Sometimes planning can seem arduous, especially if you are planning every detail of your life at a single moment in time. Just the thought of that overwhelms me. That’s not the type of planning I enjoy. The type of planning that sets my heart ablaze is the kind that fits my lifestyle and container of time like a glove. It’s well-suited and inspires me instead of leaving me desperate to scratch it and create another. It’s intentional planning!
Plans like these motivate and feel ultra-doable (I know that’s not a word, but it’s my way of saying the plan is absolutely doable). When we attempt to follow through with a plan that feels complicated and abstract, we can pretty much bet we will be starting over with a new plan the very next week.
Implementing plans that are strategic not only moves us toward achieving the goal, but it enables us to enjoy the journey to success along the way. I had to learn how to plan after many years of haphazard planning. Essentially, my plans would start with some vague goal with a long list of “to-dos” to get me there. And since the “there” was abstract, and the “to-dos” were too numerous, the plan was overwhelming and discouraging.
Today, planning looks quite different. I’ve learned how important the mission is as the foundation for developing a strategic plan to fulfill the vision. Our strengths, lifestyle, relationships, container of time, and how we like to work should inform how we plan. When we embrace planning holistically, we can begin to see a plan as a powerful tool to move us forward and not a ball-and-chain that holds us down.
Here are 4 simple tactics I use to help me make a plan that feels inspiring and rewarding:
- Always go back to the mission. A mission that aligns with your values and passions is likely to pull you move forward. It is essential to regularly visit why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. Without revisiting, it’s easy to get derailed and pursue an ambiguous path that leads nowhere. Instead, remind yourself of what is important. Your mission is the foundation for planning. Planning for the sake of planning does not work. Fuel your efforts consistently with your mission.
- Ask meaningful and powerful questions. All questions are not created equal. Questions that we already know the answers to are not the most powerful questions. Questions that push us to think deeper are the ones we may need to consider. For example, “What’s really getting in my way?” or “What makes this so challenging for me?” or “What haven’t I considered thus far?” or “What information do I still need to make this decision?” are questions that, when answered, help us to think beneath the surface and move forward faster.
- Answer the pertinent questions. Sometimes, we are good at asking powerful questions, but we fail to respond with answers. To move forward and plan effectively, we need to answer pertinent questions. Many of my clients get stuck in the “what-if” in coaching. I often ask them to explore and answer whatever “what-if” they are entertaining. The unknown shouldn’t be feared. We can view possible outcomes as an opportunity to make a just-in-case plan.
- Decide the next best actionable step. Notice that I have written step as singular instead of plural. Perhaps the next best thing to do is one in lieu of many. It can be overwhelming to make a thorough plan in one sitting. It may be helpful to think only about the very next best step and do it. This gives us the confidence to take another step when the initial step is completed.
There is no perfect method for good planning. But to achieve your goals consistently and confidently, proper planning is essential. A good plan provides the structure for how you want to move forward to achieve the desired outcome.
If you would like more support, join me for the upcoming Live Coaching Workshop. There is teaching, facilitation, and individual coaching in a small group setting. Get all the details for all upcoming events at tabithaperson.com/events. If you would like more individualized coaching support, book a FREE Discovery Call at tabithaperson.com.