I designed this monthly planner just as a tool for myself and anyone else who would be blessed by it. The purpose for the planner is primarily this: to bring God glory. Now you may be asking, “How could a planner do that?” Well, I believe that our sole purpose in life is to bring God glory. We see this all over God’s Word. Just a few verses that come to mind are these: 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” And again Paul exhorts us in Colossians 3:17, saying, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
I don’t know about you, but many days I’m a frazzled mess. There often comes a point where I mumble to myself “Why do I try?” or “I’m done” or, if I’m real honest, “Just hand me the ice-cream.” I constantly feel so weighed down by all that’s on my mental “to-do list.” Some mornings I wake up feeling 10 feet tall and able to take on the world (as long as I get that morning cup of coffee). But more often than not, I hit snooze one too many times, drag myself out of bed, and instantly feel defeated by all that the day requires. When I take a closer look, I find that part of this is due to my lack of organization. I don’t take the time to prioritize. I don’t take the time to think about the big picture. I fail to write down the goals I have for the day, the week, or the month in general. And more often than not, my main priority (glorifying God) gets lost in the daily hustle. Now, I know that a planner isn’t a fix-all, but it’s at least a tool. And so this weekend, as the rain was giving me an excuse to light a candle, wrap myself in a blanket, and make the couch my home for a few hours, I began creating this planner. I was printing it off for myself and realized I might not be the only one who could use something like this. That’s when I sat down and made a navigation tool (see below) to help others use this planner as well. I have a feeling there will be some adjustments to future monthly planners, but you have to start somewhere!
Here are the links to both the planner and a September calendar print that I designed. Click here for the planner and here for the calendar print. Please print them, use them, and share them with a friend!
Here are some explanations for each section:
Big Picture – This is just a space to write in your own words what is really most important.
Prayer Requests – A place to write down the things that are on your heart to pray for throughout the month.
What Matters Most – Write what things are most important to you this month/priorities for the month (i.e. devotional time, family time, rest, etc.). I know that may seem unnecessary, but writing it down and seeing it throughout the month can really help re-orient your heart.
On the Calendar – Important dates for the month that you want to remember/plan for.
Monthly Goals – Big goals (i.e. house projects, connecting with a certain person, serving the person in your life who is going through a trial, trip with friends/family, etc.).
Food – Just a fun space to bring out your inner Julia Childs! Have a fun recipe you’ve wanted to try? Or a few? Write them down and try them out that month. And if you’re anything like me, the meal may end up partially burnt, but that’s O.K.!
Weekly Goals – A little more specific (i.e. workout at least 3 times, go on a date with your spouse or a friend, eat healthy 6 days and have one cheat day, send an encouraging card to someone you know could use it, etc.).
Grace – I am often weighed down by my failures, but if we are in Christ, He has paid for those failures with His blood. He gives grace – abundantly. And His grace is the only hope for overcoming the sin you are fighting. This section is a place for you to quiet your heart and ask the Lord to reveal areas in your life where you are struggling. When you’ve identified those areas, write them down and ask the Lord to day-by-day pour out his grace and help you find victory over your sin…for His glory. Throw yourself on the mercy of Christ, recognizing that He has paid it all. “When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within, upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin. Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free. For God the just is satisfied, to look on Him and pardon me” (lyrics from the song, Before the Throne).
Daily Goals – These are goals you would like to see each day (i.e. time with the Lord, intentional time with loved ones, getting outside, 30 min of exercise, doing the dishes, taking time to rest, flossing each night, etc.).
Simple Joys – This is a space to jot down little things that happen throughout the month that bring you simple joy (i.e. note from a friend, cute thing your child said, sunshine, 10 minutes to yourself, time spent serving someone in need, etc.).
Thank you, Jesus – A space to thank Jesus for the ways you’ve seen His goodness + grace that month!
I hope this planner is a blessing to you and that it will provide a place for you to come daily and be reminded of your purpose. My prayer is that it would allow us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our hearts growing in adoration of Him, and our minds overwhelmed by the truth of the gospel.