Welcome back! If you’re just joining us for the month of January we are walking through the series 4 Easy Steps to Create a Life You Love. Today we are on Step Two: Plan. You can find Step One: Prioritize here.
For those of you who finished last week’s exercise, how did it go? Did you find the Dream Big exercise helpful? Did you have a tough time listing out your top five priorities? I found the exercise to be quite freeing. As adults, we rarely get the opportunity to do just that: dream. I also loved the opportunity to decide what 5 things are most important to me and to write those down.
Step Two: Plan
Now that you have your five priorities we are going to intentionally arrange our current life in order to reflect these priorities.You can think of your five priorities as a foundation. Now that we have that foundation we are going to build our life around them.
Last week, I had you write down how you were succeeding and/or failing at making your five priorities a priority in your everyday life. Using that list, we are going to create our plan. Our plan is the actual process of creating a love we will love.
In order to create this plan, you are going to have to say no to some things. You are going to have to scale back, and quit doing somethings. This can be hard. Especially, if you, like me, are a serial helper and worry about disappointing others. Or it may finally give you permission to stop doing something you don’t want to do. Perhaps, you will have to hire help or ask for help. That is okay, in fact, that is what we want. We are creating space so that we can give those priorities our full attention.
We can’t do it all and do it all well. Remember my analogy last week of trying to bake a cake, listen to a podcast, and listen to your husband? Our goal is to create a life we love. We don’t want to settle for a bunch of stuff done mediocre. We want to strive for the things that matter most to us and do them really well.
For this week’s exercise, you will want to pull out your agenda or calendar. Really look at it. Ask yourself, what can stay? What can go? Activities, commitments, hobbies, perhaps some relationships. You are most likely going to have to say no to good things in order to make room for the greatest things: your five priorities.
An example from my own life: one of my top five priorities is writing. I wanted to pursue writing and in order to make it a top priority I had to make time for it, I had to say no to several good things, in order to say yes to great. For the past year I said no to regular volunteering at my daughters’ school, and blocked out writing time in my agenda. That meant I often had to say not to coffee dates, unexpected invitations. In the past the volunteering was something I liked and did often. However, in order to give my writing the consistent time it needed, I quit. I also had to say no when unexpected, and unplanned invitations arouse. And guess what? No one died. The school didn’t fall apart, my kids are fine, and my friends I graciously turned down are still my friends.
This week’s worksheets will walk you through three phases to help you create your plan. You will:
- examine your current schedule
- evaluate how it needs to change and then
- eliminate or add as you see fit
This process will be a give and take. Don’t get discouraged.
We will also break your plan into two distinct plans: a short-term plan and a long-term plan.
Your short-term plan will consist of the things you can take immediate action on, like my example of how I stopped volunteering. Your long-term plan will consist of actions you will need to take over a period of time. This is helpful for longer priorities such as going back to school or changing careers. Those things cannot happen overnight, or in a week, or a month.
You can do this. If you get frustrated, remember why we are going through this process, in order to create a life we love. You can do hard things. Keep going.
Next week in Step 3, we are going to implement our plan into practice. This is where you start seeing results from all your hard work.
As always, if you have any questions or feel stuck please don’t hesitate to email me. I would love to hear from you. Alana@Alanadawson.com
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Download the printable worksheets by clicking on them below.