To Do or Be? (The Real Question)


“You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.”
~C.S. Lewis


Have you ever heard the saying, “f you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?” It is important to know where you are going, but it is equally important to know why. Knowing precedes doing, but understanding the reason for bothering to go at all  is what will keep you moving in the right direction.

Does one plan to live or live to plan? Each perspective will color the experience.

In His book First Things First, Stephen Covey broke through time management barriers by offering an alternative to the enslaved “To Do List” mindset. He challenged business professionals and everyone who longed for a life of significance, to consider who they were becoming instead all they were doing. Jesus Christ cut through the bureaucracy of His day 2000 years earlier when He said, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” ( Mark 8:36)

It stands to reason as we consider planning our days that we would should consider  our priorities. We can get a lot done, cross off every single To Do on our list and to what end? We are not human doings. We are human beings. People are not projects. Misplaced priorities will always show up in our attitudes, communication, choices and words. If people are a way for you to get what you want, you will treat them as objects, not souls, whether at work or home or anywhere. You will also treat yourself as an object.

You are not an object, or a project, my friend. You are a precious soul created to glorify a Perfect Creator. 


A Practical Tip: Cultivate the daily habit of BEING in your planner! Have you opened your planner today? Are you focused on doing or being? How can you balance your to do mindset with your to be perspective for a better day?

1.) It is only the second day of October! Have you created your Master Goals List for the month? What do you want to accomplish and why? Who do you want to be one month from now? Sit down and consider what you want to do in October and more importantly, why- to what end?

2) Yesterday we noted that we need to make time to BE in our planner. I like to list all important appointments on my monthly view calendar. Then each week I check my month view and add the appointment into the week during my plan time (usually at the start of the week). This keeps me from forgetting important appointments. What will you do to make sure you are not forgetting important appointments today? This week? This month?

A  Quote to Ponder:  “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~Stephen Covey


A  Prayer for  Today: Lord,  it is in you that I live, move and have my being (Acts 17:28). You know what matters most for my day, for me. Help me to trust in you and your way by having the same priorities you did and do. Lord, people matter. People matter most, but you also modeled drawing away to quiet and lonely places to renew, recharge and connect with your Father to ensure you stayed your course. I am not above you, my Teacher and I ask that you would lead me in the way everlasting, even today. In Jesus Name, Amen.



This is Day 2 of the series Planning with Purpose: 31 Days of Planner Tips

I wrote an INTRO POST here explaining everything!

I have also made designated a PAGE for it. Hope this makes it easy. I am happy to tackle a topic, or issue with regard to your planner habits.

Feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me. 

final with bigger31

I pray this series is a blessing to you. 

Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is a life enthusiast who loves to juggle words, chug coffee, and journal excessively. You can find her gathering stones on the beach most mornings. She enjoys hanging out with her hubby, daughter and family pets in Narragansett, RI and shares her passion, poetry and prose @Enthusiastically, Dawn.

15 thoughts on “To Do or Be? (The Real Question)

  1. This is so good, I especially like the CS Lewis Quote. I don’t ever make goals for the month but feel like I should; sometimes I just don’t know where to start. My goals are to be the best mom and wife I can and teach my kids. I am beginning to see I need to make personal goals for myself…a little me time, so to speak.


    1. I always loved Franklin Covey because the seminars would really help you to identify your roles and relationships, then set weekly and monthly goals based on how that would look broken down into bite size moments! Try it. Also the website offers a great free exercise in helping with that…oops but I was gonna share that in a post! 😉


  2. Dawn, I too love the C.S Lewis quote and the words from Stephen Covey. It is such an empowering way to live if we focus more on who we are becoming than what we do. Thank you for this interesting and insightful post! 🙂 x


  3. Fantastic post! Here’s another quote on the the same idea: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Priscilla Shirer.


  4. Love this post! I especially like your prayers at the end. What a heart for God you have and what a blessing your posts are.


  5. Love that quote & Christa’s too!
    Just what I needed today, after 7 appointments on Monday & Tuesday & now company from 2000 miles away that we haven’t seen in several years I’m feeling overwhelmed…more like this quote:
    “Wherever I go, there I am. Everywhere I’ve been, I’ve left.
    I was usually doing something else at the time.” ~ Big John Gillis
    Sort of feels like I’ve been missing something. 🙂 Thanks for the reminder to slow down & let God do the planning!!!!


  6. The invitation to be with our Planner is beckoning me…I think I will dust off the planner I started at the beginning of this year…a combination planner/lfe documentation tool…and art, of course! I agree the prayers at the end are just so gentle and soul quenching…thank you!


  7. This is so inspiring, Dawn, yet practical. I love it! And I have really benefitted by two of Covey’s boos. Of course, he has his very own planning system, about which many people know, but it’s not artsy like yours! =] How exactly do you BE with your planner? Can you elaborate on that a bit? Do you constantly look at your schedule, calendar, to-do’s while referring back to your purpose statement, e.g., which I’m sure directs your goals? I’m curious, too, if you write your prayers in your planner–another way to BE with God.
    Love this series!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is great! Thanks for an insightful post! I am a total to-do list nut but sometimes I become ruled by my to-do list, and that’s not necessarily a good way to be. Also surprisingly I’ve had more trouble since I’ve been working from home. The more freedom I have had with my days, the LESS I am actually getting done. I need to schedule more routine into each day to get more accomplished.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sara, that is why I had to get back to my planner…not working. I so relate! Better now, though! I would love to stay in touch and GP sometime…maybe January. Just e-mail me- let’s stay in touch!


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