Creating a beautiful plan is akin to decluttering for your mind. When you create an action plan, you gift yourself a beautiful container, that holds together all the parts of your business and life in a manageable and understandable format.
Without a good plan, all our different threads of thought, can become a tangled mess leading to confusion and overwhelm. We lose sight of what needs to happen, when our deadlines are, and the resources needed to allow our dreams to become a reality.
All the things we’re trying to remember, the things we want to do, the things we need to do, the dates and deadlines, the fabulous ideas for those new offers, programs, books, the strategies we want to implement, the systems we want to put in place. It’s no wonder we can become overwhelmed, struggle to stay motivated and not know where to start. It’s not surprising that we end up scrolling social media, watching Netflix, or eating when we’re not hungry! Don’t stress though, you can create a plan!
Creating a beautifully aligned plan is like decluttering for the mind. We metaphorically get everything out, see what we’ve accumulated, see what gives us a ‘spark of joy’ (borrowed from the wonderful Marie Kondo’s ‘The Art of Tidying Up,’) chuck what we don’t want, then organize and prioritize what we do want. We record our findings so that they are easy to find, pick up, put down and enjoy. Who doesn’t want more ease, joy and flow?
When you create a plan you effectively write an action plan that gives you easy steps to take to reach each goal. You get to assign tasks to yourself or your team at times which allow you more space, but you also get to tie all this back to your big vision and your ‘why’ which is so important to keep you feeling inspired.
Once you’ve created your beautiful aligned plan, you know exactly what you need to do and when. If you spend time with it regularly, it’ll help you determine what’s really important to you and to stay motivated and committed throughout. It’ll help you avoid missed deadlines, and show you the steps you need to take to complete the tasks you’ve set for yourself.
Read on to learn how to create an effective action plan. It’ll support you to achieve your goals and manifest your dreams. Plan to achieve your goals, don’t just leave it to chance.
How to create your plan in 5 Easy Steps to declutter your mind and increase ease and joy.
1. List your Accomplishments.
When you create a plan, or write a plan, this is always your first step. We’re talking accomplishments, things you’re proud of, achievements, successes, wins, challenges you overcame, anything you can give yourself a pat on the back for. You get to decide what time period to include. If it’s your first foray into structured planning, take a pen and paper, go back over your life and create a list, write down ALL your major accomplishments. Keep coming back and adding to the list when you remember more.
Then, focus on your more recent ones. If you’re planning regularly, just list the accomplishments since your last plan, ideally every quarter or 90 days. You can include just business or work life, but I prefer to work holistically and include non-business-related accomplishments too. It helps us to see just how all-around brilliant we actually are!!! If you’re having trouble remembering, flick through your diary, look at your financials, look back at your photos, look at your client notes, read your journal, look at your monthly review. Your plan needs to include your accomplishments EVERY SINGLE TIME. Don’t skip this step if you want to set yourself up for success.
2. What did you learn?
The next step is to create space to acknowledge and record what didn’t go so well and what didn’t go to plan. Then, more importantly, what did you learn from these experiences? Which step will you take with you going forward? What will you do differently? This is not a place to beat yourself up. This is a place to help you use your challenges as springboards to your next accomplishments.
Write down your 3-year vision. How would you LOVE your business and life to look in three years time? You don’t need to think about how it will happen, if it’s possible for you, or whether it’s realistic. Just allow yourself to dream. What’s your current end goal? What do you want to achieve? Dream big, this is just for fun, it’s not set in stone, you can change it any time. Enjoy playing with the possibilities. Again, it’s just for fun. Do you want to make more money, travel, improve your relationships, win speaking engagements, start a course, offer a mastermind, membership or sell out your programme? We need to really think about what we’d like, it can help to clarify that by thinking about what we DON’T like in our current life and flip it around. How do you want to look, and feel, what do you want to see and hear in your life?
It’s worth getting clear about what you want. SMART goals are all well and good, but if you want an extraordinary life, you need to give yourself permission to dream big and visualise what you want, however unrealistic it may seem right now.
4. Break it down.
From your 3-year vision, if it were to come true, what could you do in the next year to move towards that vision? We’re getting a bit more ‘realistic’ here. What would you like to see happen in your business and life in the next year, which with a bit of luck, focus and courage, could actually happen?
Then from your one-year list, see what needs to happen in the next 90 days in order to move towards that one-year vision. It’s good to set some clearly defined, measurable goals. What do you need to complete in order to reach those goals? You can then see what steps completing this goal involves, and break those big goals down into mini-goals. Doing this will help you achieve the bigger goals without overwhelm.
Take some time to identify the resources you already have that will help you achieve your goals and any that you need to acquire. It may be that acquiring the resources you need becomes a new goal or mini-goal.
Be realistic. Don’t overstuff your plan. Give yourself space and time to breathe! There are 4 x 90-day quarters in the year. You don’t need to do it all this quarter!
Now you’ll want to mark in your calendar what needs to happen and when. It’s time to put in all your pre-existing commitments, your holidays, breaks and appointments. Then add in CEO time that you can spend with your plan and take a regular birds-eye view of your business.
Now you’ll be able to write your goals and each mini goal along with your priorities for each month. You need to see how your tasks and timelines work together. If they don’t, you need to make some changes. You can either set a specific day and time to work on each project and goal, or you can keep it more open as to when you will work on these goals in this week. Different options work for different people at different times. Be flexible until you find the approach that works best for you right now.
Setting a start and end date for a project can be helpful and motivating, for some items there will be an actual deadline, for others, setting a deadline for your tasks can be helpful, it’s normal to fill the time allotted, so if we make that time smaller or shorter, we often work more efficiently to get the thing done.
Remember to schedule time each week to revisit your plan so that you can review how things are going and course correct if necessary – priorities change and that’s ok. When you complete tasks, write them down once each week as an accomplishment. Acknowledging these small milestones will help you stay on track and to achieve more, by keeping your mindset positive and forward-focused.
If you feel overwhelmed, go and spend some time with your plan.
If you’ve followed these steps, you have created yourself a planning process! Hat’s off to you! You just need to follow these steps to make ‘all the things’ seem less overwhelming. Achieving your goals will become a reality! Check out this blog for some mistakes to avoid when creating your plan.
If You’d Like These Steps on a simple 2-page PDF so that you can create a plan with ease, come and join my Free Facebook Group, where you’ll find it in the resources section of the Guides (Guide 2.)
When I work with my clients, together we make a plan. They come out feeling clearer, lighter and more enthusiastic, often about things which have been holding them back for a while. They walk away with actionable steps to take and together we track your progress in the accountability coaching sessions which follow. I can help you to reach your goals. You don’t have to do this alone.
If you’d like to discuss whether working together could be your next right step – book a call no-obligation call here, let’s connect.