Have you heard “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail?” I have never planned to fail and yet I have many, many times. I suspect you have too. So how do we plan effectively to minimize failures. Over the years I tried what felt like every planner on the planet, because I was determined to plan, yet none were right for me for more than a couple of months. I suspect you have experienced the same thing.
The first time I came across an undated planner I knew it was a step in the right direction. It gave me the freedom to start on a Tuesday in the middle of February or a Saturday in November. I didn’t have to wait for Jan 1 or waste a significant portion of what I had paid for.
Rationalization is the friend of procrastination. Procrastination is the enemy of progress. It shouted you have a choice to start today. You don’t have an excuse, so start now…it was as if this new undated planner was jumping up and down and screaming at me, Stop procrastinating …. Start now! In the process I learned that the perfect time to make a change or start a new habit is right now, this very minute. I sat down and started to write.
But soon it wasn’t enough. It kept track of my appointments and my to do list, but it simply felt like I was still spinning my wheels, but in a more organized fashion.
I decided that it was time to figure out what would work for me. I knew it needed to start with goals and then create a system to support the accomplishment of those goals.
I had 10 year goals – 5 year goals – 3 year goals – 1 year goals and 90 day goals.
I understood that I needed to stair step them so that 1 year goals were a step towards 3 year goals and they in turn were a step towards 5 and 10 year goals.
I also knew that I was a master procrastinator. Regardless of what it was, I always came through and met or exceeded expectations, but I paid a price in the process for my procrastination.
That meant I had to anticipate obstacles and develop a strategy to deal with them. It also meant that I had to back things down so today I was focused and doing something. I could not procrastinate till the end of the week. Gradually it all came together. Just focus on the next 90 days. Make sure it is a small step towards that 10 year goal. I also knew that I was capable of overwhelming myself and fragmenting my effort by trying to do too many things at once.
So I created 3 goals for the next 90 days. Some were things I knew that with appropriate focus and effort I could complete within 90 days. Some were simply a step towards a bigger goal. For each goal it was essential to clearly understand why it mattered to me. I fully understood that it requires a powerful why to propel action.
I understood I would need to back this down to 60 day goals, 30 day goals and goals for this week. Again, it would need to be a stair step process. If weekly goals were accomplished then 30 day goals would be a no brainer, and 60 day goals would fall into line and ultimately 90 day goals would be accomplished.
But I was still very much aware that I was a master procrastinator well capable of pushing everything off till the end of the week and then embarking on a marathon hoping to get it all accomplished. Is any of this feeling familiar? I suspect it is.
I knew if I was going to succeed, I had to adjust my daily habits. That was the point when I got serious about a morning and an evening routine. The morning routine needed to include inspiration. I have long believed that just like a healthy diet is necessary for a healthy body I have believed that we needed to feed our minds and our spirits healthy ideas if we want them to be healthy also.
As a part of that routine I knew I also needed to focus on gratitude and a concrete action plan. The action plan could not simply be my “to do” list for the day. It had to be 1-3 specific actions that would move me towards my goal for the week.
Then it was time to create an evening routine. I had to begin with accountability. Did I keep my commitment to myself about those 1-3 action steps? What did I learn today? Learning matters. It is a catalyst for growth. Why does it matter? What am I grateful for? What will my priority be tomorrow?
The result was the first draft of The Momentum Planner. Many drafts and tweaks later I shared it with clients who loved how it supported them in the personal and professional changes they were committed to making. A few modifications followed and then it ultimately resulted in the publication of
Obviously, I would love for you to use The Momentum Planner because I know the power it has to change your life. But it is not the physical planner itself that will support you in making changes and achieving goals. It is the principles and the methodology you will find therein. To learn more about The Momentum Planner CLICK HERE
If you choose, use a journal or an old school black and white composition notebook. Whatever you use these are the key elements
Celebrate transformation. At the end of 90 days make sure you record and celebrate your accomplishments. Then find another mountain to climb and begin again.
As you summit your current mountain you will see vista’s previously hidden from your view and you’ll know which mountain you want to summit next. In the process it will feel like a miracle as you see transformation happen. I would love to hear about your journey. You can email me at [email protected]