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Planning My Personal Life..


When you are really busy and especially when you are having fun learning new things, planning and managing multiple projects and activities between home, work, family commitments and time for you, it is easy to get very scattered in thought and the activity.

I'm a master at this.!.!

And then there is nothing so good as sitting down and making a beautiful plan. A list with dates, and then a sublist, or three.... 

And then... how often you refer back to your list? Once a day? Once a week? Periodically? Occasionally? Never? Or just to create a new list and feel good ticking off some things as they actually did get done?

My teams, and I nearly said from days gone by, but actually some of my current business partners too...., will attest that I love a good plan. I personally need to see the order, manage the critical path and understand the repercussions of things slipping.

But that is for work things and for other people that I am working with. Historically I have always managed my own life on the "I'll fit it in when I get a moment or I need a break..." mentality. It has worked. It has allowed me to be flexible and jump whenever anyone asks.

The back story 

If you want to get to the list of benefits and learnings quickly skip this section.. or listen to the video!

Earlier this year, while I was back in the commuting world, I got around to listening to an audio book I had purchased at some point. Whenever I finish one book I flick through my Audible library and see what book jumps out at me and I tend to read that next.

In this case the Universe, as it always does, really helped me out.

I had set off early in the morning and hadn't selected my book for the journey. I was in the car and didn't have the luxury of flicking through my extensive library. I stopped briefly picked a random book and it just happened to be 🎼 do re mi 🎼, The 12 Week Year written by Brian P Moran and Michael Lennington.

I'm pretty certain I hadn't looked at the title - it was a random selection. And I had no idea what it was about...

Well I was captivated. He was talking directly to me. 

I was nodding my head. Agreeing. Pondering. Listening intently.

I completed the book. I restarted it straight away. I completed it for a second time.

I found that I would be doing something and a thought would pop into my head. I would dip back into chapters and re-listen to sections. 

I drew up my first 12 week plan. I revisited my goals - in depth. A total overhaul just to be certain that I had everything there. I like to be thorough... it can be a major disadvantage being so pedantic!!

I then went a step further and revisited my mission and vision. Yes, indeed... I do have personal and business mission and vision statements - I know, right 🤔

I drew up my very first 12 Week Plan, aptly saved as 12 Week Plan I - Feb to April 2019.

Now, Brian provides endless sources of support material, programmes and advice on their website. I read it all but decided to go it alone and not join one of the support groups. I've got this!

Despite all the testimonials and advice from others who had tried this process initially and then experienced the value in the group support... Yeah, I know 🤭

In fairness, I did ok. I saw the value. I worked out that it was very doable - and I like doable! How often do we start something and then it is too hard to maintain.

I worked out that it was very doable - and I like doable!
How often do we start something and then it is too hard to maintain.

I took the 13th week to reflect, assess and plan for my next 12 Week Year.

It felt weird not having a definitive plan to look at each day..

I jumped in and got started on 12 Week Plan II - 2019 May to July. Wow - it felt good. I was able to face up to things I had been putting off for months, years even in some cases.

I upset some people as I focused on me, what I needed, and what I really needed to clear up from the past to move forward. This didn't sit well at all, it is not my style and nature, but the relief of clearing up old 'stuff' really did feel amazing. I felt free to move forward and get on with my life, bringing my goals into reality, no longer drifting at the whim of others.

I completed my second cycle and by now I was sharing my experiences with colleagues, friends and clients. Some explored and read the book, some didn't. That is ok. We all have our own journey. 

I started hearing the same things being said back to me that I had noticed. So it wasn't just me.

Planning your time, your life, your personal dreams and aspirations is liberating. Putting YOU first enables you to show up and be more available to those who resonate with you. 

So what did I learn?

I did warn you... this is a long one!
  • I learnt more about me as a person. Where I give my time and where it doesn't always align with my values and objectives.
  • I learnt that I also need support. Yeah, yeah... I know I preach this stuff! I always encourage people looking for a coach to find out who the coach has supporting them. I have people that I work with for different aspects of my life and business but I didn't have anyone on my 12 week journey with me, and it really does help to have this.
  • The people who attend your WAM (weekly accountability meeting) really do need to have read, or fully committed to the concept and process. The two guys I co-opted into my second cycle were fabulous but, I believe, we all would have benefited more from a collective commitment. We all did benefit from the weekly checkins but there was more we could have gained. And, at times, I felt that I needed a bit more support..
  • The weekly planning is fun, doable and very welcome start to my week. I have refined my tracking system and switched away from MS Excel - yes indeed - and fallen in love with Apple's Number and Google Spreadsheets. Seriously.
  • The mental release from not having everything in my head, or worse on a list that I know is so long that I can't ever achieve it, is immeasurable. 
  • The daily check in to the goals for this quarter, the visibility of the overall plan, and the tactics for this week to achieve those is refreshing. It keeps me focused and the positive momentum to get things done early in the day and take time out to relax is awesome.
  • Having wellbeing goals means that I am attentive to my exercise patterns, my sleep habits and my diet. I have always tried to keep a focus on this as it is really important to me but these are now scheduled into my day and 'I get rewarded' for achieving them. It is about me!
  • The annoying little voice in my head is a lot quieter now as I am able to remind her that I've got this. Right now I am doing this task. We will have break and then do the next task. There is no space, or need, to think about anything that isn't on today's schedule.
  • It is ok to adapt and change things but only after a thorough assessment of the impact and if this is in line with the overall goals for the 12 weeks. I include things like time with friends, outings with family, etc and these sometimes flex a bit - and that is ok.
  • I have definitely been far more productive, efficient with my time and relaxed since I started this planning process. I have always loved my work, my client time and personal relaxation but there are tasks that just seem to slip by week on week. These are getting done and it feels great!
  • You sometimes have to make hard decisions. All really successful people have critics who judge their behaviours and actions at time. Perhaps this is about your tribe.

Are you surrounding yourself with people who uplift and inspire you or are you being held back by some people you have around you. If you are a people pleaser this is a tough one...

If you have fingers in many pies, you sometimes have to prioritise and let one, or some, wait. Ultimately this is better for all projects! Yeah, I know we all think we are super-human and can achieve miracles. And we can 🙌, but we can achieve even more when we are able to apply 100% of our attention and focus exclusively on the task that will bring the maximum return, ito of our values and defined goals.

  • We are capable of so much more than we actually think we are if we are able to create the space to allow our brains to perform and support our mental, emotional and physical health.
  • Give yourself the best chance to succeed and really feel what that feels like. Reward yourself often - we all need rewards. Setting your goals includes what reward you will enjoy when it is achieved or completed.
  • Be careful what you wish for! Be specific about the what but be open to the how. 

I could go on and on, but this is already an epic post... Perhaps it should be an article and not a blog post?!? 

So a final lesson is that things don't have to be perfect. Be you. Be real. Be honest. Be human. 

If you would like to get your life in perspective and make significant progress with personal or business goals, reach out. 

Any change is difficult. Staying put feels comfortable, but you have to embrace change if you want to make your dreams come true. Only by doing things differently, can you find the path to richer experiences and a more rewarding future.

The challenge is knowing what changes to make. You can try to ‘work it out’, and may have tried already, but without the right guidance, you could end up more confused than you were before. That’s when people give up and settle for what they already know.


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