How much prior planning for a trip?

Published 1:25 pm Monday, January 14, 2019

By Karen Y. Stevens


In a few weeks, my girlfriends and I are going to Galveston.  

One of my friends owns a condo there, so we thought it would be fun to take a break after the holidays and go play.  

I put an itinerary together since there are five of us.  This is a must since five women can go in a lot of different directions.  I put what time we will be leaving, what day and time we will be shopping, pedicures, tours, where we will be eating, etc.  

I started thinking about this list and God.

Do I put together an itinerary for God?  Do I make a plan for the year; how I will serve Him?  Do I write out who I will try to help throughout the year?  How much money I will spend on that help? No, I don’t.

I thought about how much time I spent researching my upcoming family reunion in Colorado.  I’m planning it long distance, so I had to research the hotels, the events, places to eat, etc.  I still have not completed all the reservations because it is very time-consuming.

When I thought about these events, I was ashamed to know that I spent so much time on those schedules, but nothing on God’s.  

Winston Churchill revised Benjamin Franklin’s quote to “Failing to plan, is planning to fail”.  

I let God down in so many ways.  If I had a plan, I’m sure I would have been much better.  And not only planning but planning specifically.

Researchers say that 92% of people don’t achieve their goals.  They say the 8% succeed because they set specific goals that are challenging, but not too hard.  

Basically, the more specific and challenging your goals, the higher your motivation toward hitting them.

That explains why “easy” or “vague” goals rarely get met.  

In the past, when I wrote out “read my Bible” that was way too vague.  I should have written, “I will read one chapter each day at 6:30 a.m. and meditate on it.”  

Also, the 8 percent of goal-setters who succeed, want it and badly.  

So, ask yourself: What is my level of commitment?  Are you totally sold out for reaching your goal? When obstacles pop up along the way, will you toss in the towel?  

The most successful people are very patient and live by the motto “one step at a time.”

They also avoid juggling many things. You think multitasking is a good strategy for success?  Research says it’s a myth and can be damaging to our brains. You end up splitting your focus over many tasks, losing focus, lowering the quality, and taking longer to hit your goals.  

The 8 percent work on several smaller chunks to complete a big goal.  But they do it by knocking one down, then moving on to the next one.

I’m sure we all need to be more specific in our goals.  So, take a trip with God and do better with your itinerary for Him.


Karen Y. Stevens is the founder of the Orange County Christian Writers Guild