The flu, snow days, a puppy, technical glitches & plans gone awry…
January – with my plans in place, I launched two programs, hired support, hopped on my “get healthier” kick, hosted two important personal events & took the first holiday with my son & family in 20 years. February – arrived home to the flu, way too many things on my list to do, our new puppy & tech challenges. Within a week of touching down, achy, tired & overwhelmed my flow came to a screeching halt.
How do you navigate life’s ups & downs gracefully without losing the joy of it all, remain focused & get the important things done? It’s the million dollar question.
Sometimes, the answer is that you simply don’t… things fall apart & occasionally you will too. Yet, there are ways to make it easier for you to find your path again, restore your flow & renew your sense of sanity.
One the most important tools to make it easier to stay on track & find your way back is called your “Landing & Launch Pad.”
Your Landing & Launch Pad is the non-negotiable time & space that you carve out on a consistent basis to rest & reflect & to observe what’s working & not working. It’s the space to re-organize your priorities, make decisions, create strategy, find inspiration & launch back into your life with crystal-clear direction. Your Landing & Launch Pad is the key in your planning, prioritizing & navigation system.
The saying “A place for everything & everything in it’s place” doesn’t just pertain to returning your keys to the hook & files back to where they belong so you can thrive in your space, it also applies to your inner world. To decrease the chaos & overwhelm that comes with the tremendous volume of information, ideas, emotions, decisions & actions that you hold & process at one time, you need to have that internal place for everything to land, especially when things go awry.
Three steps to creating your Landing & Launch Pad:
1. (When) Choose your rhythm: decide when & how long you are going to block your time to focus on landing & mark it in your calendar. You might choose a three-hour, quarterly time block to map out the upcoming months or schedule a monthly block on the last Friday of each month. Sunday nights or Monday mornings work well to do your weekly planning.
2. (Where) Be inaccessible: Unplug, close your door, turn off your phone, shut down your email & let your team or family know that you are unavailable. If possible, step out of your usual environment. Whether it’s your favorite coffee shop or a secluded picnic table at the park, choose a location that inspires you to slow down & tune in.
3. (What) Create a consistent ritual: Use & modify the the template below to walk yourself through a consistent set of questions that lead you to uncover where you are now & what needs your attention. Return to your plan, priorities & things to do, re-evaluate your focus & decide on your action items until you land again (ie: one month later)
Just imagine you are leapfrogging from one lily to the next. You land, rest, decide your direction & leap to the next lily.
Using this simple process & creating this rhythmic commitment to hit the pause button on a regular basis builds inner trust that you will get back on track & know what your next steps are. Fear, anxiety, stress… cannot live in the same space as trust. So, even when things fall apart for a week or two, your attachment & the stress of it decreases dramatically knowing that you have time & space waiting for you to land, regroup & launch again.
Your next steps:
Please don’t waste your time by adding this to your list of “good ideas for consideration” & jam up the precious creative space between your ears. This works so take FIVE minutes & do the following:
1. Pull out your calendar – right now & choose ONE HOUR on ONE DAY in the next ONE month to Land & Launch.
2. Grab a note book, create a desktop file or whatever you use to keep your things to do, title it “LANDING & LAUNCH PAD” & use this to jot down any ideas, decisions or actions that you want to review when you land. Then let them go & focus 100% on what you know you need to get done now.
3. Know that sometimes there are reasons why plans go awry. If you cultivate your landing & launch rhythm & nurture the trust that you will get back on track with ease, you’ll have a better chance to embrace the lessons & unexpected, deeply meaningful experiences your life is offering you.
Here’s to the gifts that are given to us when things go awry!