GET A JUMP START ON THE YEAR AHEAD:
5 PRINCIPLES FOR BRILLIANT PLANNING
Hoping that the Law of Attraction will kick in and manifest what you dream of having or doing just because you put it on a vision board doesn’t work.
Writing out a 5 page list of New Year’s resolutions often doesn’t cut it either.
Studies that show that only about 8% of people who actually create those resolutions ever accomplish them. Apparently, the majority of people actually never do much planning at all.
Many people find the world so fast-moving and unpredictable that it hardly seems to make any sense to have much of a plan, because life always seems to be throwing unexpected curve balls at you any way. Some people who consider themselves more creative or intuitive also chafe with the structure of having a “Plan”, preferring instead to be spontaneous and “in the moment” when opportunities or challenges present themselves in this journey called life.
Our attention and energy is pulled into so many different directions 24/7 in this crazy-busy world we live in now. It’s more important than ever before for each of us to identify what’s truly important in terms of our priorities and values. We need to bold and stick a stake in the ground to say what you stand for otherwise you risk feeling stretched to the breaking point and not able to live a life that of meaning on your own terms.
With these 5 principles to guide you, you’ll be able to do some brilliant planning of your own in a way that feels authentic and empowering to you!
1. Make it Visual
Our brains are very wired to think in images. In fact, about 65% of the population are visual learners. Working with images and other visual cues is a great and easy way to tap into the power of both your left and right brain and access innovation and creativity in your thinking process. Working from a plan that relies primarily on text to convey how to get you where you want to go isn’t taking advantage of that natural affinity of the brain to connect to images.
When you’re doing planning for your business or your life, do what you can to bring some kind of visual component to it. Break out the colored sticky notes and markers. Doodle some images to represent your goals. Finding pictures from the internet or magazines helps to activate a deeper level of connection, energy and commitment to your vision and goals. I’ve created a visual template kit you can use to help you make your plans which you can download here. (HYPERLINK TO https://brilliancemastery.com/visual-template-kit)
2. Zoom Out to Dream
It’s important to give yourself permission to dream. We spend most of our time and focus being very practical and functional. But when you’re planning, you need to be able to zoom out, get the highest perspective on your life and dream of what you would be most inspired and joyful to create for yourself. Create a picture of what your life or business would look like if you were living as your most expanded, brilliant and confident self.
When I am drawing out a visual map for a client as part of a strategic planning session, I often need to remind people that it is OK to dream. If you’re not willing to dream, you’re only ever going to be able to make incremental change.
If you immediately jump to “Well, how am I going to do that?” you break your creative flow. The dreaming process and the execution process are two different skills sets and two different kinds of energy. Just ask any writer who has tried to write and edit at the same time and they will confirm that experience!
3. Zoom In to Plan
Once you have dreamed and articulated a vision or possibility that excites, inspires or even scares you just a bit, you’re then ready to zoom in to plan. Put on your strategic planner hat and give yourself full permission to ask the tactical and practical questions like “How can I do that?” or “When can this happen?” and “What experiences and skills have I learned that from my past that I can apply towards my future goals?” The need to harvest the wisdom of your past is central to the design of the Looking Back-Looking Ahead visual template that you can download here.
Your internal project manager can start to chunk down your vision into meaningful projects and time frames. Create some yardsticks for yourself so you can tell if you’re making progress or spinning your wheels and need to make some course correction.
4. Be Willing to Test
It’s natural when you face a number of choices to want to have some kind of guarantee that things will work the way you hope. I need to remind my clients (and myself too!) that imperfect action is better than perfect inaction. You’ll never know what results you can create until you commit to taking action.
What can help break free of any kind of analysis paralysis when you’re setting your priorities in your plan is to be willing to test. Want to create a new program? Test it out on some beta clients so you can get some feedback and experience before you offer it out to your entire list. Want to develop more friends in the community? Test out having a weekly “connection time” blocked off in your calendar and see what results from that after a few months.
5. Rinse, Repeat, Re-calibrate
A plan is always just a starting point. It’s meant to be a dynamic compass that you can use to help you keep on course.
Rinse and repeat what is working for you. Be willing to course correct and recalibrate your plan when you aren’t getting the results you want. Celebrate the fact that you’re getting feedback that tells you that your actions aren’t lining you up in the direction you want to be headed in order to reach your goals.
In the Looking Back-Looking Ahead visual template kit, you’ll be able to do all your planning on one single plan that you can use at New Year’s on any time you need to do some planning. You can complete it in less than 10 minutes, plus it comes with an instruction guide and video tutorial. To access your free copy, just click here: http://brilliancemastery.com/visual-template-kit.
About the Author:
Carolyn Ellis is a visual facilitator, leadership trainer, Actionable Consultant and the founder of BrillianceMastery.com. She helps decision-makers and organizations accelerate their results by helping leaders improve engagement, clarify communication and strategic vision, access creativity, and develop high-performing teams. She’s delighted to be a part of the WILB community and says that “WILB is the one professional learning and networking conference I never miss – it’s fantastic!” You can learn more about Carolyn at www.BrillianceMastery.com. And see her live at the WILB (Women in Leadership and Business) Conference - April 15-17, 2018 at White Oaks Resort, Niagara on the Lake, ON.