Struggling with Planning?

A friend recently posted this…

“Someone just asked me what my three-year plan is… I’m just trying to make it to the end of today.”

In the best of seasons, planning isn’t the easiest thing for most people to do and in times like this, it can feel nearly impossible to hold onto a sense of direction when the sands just keep shifting beneath your feet.

So, as you move into Q2, I wanted to share some simple steps that may make it a little easier to stay the course as unchartered as it may be.

Planning isn’t about setting concrete, goals and achieving them perfectly.

Planning is a powerful skill that you build with practice. It provides clarity, grounding and strengthens your confidence. And it alleviates some of the anxiety about the unknown because you practice focusing more on what you do know, have control over and what next best steps you can take.

An essential part of the planning process that I love is timelining. Timelining provides a designated time and space to focus on a specific task in order of priority. Instead of trying to operate from an overwhelming list of things to do.

The process is a beautiful invitation to break things down into manageable tasks based entirely on a time frame that works for you and allows you to set everything else down. (And no you don’t have to use spreadsheets 🙂

Now, everyone has different timelines that they are comfortable with and this also changes with circumstances.
For example, I generally have a three year vision, a one year plan and quarterly key objectives and focus. Then, as each quarter approaches, I reverse engineer those 90 days into a 6 week detailed timeline. Six weeks is my sweet spot but it may not be yours.

You may have a detailed ten year plan, thrive on knowing what the next four weeks looks like or like my friend – be focused on today.

The plan is actually not the end game. The real power is anchoring in a planning process and a practice that works for you so that you can lean on it time and again to gain clarity, focus and your next steps which ultimately does help you reach those goals and brings that evolving vision to fruition.

Whether you’re a planning rock star, have avoided it at all costs or are somewhere in between, the following is a simple 3 step process with 7 questions to help you find your focus and get things done.

  1. Choose a timeframe to start with. (End of 2021, end of April, end of this week, end of today)
  2. Finish the following sentences:

    As of (insert time frame)

    (1) What I know for sure is…
    (2) I am devoted to feeling…(3) The real priorities personally this (year/month/week/day) is / are…
    (4) The real priorities in my business this (year/month/week/day) is / are…
    (6) I’m going stop ……………. to create more time for my real priorities.
    (7) …………………. would be game changing.

    Here’s an example:

    As of the end of this week…

    (1) What I know for sure is that I need to slow down and get some sleep.
    (2) I am devoted to feeling empowered, nourished and grounded.(3) The real priority personally this week is to organize my finances and spend time with my kids.
    (4) The real priority in my business this week is to finish my website and reach out to five clients.
    (6) I’m going stop scrolling social media at night to create more time for my real priorities.
    (7) Taking this weekend OFF entirely would be game changing.

  3. Based on the time frame you’ve chosen, pull out your calendar or daytimer and map out specifically when you are going to focus on each priority and what you need to do to stay devoted to how you want to feel. Then take everything else that’s vying for your attention and set it aside until you do this exercise again.

So, if you’re feeling without direction, try this out for a day or two. It works!