There are often things I hope for. I hope for a beautiful sunrise in the mornings and that the weather will always be lovely. I hope for short lines at the Target checkout and I hope for a sale when I shop online. I hope for no turbulence on flights and I hope for a free upgrade on my rental car. I hope the books I have on hold at the library come up sooner than expected and I hope for a white Christmas every year.
Aside from me hoping for these things, what else do they have in common? They are things I have little to no control over. I can’t make a beautiful sunrise, or prevent turbulence on my flights. I can’t change the weather and I can’t control other people’s actions. The only thing I can control is me.
I’m sure at some point or another we’ve all hoped our way to the outcomes we desire. We’ve hoped that a few vegetables a week lead to weight loss and that that one workout a few weeks ago leads to a dramatic increase in strength. We hope that our kids stop fighting long enough that dinner can be made, and we hope the charges on our credit cards aren’t more than we can afford.
Many of us practice hope rather than planning. We hope we are going to get the outcomes we’d like without putting in the work required. Real change requires work. Desired results require intentionality and time. We cannot hope our way to change. We must plan it.
There are things we can plan that get the results we desire. Meals can be planned if the desire is to lose weight. Workouts can be planned if the intention is to get stronger. Help can be requested so dinner can be prepared and budgets can be made so credit card bills aren’t surprises. We can each plan our way to the things we desire rather than just hope for them.
My encouragement to you is to plan what is important to you so there is no hope necessary. This doesn’t mean you don’t desire a positive outcome. It means you have planned out how to get the result you’re looking for. Do not rely solely on hope. Because when you plan the things you personally have control over, there’s no hope necessary to get them done.