Well, we have made it. Here we are at the end of the month and the end of our series, 4 Easy Steps to Create a Life You Love.

We have prioritized, created a plan, and put that plan into practice. Today we move on to our fourth and final step, Step Four: Protect.

I wish I could tell you it is all downhill from here. I have found out first hand, this past year, that this is when the real work begins. In order to keep this life we love, that we worked so hard to create, we must protect it.

Using the car analogy I have been using throughout the series, our classic car has been restored. We stripped away all the rusted, broken parts. We replaced all the inauthentic pieces. Each piece and part has been meticulously put back into place. We cleaned and customized it, restoring it to its former glory. It looks, sounds and runs beautifully. It is breathtaking, turning heads as we drive it down the street. But in order to keep it in pristine condition, we must continue to take care of it. We must wash it, wax it, and maintain the interior. We must check and change the oil, and get it tuned up.

Just as protecting this classic car is the key to maintaining it, so is protecting the life we love the key to keeping it.

So how do we do this?

1. Continue to say no to good in order to say yes to great.

Almost a year later, I still am saying no to good things so I am able to yes to the greatest things. I am still protecting my priorities. Just this weekend I had to say no to something. It is hard at times but when I remember the reasons why I am saying no, I am filled with purpose, hope, and freedom to focus on my five priorities.

2. Reassess your priorities and plan at the change of seasons and change of life-stages.

One thing I have been learning, because it is a constant learning process, is that as life changes so do my priorities and plan. Yours will too. Don’t feel guilty or bad about this. Periodically, walk through these steps again, and make changes accordingly. I have found it works best for me as my kids change schedules, so this past year I reassessed at the beginning of the summer, the beginning of school, and then again at the new year. This helps me to align my plan ( and schedule) with theirs.

3. Stay Mindful.

It is so easy to let life happen and commitments creep back in. But it is just as easy to get caught up in perfecting the plan. Remember, creating a life you love is not about perfection but progress. Little by little, making changes that focus fully on what matters the most. Don’t lose sight of that.

I have truly enjoyed walking with you through this process of creating a life you love. I hope and pray, it has been helpful to you. I will leave you with this final thought, one of my favorite quotes,

The secret to having it all is believing you already do.