While I have not been in Young Women’s for a few years, Personal Progress is something I still love and am passionate about. So naturally, I still work on it from time to time. This is not only beneficial to me, but it is also beneficial for the readers on this blog. It’s hard to blog about something you did several years ago and are not currently up to date with.
This year I have not finished many value experiences or projects. Only a couple here or there. However, this summer I’ve decided to push myself a little bit and finish one value in each month (I’m counting June, July, and August). So by the end of the summer that’s three completed values.
Some of you may be thinking this is a lot of work, and it is; but fear not, it is possible!
I’m a planner, so I love anything which involves planners, to-do lists, schedules, etc. I like to know what I’m doing and when I am doing. I know life is not always that perfect, but a girl can dream. Completing a value in a month requires a little time to sit down, and schedule what you are going to do.
I know you schedule is already packed, and mine is too, but you can use that to your advantage.
Know Your Schedule
At the beginning of June I sat down and to the best of my knowledge wrote down what I was going to be doing over the next month. Of course it isn’t perfect, because some activities come up which you don’t plan for. Others also fall through, and so you end up doing something different, or not doing it at all.
Here are some of the things I put on my list:
- Give a talk in sacrament meeting
- Volunteer work as a social media manager
- Visit friends at the beach
- Go to an amusement park
- Attend a play
- Play organ and lead music for sacrament meeting
- Lead the ward choir in sacrament meeting
- Painting Walls
Go Through the Subject Index
With my schedule, I looked up key words for each event using the Subject Index of my Personal Progress Booklet to see what values applied to my schedule. From there I found a few values which related to some of these activities.
||Related Value Experience
|Sacrament Meeting Talk
||Faith #4, Knowledge #4, Good Works #4,
|Social Media Work
||Leadership, Organizational Skills, Skills
||Choice & Accountability/ Good Works Project: Serve as a leader, DN/ IW/K project: Develop Organization skills and teach to someone else/ Learn a new skill K #2 Learn a new skill
||K #3: Attend a play
|Play Organ and Lead Music
||K #6: Memorize hymns and lead them
||K #6: Memorize hymns and lead them
||K #2 Learn a new skill, DN/IW/K learn a skill
As you can see, I did not find something for every part of my schedule. That’s ok, because I didn’t need to. This is just the schedule I had at the beginning of the month. Somethings came up later that I used as a value experience. I also completed an experience which had nothing to do with my schedule.
Looking at what I was already doing, was just a jumping off point for me. It also helped me incorporate my every day life into Personal Progress. I like doing this, because it teaches me to merge my schedule with the gospel. Everything we do in Personal Progress relates to the gospel in one way or another. Even if you are just learning a skill, there is a way to tie it back to your faith.
There are several more ways these activities could related to various value experiences and even more value projects. However, what I showed here was good enough to get me started.
Pull Out Experiences and Projects
Just looking at this chart, I decided I wanted to complete Knowledge for this month. I looked through the requirements of each Knowledge experiences, and put my scheduled items by the one it matched. It looked something like this.
- Knowledge #1: Read scriptures, write in journal, discuss with someone
- Knowledge #2: List my talents, list ones I would like, learn a new skill. Figure out what that skill is.
- Knowledge #3: Memorise 13th Article of Faith, go to play, evaluate what I saw and heard, discuss with someone
- Knowledge #4: Write and give sacrament meeting talk, write in journal
- Knowledge #5: Learn about social media/marketing work, give interview, write in journal
- Knowledge #6: Memorise the hymns I am conducting in sacrament meeting, and then conduct them.
- Project: Research and learn skills need to be a good social manger, and then practice
As you can see here, most of these experiences were taken care of by things I was already doing. The only one I was not already doing was Knowledge #1 and #2. There was a little extra work, such as reading scriptures and writing in journals, but for the most part I have my schedule to thank. This is the perfect way to make Personal Progress part of your every day life. It is completely possible!
Another good thing about doing Personal Progress using this method, is you know you will actually complete the experiences and project. Since you are doing it any way you will finish it any way. The only thing you need to do is read any scriptures, write in your journal, memorise a couple things, and discuss with someone if needed.
For Knowledge #2, I also pulled a skill from my schedule. I already knew how to paint, so I didn’t use that. However, when we went to visit friends, one of them taught me how to make Mexican rice, Mexican lemonade, and a chicken dip for chips. That is totally a new skill! (And a very delicious one at that.) And it fits in line with the requirements for Knowledge #2, because it says “Learn a new skill or talent that will help you care for your own future family of home (for example, playing the piano, singing, budgeting, time management, cooking, sewing, or child care).
Does It Count If I’m Already Doing It?
This is the same method I used when I was in Young Women and completed Personal Progress once a year. It may sound too easy to count as doing Personal Progress, but it does count. Personal Progress does not have to be hard, and it does not have to be a separate part of your life.
I’ve had people tell me over the years this is “cheating.” You can tell them I told you, “Using you schedule to plan for Personal Progress is not cheating, it’s smart thinking and planning.” This is the perfect example of “Working smarter, not harder.”
This is not just me say this, I have back up on this topic. On page 8 of your Personal Progress Booklet it says,
“Personal Progress can be part of the good things you are doing at home, church, school, seminary, and in the community. Use the subject index in the back of this book to find specific topics you are interest in and to learn how they can be used as part of Personal Progress. Remember to give yourself credit for all the good things you do each day. ‘By small and simple things are great things brought to pass’ (Alma 37:6).”
Using this method is completely acceptable, as long as you plan ahead.
What is not acceptable is looking back a couple months from now and saying “Oh yeah, I totally did that. Check!”
That is not the point of Personal Progress. The purpose of Personal Progress is to grow and be the best version of you you can be. This doesn’t just happen at church, mutual, Girls’ Camp, or other church activities. It happens at those places and when you are at home, school, in the community, at a friends house, on vacation, and everywhere you go.
The Young Women motto is “stand for truth and righteousness.” This is expected every day and every place; just like the Young Women Theme says, “We will stand as witnesses of God at all times, and in all things, and in all places (Mosiah 18:9)”.
The beauty of Personal Progress is, it gives you pre-designed ways to do that. The value experiences and projects teach you to read your scriptures and pray every day. They teach you to listen to the Holy Ghost. They teach you how to study the gospel and apply it into your life. They teach you how to make your home a sacred, holy, and happy place. They teach you to look for service opportunities. They teach you to change your character for the better, and to become virtuous, charitable, loving, and full of integrity.
I hope this post was helpful in giving you some ideas to include in your own life. Planning this way does take a little time, but it is worth it. Personal Progress can be hard and frustrating. I know there are some times when you feel like quitting all together because you don’t have time.
I want you to know, you do have time. Everything you do can become part of your Personal Progress life, and in turn Personal Progress becomes part of your life.