You may not believe me but you will appreciate Personal Progress a lot more after you leave the Young Women’s program. It is a bold statement. I have been blessed to serve in YW’s for six of out of the last nine years. I’ve heard every excuse for not doing Personal Progress—do some sound familiar?
-“I have 6 years. I’m in no rush”
-“I lost my book” (To this I suggest doing it online-no lost books there!)
-“It takes forever and I’ll never finish”
And my favorite:
-“I don’t have time”
Some wise words from Sister Elaine Dalton changed how I look at Personal Progress and the whole “no time” issue. She asked some young women why they don’t have time for Personal Progress. One mentioned she was busy being on the debate team. Another had track practice, homework and piano lessons. One young woman said she volunteered helping children read at an elementary school and had to help her mother with the younger siblings.
Sister Dalton said they were actually doing Personal Progress by just living their lives—doing exactly what they were already involved in was in fact, Personal Progress. Mind blowing, right?!
If you shift our mindset of Personal Progress to fit it into our lives rather than fit your life around Personal Progress you will complete it. For the girl who was busy volunteering at an elementary school, I’m sure she gave more than 10 hours. She just needed to state what she learned from that experience and how it blessed her life. Helping her mother would be another 10-hour project!
I’ve gathered some additional ideas for 10-hour projects that have stood out to me over the years.
-Putting on a fashion show WITH the YW in your class. Put it on for the Achievement Day girls! Show them about modesty in different situations.
-Piano/voice/violin/tennis/(insert any lessons)
-Participating in church or school choir
-Visiting the local rest home
-Making stuffed animals for the nursery
-Creating something special for your room (painting/sewing/embroidery/etc.
-A research paper that takes a lot of time and work!
-Making dinner for your family
-Learning how to drive
Talk to your Personal Progress adviser to see how what you are ALREADY doing in your life can be an experience or a project.
Regarding the effects of Personal Progress Sister Dalton said, “When you do small things consistently, they become part of who you are and they change you. It really is ‘by small and simple things are great things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6)
Don’t wait until the last year of your YW experience to start Personal Progress. If this is what you have done don’t get discouraged. There is a way to complete it. Talk to your leaders. If you WANT to earn your medallion they will help you make a plan. I have yet to meet anyone who regrets completing the Personal Progress program—but have met many who regret not taking it more seriously and putting more thought into it.
Make a plan today! You can do this! It is so incredibly worth it.