Wellness & Writing

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Plan for Success. How to get unstuck and find your priorities in under an hour

March: a month of creativity and enterprise 

A few words on listening to your instincts and getting unstuck from your current “state of stuckness”.

In January we are ready for change. To turn a new, fresh leaf. In February we start to see all these great new ideas. In March we have to set these in stone. Don’t let them slip away as you may begin to lose momentum in the coming months. It’s time to plan and capitalise on all these great creative energies within you and around you.

Use the energies of March

According to those in touch with nature, we’re in a month of creativity and inspiration. March is filled with energies that will propel us forward in new directions where we can make progress towards existing goals. Have you felt a shift this month? Are you feeling the need to plan and get rid of the superfluous? I am. Never before have I felt so in harmony with my surroundings and my “gut” instinct. 

This push to really get my ducks in a row (as much as I hate that saying) started at the end of last year. Admittedly it followed the usual need to declutter and start afresh. But this year is different. Why? You may ask with a hint of cynicism. Because this time I’m actually acting on and not just listening to what my “niggling” thoughts are telling me. I urge you to do the same. Get unstuck. The time is ripe to strike forwards at your dreams and aspirations. Use the energies of March to make a real plan to make your projects real, too.

How to move forwards this year

Step 1

Figure out where are you stuck and write it all down. Which projects are taking up too much of your time? Which New Year’s resolutions have already hit the fan? Write down all the areas where you are stuck or not making progress.

Step 2

Figure out what your priorities are. We’re always really good at giving advice to our friends so apply this to yourself. Imagine your problem is your friend’s problem. Imagine they are expecting you to provide them with possible solutions as usual. Even go so far as to pretend they are coming to see you in an hour or ten minutes, so you have to get your thoughts together quick and come up with a plan for them. Write it down. Don’t waste time. No more than an hour. Stick to your priorities.

Step 3

Be creative. Even though you are being more objective because the “problem” is not your own, you can also get creative with this process and ask friends to help out. Present your proposals from Step 2 to a friend. I asked a friend of mine who runs several bars and cafes to give me one hour of her time as a consultant. Just knowing I’d have to present my position to her made me write everything out with the pros, cons, investments, projected revenue, spider diagrams, business wheels, the lot. I answered most of my questions before she arrived, but having her there resolved the stray ends and consolidated my areas of focus.

The time to plan for success is now. Take a few minutes to take charge of your life. Get a step by step system that works and that you will stick to keep. Step one: know what your priorities are. Read more...

Now it’s your turn

Don’t delay. Do the above in a day. Don’t take more than an hour to find solutions. After you have planned out your priorities you’ll finally feel in alignment with your inner values and core beliefs. If you ignore them again and continue fire fighting and spreading yourself thin, you will continue to feel discomfort, dissatisfaction and fatigue. Life is so much more of a breeze when your dancing to the rhythm of your own beat. Pay attention to your internal compass for navigating your life and knowing what needs to be attended to.

Ready for change and the good life

March is a month where you can expect the unexpected. Follow your intuition as you step into a journey or new opportunities. Your intuition will strengthen with your resolve the  more  tuned  in  to your inner voice you become.  

Turn your aspirations in actions

You’re ready for change and ready to live a more authentic life. March challenges you to bravely  move in new directions.  Any kind of forward movement is better than staying  stuck. Face up to those feelings that show you where you’re stuck or needing change. 

Work smarter not harder

Remember your new plan following from steps 1,2,3 above. Don’t be stuck doing endless chores for others or all that work you make for yourself to keep yourself busy in order to ignore the real issues in your life. On the other hand, you may enjoy what you do, but ask yourself: Am I doing too much and not doing any of my own projects the full justice they deserve? 

When I stopped to ask myself that question, I made a brave bold decision to drop half of what I do. I simply struck half of my projects off my to do list – they are on the backburner for when I have time some day in the future. Now instead of inching forwards with multiple projects, I have 3 core areas of focus that will propel forwards through my more targeted use of time.

Don’t forget to think of yourself

Please also consider all your side-hustles and social media stuff. Are you actually factoring in how many unpaid hours you are putting in? Make sure you are getting back a value that reflects the effort you put in. Whether that value is monetary or simply in terms of satisfaction and enjoyment (a spider diagram is good to assess this).

By having a plan that is clear and simple, you will no longer be working non-stop or becoming despondent that your projects are not moving forwards because you’ve been spreading yourself too thin. Now you’ll have time for some self care (a big favourite of mine) and you’ll have time to think and reflect, therefore ultimately make better decisions, both on a personal and professional level.

Structure will give you freedom

Try getting organised using one or all of the methods below (everyone has a way that works best for them). See how you can then start to free up some time for your wellbeing and how this makes you more focused and productive. Notice also how you are more satisfied and content with yourself and your work because it is moving forward. 

  • To Do List: If you’re a checklist person and like crossing things off, make a ToDo list every day so you can cross some great big fact juicy lines through your list and get a sense of satisfaction. Only include your priorities, write the “blue sky” stuff on a separate list.
  • Start using a planner – e.g. Asana or your google calendar or simply with a writing pad. Divide it into your main areas of focus. Keep a cover sheet with an overview monthly calendar so you can see when important deadlines, dates or events are looming. Keep you to do list on the top, visible at all times. Write this list every morning (or at the end of your work day) so you are ready and have direction. This prevents you flouncing around like a butterfly willy-nilly without any true direction.
  • Divide the jobs into little jobs. If you’re a real organiser like me, set aside a few hours for planning each of your main projects and subdivide them into major tasks and then subdivide those down into the smaller tasks until you can create a timeline to getting your wish list done (Gantt chart).
  • Make a pizza. Some people see it like making a pizza in reverse: you know what the end product is going to look like, now break it down into the ingredients and steps required, remembering to factor in preparation time and cooking time for each section. This is how you will approach the subdivision of your major projects into smaller more manageable tasks along a timeline that starts with your ideal or set deadline and works back to where you are today. 

By creating routines, systems, structures and processes in your life this month you’ll be creating an environment that supports change, innovation and continued improvement. You’ll be creating the framework that will give you freedom as your projects take flight.

Since it is the month for inventiveness creativity and thinking outside of the box, isn’t it time you were March-ing in time with your own rhythm?

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Read this ultimate motivation guide to help you plan for success

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