow enough time for new thoughts to walk in and old thoughts to wash out. It takes real space for the full wingspan of our ideas to extend out. And I've found that good Saturdays make for good weeks. Or, at least, more intentional weeks.

And maybe our purpose can't be planned out. But it can be thought about, cared for, tended to week by week, month by month, year by year.

Which does, after all, add up to a life.

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