I walked out the door with my box of stuff from my desk. The sun was shining. I felt full of possibilities and scared to death at the same time. After giving a one month notice, I had just worked my last day at my job. I said goodbye to a job I loved to say hello to my new company that I was starting and my determination to write my first book.
I soon found myself floundering around. I knew I wanted to write a book and I knew I wanted to successfully launch my coaching and training company. I felt like I was all over the place with my thoughts.
Then, I remembered the importance of planning. I was on my own, trying to grow a company. I was free to do my own thing. I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I had never needed planning skills so much in my life.
However, I resisted it. Then, I realized a couple things.
What if I were incredibly successful?
That sounds like everyone’s dream, but it is actually very common for people to be more worried about what will change with success than what will happen without it.
I went back to my organizational management roots and sat down for some good old-fashioned planning. As soon as I wrote down my plans, I instantly relaxed. I had a map. Of course, it changed many times over the years, but this map kept me moving forward with focus and fun.
Fun is a big part of my daily routine. I find a way to add fun into everything I do. I make my planning sessions fun by blasting music. Some days it is 80’s rock bands and other days, the music could be something classical from Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, or others. I might even go with Neil Diamond. Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan, depending on my mood.
Visual cues are motivating, too. I make vision boards, and encourage my clients to make them, too. I also like to use private Pinterest Boards. When I notice an image that represents one of my goals, I will tear it out of a magazine, print it, or save it to a file or board.
Mind mapping also helps. I prefer big paper and markers even though there are great mind mapping apps out there.
Taking time to plan and create your own map for success, is a major key to unlocking your goals.Click to tweet
It is hard to believe that this beginning of my company was eleven years ago. Over the years, I created six books, dozens of masterminds and group coaching programs, workshops, keynotes, a podcast, hundreds of interviews, hundreds of clients, thousands of customers, vacations, friendships, and more. Fast forward to today, and I am loving the work that I do with my clients.
All of these goal achievements were possible because I planned the action that I would take.
In my eleven years of working with clients, I see this pattern of resisting planning every day. Just about everyone knows the importance of planning, but few actually do it on their own. Most people need encouragement and help with focus. Even then, there are blocks and resistance to creating a plan.
Because the resistance is often rooted in subconscious thoughts, a person will think they are just procrastinating or even unmotivated.
I created a tapping exercise to help shift the resistance and blocks you may have to planning.
You can listen to this podcast episode here
Once you are ready to sit down and do some planning, here are some helpful steps:
Create a big picture and vision of where you want to go and what you want to do. Include personal as well as professional goals. A mind map is helpful.
A vision board captures emotion and excitement:
Then, create an annual plan, a 90-day plan, and a 30-day plan.
An annual plan gives you a 12-month window and it is helpful for planning marketing efforts so you do not have overlap. An annual plan will also help you with goals that require 12 months.
A 90-day plan is overall, the most effective way to plan. You can achieve something significant in 90 days, yet it is short enough so you can see the end in sight.
A 30-day plan is great for creating momentum. And most people can stick to something for 30 days.
You may find yourself using all of these and you may even want to do a five or ten-year plan or longer if you like to think long term. Some aspects of your life like retirement planning or strategic planning for biz require this kind of planning. You also would look at long-term planning for saving for college or buying a home.
How do you then, create the plan?
Once you have goals and ideas, you can create your plans by using a simple outline, an excel spreadsheet, or even a handwritten plan works.
Often, the most effective plans fit on one page. It forces you to get focused on what you really want. Of course, a one-page plan will not be a detailed plan, but more of a guide.
You can use apps for planning. A few favorites are Google Keep, Evernote, Trello, Speed Dial the Universe (for a law of attraction approach to daily planning), and Mindomo (for mind mapping).
If you struggle with coming up with goals, one of the best books for goals and planning that aligns with your values is Stephen Covey’s book (ad) 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It was a life-changer and is a timeless classic. If you like planners for handwriting your goals and schedule, (ad) Franklin Covey is one of the best. Daytimer is also a classic.
If you prefer planning software, Anytime Organizer Deluxe is highly ranked.
I would love to hear about the tools you use and your experiences with planning.
If you liked this article, you will love my upcoming Master Your Biz Mindset Workshop
Sheri Kaye Hoff
Coach, Trainer, and Author, Sheri Kaye Hoff, is a Business and Life Coach known for inspiring massive action and a catalyst for personal and business growth, joy, and profits in a way that is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling, Sheri inspires people to the do work they love and make more money. Sheri helps business owners and professionals to relax into success. She uses both spiritual and practical techniques to obliterate blocks and create dramatic change. She is a business, leadership, happiness, and inner game expert. She has overcome nearly dying, and the loss of her brother at an early age. She has made it her life mission to discover the keys to happiness and success and then share them with her clients and community. Learn more about Sheri.
*Tapping is general advice and not medical or psychological advice.