As you may have noticed, we’ve been focusing a lot of our energy on planning this month. But do you know why?
This is one of those areas in your life where you’re either naturally inclined or abhorrently opposed, right? It’s like you were either born to be a planner or you despise planning with every ounce of your being.
The good news is, no matter which type of person you are, YOU. CAN. PLAN.
I know, I know… you’re thinking, “Yeah, right, not me.”
Here’s how I know – and don’t tell anyone – but it’s because I am not a planner. GASP! I like to think of myself as more of a fan of planning than an actual planner. It’s like watching professional baseball. I love the game, and I understand how it’s played. I can throw a ball, catch a ball, maybe even hit a ball if you throw it underhand really slow. But I’m not a baseball player.
So why am I divulging this deep, dark secret??
Because you don’t have to be a planner to plan!
It’s really quite the conundrum… You hate to plan, you’re terrible at it, but if you don’t plan, you will have trouble reaching your goals. So what do you do?
"If It's Not Perfect, Then It's Not Worth My Time"
First, give yourself a break. Go into the process knowing that it doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to have all the dates exact and all the details solidified. A great place to start is simply in bullet-point or list form.
For example, here are things I know I want to do in my business this year:
- Make more money
- Connect with more people
- Hire someone to help me stay on task
Guess what? You just started planning!
"I Know What I Want to Do, But Where Do I Start?"
Next, take that list and see if you can turn it into actionable steps. Let’s take “make more money” because everyone has that as a goal in 2017, right?!
If we break that down, first we need to understand how we make our money: revenue minus expenses. So to make more money, we have to increase revenue or reduce expenses.
Now, break that down even further. Maybe right now you sell a service online. Would it make sense to consider adding a membership site to provide your clients with more access to you and your wealth of knowledge? Maybe you own a brick and mortar store. Do you have a large marketing budget focused on print advertising? Could you lower that expense by focusing on a more targeted, online audience?
If so, turn that idea into an action: “I will reduce my marketing expenses by spending less on newspaper advertisements and focusing my attention on targeted Facebook ads.”
Finally, give it a date and stick it on the calendar: March 1st – set up Facebook ads. Done.
There you go! Clap your hands together as if you were brushing dirt off them, then sit back in your chair and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.
Now, before you get TOO comfortable, let’s talk about another important detail for non-planners…
"Every Time a Plan Changes, I'm Reminded Why I Hate Planning."
Sometimes plans have to change. That does not mean that it was a waste of your time; it simply means that you have to do a little juggling here and there. As Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, "Change is the only constant in life."
Not quite ready on March 1st to fire up those Facebook ads? No worries. Move it to April 1st and keep chugging along.
Which brings me to my last point… DON’T GIVE UP.
Plans will change. Ideas will come and go. Things will fall through sometimes. It’s okay.
Think of it this way: let’s say you’re setting out on a road trip. You’ve got your route all mapped out and written down. Awesome. You set out on the road, but suddenly, there is construction up ahead. You have to take a detour which was not part of your original plan.
Do you just pull off to the side of the road, tear up your road map, and vow to live out the rest of your days in the car? Of course not, that’s ridiculous.
The occasional setback should not deter you from continuing on your journey and accomplishing your goals. Having a solid plan – whether it’s a basic outline or a super-detailed minute-by-minute guide – will not just show you where you’re going, it will also help you get there one step at a time.
So to review:
That’s it! You’ve totally got this.
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I am a working mom with a degree in Business Administration. My career passions include hunting down pesky commas and exploring the dark underbelly of Microsoft Word. I live to edit and edit to live!
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