I have officially created my blueprint for 2017 and I feel excited to share my process with you! I have followed this process for multiple years now and I can tell you that it works for me. I set the intention and then accomplish exactly what I set out to do and that feels really good! My husband and I (photo above) give ourselves at least half of a day to spread out and create both individual and collaborative items for both of us. I will say that in my experience, especially with the purchase of our new home together, it is important to not only set your intentions, but also to revisit your goals on regular basis. We spent time every month reviewing our goals and results, which gave us insight on how we needed to adjust our plan along the way, which ultimately brought us to our North Star Goals. It has been my experience that although creating the plan is GREAT, it is only half of the battle and having a way to review that plan on a regular basis is the true magic behind the art of completing what you set out to do.
Here are my three steps to creating intentions and actions for what I want to create over a twelve month period.
Visualize! Then Write it Down
I really enjoy starting the process by imagining and visualizing where I want to go by viewing it on a calendar and also writing it out in a word cloud format. Start with a large piece of paper and write down all the things big and small that you wish to accomplish. It will look messy, it will look crazy disorganized and that is the point! Let your creativity put everything down on paper you could possibly imagine accomplishing over the course of the time you are planning for. Once you've brainstormed to the point of not being able to think of anything else, walk away, clear your mind for a bit and then come back to complete. I find this exercise to be both liberating and fun because you can write anything down, you've not committed to anything yet, only brainstorming.
Make a list, Check it Twice
Now that all your creative flow is out on paper and also might look super messy to you (all good), it's time to make some sense of it! Begin by extracting the themes and creating a list. If you see on your word cloud "write book" then that would go on the list, or "family vacation" then put it on the list. Some of the items on your word cloud might not make it on the list and that's okay. The word cloud is the brainstorm this is the practical part, what do you actually want to accomplish this year? Of what is on your word cloud what do you actually want to do and what has a serge of excitement to you? Once you have a well formed list it's time to create a plan!
Calendar Calendar Calendar
If it's not on the calendar it doesn't exist! Once you've created your list, you must create action and intention. A plan to literally accomplish the exciting objectives you've created for yourself. The way I do this is to put down first what is literally time sensitive. The conference that I plan on attending, the wedding that's a destination event that I want to also make a vacation. Those are items that are set in stone on your calendar because they are literal dates. Everything else on your list goes into your calendar as a project relative to when you want to accomplish it, or are being asked to complete. If you want to actually start creating a blog or writing a book you have to plan time for yourself to actually do that, time for the deep work outside of meetings and other work. The other thing you might do is create a to do list from these items that is per month. In past years I've created a list for every month of major action steps affiliated with my projects so that way no matter what's going on, I have a very accurate to do list that captures my large "Northstar" goals.
The wonderful thing about having a to do list in the calendar that reflects your yearly initiatives is that no matter what happens you have a path. No matter what's going on in your life you have certain things that you've decided to do no matter what, and personally I find this to be a beautiful thing.
I'd love to hear your process of planning, share your ideas and ways you plan to succeed!
Lindsey Rainwater, also known as Lindsey RainH2O, is a sought-after business consultant, leadership coach, writer and presenter to the fitness and wellness industry. For more information about Rainwater, follow her on Twitter @LindseyRainH2O