“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” – Winston Churchill
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin
Take it from two men that knew a lot about failure (and success), you must plan for the best outcome. Success will not come knocking at your door to deliver everything you’ve ever wanted. YOU must seek out success and seize it. This process begins with a very simple question: what do you want to achieve? This question can be applied to any career or personal project you are taking on. You can even apply this to relationships.
Intention of Plan
What do you want to do? Where do you want to do it? When you are going to do it? Why are you going to do it? How are you going to do it? Who are you doing it for (or, who will be doing it with you)?
Answering these questions early and referencing their answers often will keep your mind grounded on the task at hand. They are the motivation that propels you forward. Staying mindful will be the key tool to keep you on YOUR chosen path. You know your goal and you know the intention behind the goal.
Day-to-day steadiness is the hardest thing to maintain. You are creating the habit of success. You are letting go of the negativity of failure and the destabilizing doubt of “what if.” You are going to succeed. (repeat that a few times)
I am a big fan of calendars, planners and to-do lists. I use all three and I will share why each is necessary and specific role they fulfill.
First, we have my day/week/month/year calendar. The beauty of the Google Calendar is that I can sync my husband’s calendar as well as create additional (color-coded) calendars for our children. I can separate my work items from my personal events and it also can be synced with all your Facebook events.
The Google Calendar is very objective – it is the when and the where of my life.
(Things you won’t see are my husband’s work schedule, M-F, set hours and my Coworking Space day. My day at Radius is usually Thursday, but I have the flexibility to change.)
This planner is part-organizer, part-journal. I don’t just write down what needs to be done, I write down WHY it needs to be done. I explore my commitment to the items on my calendar. The prompts remind me to stay flexible. I take time to observe how I feel and what I need to do about how I feel. Maybe there are things that I need to let go of. Maybe things are wonderful and I need to pause and be grateful. My planner gets to be very fluid, very subjective.
The core message behind Danielle’s system is: “What will I do to feel the way I want to feel.” You are always in control. You always have the freedom to choose.
Last is my To-Do lists, managed by Evernote.
Evernote allows you to create virtual notebooks. In each notebook, you may have notes or files, or things you have saved from the web (maybe you’ll save this post!). Notes can be sent through email or shared to social media.
Anytime I think of a new course to create, I save it as a note in the “Course Ideas” notebook. Right now, my “To-Do List note” wants me to schedule some yearly doctors appointments and get an oil change. I have another note I use for meal planning. (Tuesday is taco night, by the way.)
Evernote allows me to keep track of everything that runs through my head, even when it’s not a convenient time. My Coworking Space day is about content creation for Yogi Chelsea. I blog, I write my MailChimp emails, I add to the book. If a great PTO idea or an errand that needs run for the kids pops in my head, I throw it in the note and come back to it later.
This is usually the perfect balance between the objective (where/when) and the subjective (why). It’s also a great balance of all the hats I wear (wife, mom, business, volunteer, etc).
Finally, whether you are planning a simple project, or lifestyle change, you need a plan. You are capable of everything you set your mind to. As long as you keep your mind on the goal. You will succeed. You’ve already finished the first step: you’re here.
For more one-on-one guidance, consider working with me as a mindful mentor.