Since I want you to be free and you want you to be free, answer this question honestly for both of us:
“Do you like to plan?”
I’m going to guess that you answered “no” since you’re reading this. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I used to hate to plan. Yes HATE with a capital H. And oh that mindset was bad and it was deep! My inner monologue would go like this:
“I can make quick decisions and I know what I need to do when I need to do it. Plus I don’t have time to plan. It slows me down from the real work. People who plan have too much extra time on their hands.”
Yes (hanging my head in shame) that was me during a season of life. Can you relate? The good news is that I learned how to go from a hate to love relationship with planning. Through this painful self-realization I learned these 4 key tips that I am sharing with you today.
P – Planning doesn’t have to be painful!“But planning is sooo boring and a pain in the butt!” you say. It can be if we overly complicate it. Planning doesn’t have to be more than a top level plan (click here for an example outline), the goals from that plan broken down into strategies (how you’ll achieve the goal) and an action plan (tasks to implement the strategy). We’ll be diving into this topic in the coming weeks (click here for more on goals).
L – Lifestyle: Planning is a skill. The more you practice the better you become at it. Yet you must make a choice to make planning part of your lifestyle so that you do practice until it becomes second nature. It doesn’t do you any good unless you are consistent; just like a weight loss program.
A – A piece at a time:How do you eat an elephant? A bite at a time. DON’T sit down and expect that you will have every single detail you need to plan your dream. DO get started with what you know and update your plan as you go. Write ideas down on post-it notes, journal, use your iPhone note function, use an audio recorder to record ideas, put your goals on a dry erase board etc. Do whatever you need to do to capture these thoughts because plan details will come in bits and pieces. You are putting a puzzle together.
N -No:Just say no to internal negative thoughts about planning. You can only truly be FREE when you have a plan. Yes this statement is the opposite of the way you and I think – but it is true. The truth is that planning makes you more efficient and effective because it forces you to think about how you use your time and how you’ll make your dream a reality. A plan also releases anxiety and gives you peace by putting things down on paper.
How does this change the way you think about the word PLAN?