January 13, 2021

5 Principles to Change Your Life: Principle #2 "Date or Cadence"

By Lizzy Jensen
5 Principles to Change Your Life: Principle #2 "Date or Cadence"

Last week I shared the 1st principle for creating real change in your life: "change your thoughts, change your life"

Today I want to pick up where we left off and share my 2nd principle. But first, let me give you a little backstory. 

Last week my husband and I did a quick 48-hour getaway to plan for the New Year. It was the first time we've done something like this. We did a little skiing, stayed in a rustic mountain lodge, and brought up a few poster boards to scheme and dream for our future. 

One of the most helpful things we did to make real change happen for our family is something I call "Date or Cadence." 

Let me explain. 

For about an hour of our getaway, we took one of our big poster boards and wrote out all our dreams and hopes for 2021. Energy was high as we looked at the now-filled poster board sitting on top of our little table, scanning all the possibilities for this year. But then came the inevitable question: How were we going to do and become the things we wrote down on our posterboard? 

So we decided to apply the "Date or Cadence" rule.

The Date or Cadence rule is to take anything you want in your life and ask yourself the question, "Is the reason that this thing isn't in my life right now because I haven't set a date for it, or because I haven't created a cadence for it?" Date items are generally one time events, where Cadence items are things that need to happen in your life in a repeated and regular cadence.

The next step is to take out your calendar and a piece of paper. On top of the piece of paper write "Cadence Items". For each item that you decided was a date item, you pick a date on the calendar--and commit yourself to do that thing then. For each item that needs a cadence you determine the frequency of the action (once a week? once a month?), and then the time and day you will do it, and write that on your piece of paper, in a planner, or somewhere you can revisit it regularly. 

Here are some examples of both cadence and dates: 

Date Items: Some of the Date items we put on our 2021 poster board include go on an RV trip with the kids (a dream of my oldest for a few years now!), a trip for my husband with his dad and brothers, and a getaway with some of our friends. 

We've had an RV trip on our list for years and have never done it, and know it's simply because we've never picked a date and committed ourselves. So for each of these items, we took out our calendar and determined a date when we're going to make them happen this year. Planning and writing is an act of faith, and creates a spiritual commitment that creates a spiritual magic all of its own. Writing down a date helps you begin to spiritually start working toward the thing you want to do. 

Cadence Items: Some of the Cadence items we put on our list included meditate more, hold regular family prayer, ski more as a family, and do date nights. To create real change in our lives, we needed to determine a regular cadence when we do these things. So we took out our "Cadence Items" piece of paper, and determined a regular time and place for these things to happen. For family prayer, we chose 7:15pm around our bed. (Our kids are young and go to bed early so this time makes sense for us, and my husband used to do family prayer around his parents bed and has memories of tickles and chats, and we thought that place would be the best!) For meditating for me, I decided to do one as part of my scripture study in the morning, and one while driving back from dropping off my kids at school. We did this for each of our remaining items: 2 hours Saturday for family skiing, Saturday night date night, etc. 

Again, planning and writing are acts of faith, and when you commit to a cadence you are allowing the spiritual magic to start working in your life. 

Just a week later we've already seen benefits from picking dates and setting cadences in 2021. I'm excited for the benefits this will create all year long!

Have you ever used the "Date or Cadence" rule to create real change in your life? How has it worked for you? 

I'm excited to share the rest of the principles with you this week!