When it comes to finding the best way to reach your goals, strategic planning is the magical ingredient for a successful outcome. And remember, you get to decide what success looks like for you (always a good reminder for me).
I’ve always been a list maker and I still love making them for everything I can think of. Recently I’ve started making lists of what meals I want to make for myself for the week, which days I’m going to do which workouts, and what my upcoming financial costs are, and always – a list of goals that I want to achieve both long and short-term. I do this because it keeps me on track - I won’t shove a pile of crackers in my body after I get home at the end of the day starving if I have planned and prepared a yummy meal.
Then I also make sub-lists about what I need to organize ahead of time in order for these things to actually happen.
I know, this might sound a little over-the-top. But it’s how I roll and it works for me.
You don’t have to be quite the list-lunatic that I am in order to create an effective plan. You just have to start with one idea or vision about how you want to feel. For example, “I want to feel healthy, cozy, and excited.” And from there you’ll automatically start to think about the things you like to do that make you feel that way. Write those things (actions) down.
i.e. I feel healthy when I drink green smoothies, when I work out, and when I make time to relax.
I feel cozy when I snuggle up in bed with a book, when I sit with a nice hot cup of tea in the morning, and when I have a bath with Epsom salts.
I feel excited when I get to skype with my family and friends, when I have an upcoming trip or event to look forward to, when I go skating, etc.
Doing what you love and what makes you feel good will essentially lead to fulfilling your highest ambitions. Your goals are born from your deepest desires, so it only makes sense to connect with what feels best.
Write down what your feel-good inducing actions are and how often you want to do them. Slot them into a calendar, or post the list on your bedroom wall and add the days on which these actions will happen. If something is a one-time deal (like a particular competition or a meeting you want to have) write the exact date for it. It doesn’t matter how you create your plan; it’s the act of making it that actually matters. You’re programing it into your brain, both into your conscious and your sub-conscious. Your brain then sends messages to your body and soul, igniting a spark to take action.
And when your goals are based on how you want to feel, it’s much easier to paint a picture of what success looks like for you and only you, rather than what the general idea of what success is “supposed” to look like – or what others might want for you.
Keeping your list or plan in a visible spot also helps to hold you to your true desires. If you see it everyday you will be reminded of your ultimate wants and feelings. And instead of allowing time to pass you by, you will choose to take certain actions that direct you towards your goals while ignoring the ever-so-often, in-the-moment “I’ll do it later, some other time” thoughts that make us forget about the passion and elation that the achievement of these tasks and goals bring to us.
Update your list as often as you like. When things start to feel less enchanting, revisit your desired feelings and create a new plan from there. We are always evolving and nothing ever has to be unchangeable.
Stay true to what makes you feel good rather than what other people say you should be doing. When you do this, you shine and confidently step out into the world (and onto the ice) everyday offering your unique strengths and qualities. What’s more is that these inherent strengths, in turn, bring out your natural inner power, leading you to your dreams with a sense of assuredness and fulfillment.
Carve your path, reach your goals, and enjoy the ride along the way!
Are you a dreamer, a planner, a list-maker? I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and strategies about planning and goal-setting. Share your comments below!
Happy Planning :)