Why do I keep re-planning and re-prioritizing? How do I make a plan that works?
Do you feel like you are spending too much time creating new plans instead of working an existing plan over time? Do you juggle multiple plans and schedules (one for work, one for home, one for marathon training) such that you increase stress and overwhelm? Do you have everything you want to do crammed into one To Do List that you rewrite every night, getting lost in the details and forgetting to enjoy your life each day?
If so it’s because you don’t have a plan that works for you. A plan that works best for women is an integrated plan created for a certain period of time.
An integrated plan that works includes:
- Inner Inspiration. This can be referred to as your vision, purpose or mission. On your plan, you want to include a simple reference to what inspires you to lead your life powerfully.
- Values. These capture what human qualities and characteristics you want to demonstrate with your choices and actions. They are unique to you, make you feel good and give you a sense of direction during decision-making.
- Strengths. Include what you do well and what you want to do more of in your work, community, family, friendships and other areas of life. Your strengths feel easy and fun for you to contribute.
- Priority Outcomes (reflecting all areas of life). Once you have remembered and are tuned into your Inner Inspiration, your Values and your Strengths, you then want to do a life scan (we use a Life Energy Bagua Map in our workshops) to brainstorm what is currently important to you in each area of life. After you brainstorm freely, choose the ones you would really love to have occur next.
- Timeframe. Now give yourself a timeframe to work this plan without re-thinking, re-strategizing or re-prioritizing. Depending on your pace, you might choose 90-days, 6-months or 1-year.
Now that you have an integrated plan, you need to work it! Obviously life is in motion all the time, so you need a flexible system to make sure you are moving forward on this plan while enjoying life. Here’s how to manage a plan that works:
- Post a motivating visual reminder. This could be making your plan your screen saver, making your values the backdrop of your phone or creating a visual collage of your priorities for your office.
- Create a daily or weekly system of inspired actions. At a pace that works for you, review your plan. Make sure you connect with each element, then make your next set of more specific inspired actions that will keep you moving.
- Progress toward multiple goals with one action item, managing your Return On Energy (ROE). We can use the female brain’s capacity for cross connections beautifully. Have your kids ride bikes beside you as you run. You are exercising, connecting, having fun and teaching great life skills in one 20-minute window.
- Focus on the task at hand, trusting your plan. Once you have created and chosen your next task, focus on that completely. Pausing the cross-connections (which can lead to over-processing and unproductive multi-tasking) and becoming mindful of what you’ve chosen to do next provides the moment-to-moment peace of mind that we crave.
- Notice accomplishments daily. If we never feel like we’re getting anything done, we are overwhelmed and exhausted. We must notice what we are accomplishing each day, letting it be enough. Yes, there will always be more to do, you will never get it all done and you didn’t do it perfectly today. Yet you accomplished what you accomplished, and it was enough.