Month: November 2014

What’s Your Why Not – The Beginning

What’s Your Why Not – The Beginning

I’ve been struggling with something for the past several weeks, and I finally really pinned down what it is.

Many of us are looking for the perfect planner, the perfect system, wonderful organization… and all of those things are fantastic. If you’re a “planner person” and your system or setup is “failing,” then obviously something needs to change.

But what if you’re having a hard time pinpointing what needs to change?

Many of us then fall into the seemingly endless rabbit hole of changing systems. Changing inserts. Switching binders. And, all the while, that unsettled feeling follows us into every new setup we attempt to bend to our will.

And if you’re a “planner person,” this can make you crazy, because you somehow feel that you are failing.

I’m here to tell you that you aren’t failing, you just aren’t thinking big enough.

Not long ago, I went through this very process. When things feel off-kilter or chaotic, I turn to paper to set things right; but, this time, paper wasn’t solving anything. In fact, it was making everything worse.

And then I realized what the underlying issue really was.

I didn’t know my Why Not.

Why do you plan? Is it so you can keep your family’s schedule straight in your head? Do you plan so you don’t lose tasks as the days go by? Do you keep a calendar so you don’t miss appointments or bill due dates?

These are all wonderful reasons to maintain some sort of planner, regardless of what system or format it is.
But don’t you want more? What about all of those things in your life that you feel drawn to, intrigued by, and interested in? What about the things you feel would give you a bigger purpose?
You know what ‘things’ I’m talking about… the things that, when brought up either in your head or in conversation with others, often receive a response of, “Why?
To that, I say, “Why Not?
My whole issue was a massive brain block about where my life was going. We have a lot of kids and extremely chaotic work schedules to deal with every day; just keeping track of everyone else’s stuff was enough to fill my planner with little room to spare.
But what about my Why Not?

I need goals and projects that reach much further than how I’m going to drive everyone where they need to be this weekend. I need to act on my desire to accomplish my goals just as much as I need to make sure I don’t miss anyone’s appointments.

Finding my Why Not opened my eyes to the bigger picture. I love my husband and our family with unfettered devotion, but if I don’t make the effort to push myself forward and chase down the things I want for myself, I’m not much use to anyone else outside of being the maid and the chauffeur. And I am so much more than that. Once I figured out one Why Not, everything fell into place.

So we’re going to embark on a little journey; to be honest, I don’t even know how long of a journey it will be. What I do know is that, whether you’re a “planning person” or not, finding your Why Not is imperative to making things work in your favor. If you are a planner person and you feel that your system or setup hates you right now, please listen to this and take it to heart:

No system in the world is going to work for you until you have things right in your own mind.

That might sound like a harsh truth to a planner lover, but it is Truth nonetheless. Planning anything without having some kind of defined Why (or Why Not) is pointless; you may not lose tasks or miss deadlines, but that unsettled feeling will follow you regardless of how well-curated your lists may be.
I have no idea where this will lead, but one of my big Why Nots is simply to find out exactly that.
Here’s where I’m heading:
  • How do you figure out what your Why Not is?
  • If you already know what your Why Not is, why aren’t you pursuing it?
  • How do you stay motivated to chase your Why Not?
  • How do you make time for your Why Not?
  • How have other people achieved their Why Nots?
And hopefully a lot more.
I am truly humbled and astounded by the fantastic reception that you all gave the Introduction to this series. I’m honestly scared to death to dive headlong into this pursuit because it is one of my biggest Why Nots… and Why Nots are often accompanied by fear. As this is my Year of Being Fearless, I’m charging ahead.
Let’s keep each other company along the way.