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E#149 Taking Control with Better Planning

This episode is about taking control with better planning

I’m super on top of planning, and so people tend to come to me as a business coaching or resilience coaching client to get help with getting organised. 

And rather than talk about transformations, today I’d like to talk about four benefits that my clients experience by being better planners in business and life.

Planning is a skill that anyone can learn. So even if you’re not very organised or systematic in the way that you do things, you can learn to improve those things for a calmer, more productive and more satisfying life, that you feel more in control of. 

Let’s get started with those benefits!

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Avoiding decision fatigue
* How to feel organised
* How to feel motivated in under 5 minutes

Avoiding Decision Fatigue 

The first benefit of planning is that it circumvents decision fatigue. Here’s what I mean.

If you don’t have a plan, then you have to constantly make decisions about what to do next, all day.

This can lead to you feeling out of control, unclear and disorganised. And the human brain has a limited capacity for decision making each day, so without a plan, you are setting yourself up for what’s called decision fatigue.

Without a plan, by the end of the day, you probably won’t be able to work out how you spent the day, whether you achieved anything, and you will likely feel rushed and stressed, mentally drained and tired.

But let’s look at the alternative – having a plan.

Let’s say you turn up at your desk on Monday morning and you have a plan for the day. You’ve defined in advance what you will do and when, when you will take lunch, and your lunch is organised and in the fridge.

You have a realistic list of tasks to complete, and you get them done easily and on time, so you can knock off work at a reasonable time and without feeling rushed.

Because you’ve planned an hour to yourself after work, you get to exercise or unwind, or whatever you’ve chosen to do then, before transitioning into an evening of dinner, family time and a restful night’s sleep.

It sounds idyllic right? But this is possible with a plan.

A more meaningful, fulfilling life

The second benefit of planning is that you set and achieve goals that are truly meaningful for you – not just goals that you think you should do.

When you take the time to truly consider what you want and how to get it, you will feel more in control, intentional and purposeful, rather than just letting life happen to you.

You are intentionally choosing things that will take you directly on the path to your vision or bigger outcome goals, and you will feel good about moving in the right direction.

You’ll feel more positive, and like you are doing what you’re meant to be doing.

In other words, the act of planning ahead gives you clarity, the chance to make purposeful choices about your direction, and to map out the specific steps to get there.

Feeling organised

I think a lot of the time when people are dissatisfied or feeling chaotic and disorganised, it’s because they’re vague about what they want and why.

For example, let’s say that you decide you want to ‘eat better’ – but that’s as far as you’ve gone. What does that actually mean?

Does it mean that you’ll eat vegetables with every dinner, buy take away only once per week instead of four times, does it mean that you’ll eat carrot sticks instead of chips in the afternoons?

You can see where I’m going. If you’re not specific about the actions you want to take, and if you have no plan to take those actions, then you’ll probably get lost along the way.

The flipside of that is having a plan where you know exactly what you’ll do and when.

Sure you might not feel like doing the specific activity when the time comes, but this is the work of making change – learning to persist anyway.

As long as you define specific actions that you enjoy taking, and/or you have support to make sure they happen, you will feel organised, in control of your life and you will start seeing the results of your actions.

Yes, the results you have today are directly related to the habits you do each day.

Being specific about what those habits are and how and when you will do them, sets the scene for progress and achievement.

Feeling motivated in under 5 minutes

Let’s finish on another positive part of having a plan – the chance to recognise your success.

So few of us actually take the time to recognise how far we’ve come, or what we have achieved, or what we are achieving on the way to our goal. Even being consistent with a habit is an achievement even before the outcome has been realised! 

When any of my clients feel demotivated on a journey of change or lose self-belief, I can help them flip that feeling around in under 5 minutes by simply asking them to walk through all that they have done and achieved so far.

When you have a plan in place and clear specific actions that you are marking off in a diary or list, then it’s easy to visually remind yourself of your progress toward your final goal.

Why would you wait until the end to recognise the final result, when you can enjoy the motivation of recognising your progress along the way, as part of your specific plan?

Having a plan and ticking things off is an easy, quick and a fantastic way to recognise your achievements and build self-belief, which creates the motivation to keep going with your plan and achieve the end result.

Summary

Planning is a powerful tool to feel more positive, uplifted and to achieve what you want in life.

In my experience with business and resilience clients, it is the key to success, happiness and purpose.

As discussed today, when you create a plan to succeed you can enjoy benefits including:

  1. Avoiding decision fatigue
  2. A greater sense of meaning and purpose
  3. Feeling organised, and
  4. Feeling motivated easily and quickly.

If you’d like to hone your planning skills, reach out for a good fit call to see if I can help you to live a more purposeful, satisfied and productive life!

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here:

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E#141 How to Bust Your Decision Blocks

This episode is about how to bust your decision blocks

Includes offer to free P2P info session

If you’re struggling with making decisions in your business or your life and you’re feeling overwhelmed and procrastinating then this episode is for you. I want to help you to bust through your decision-making blocks and start taking action so that you can create the business in life that you want and do it your way.

In this episode, I’ll talk about 
* Knowing and identifying decision blockers
* How research can help you bust these blockers
* How planning can help you overcome these blockers

Decision Blockers

I’m currently reading Lisa Sasevic’s book Meant for More. It’s a really inspiring book and I am totally aligned with what she says, she says what I think so eloquently. So I’d like to share some insights from her book in this episode.

Lisa talks about the concept of decision blockers. These are things that stop you from pursuing your dreams. These are the things that keep you stuck in the I’m not good enough or it’s not perfect headspace and prevent you from achieving what you wish for.

As Lisa rightly says, all transformation is preceded by a decision.

In this case we are talking about daily and weekly decisions – the little things – as much as we are talking about the bigger decisions.

Reflect on that for a moment, like I did.

Maybe you’re trying to decide when to officially launch your business.

Maybe you’re trying to choose a colour and font set for your business branding.

Maybe you’re trying to finalise your website.

Maybe you’re finding it hard to commit to a niche.

Maybe you’re trying to decide which CRM to sign up for. 

Maybe you’re trying to figure out whether you need a CRM, a certain email program, or financial package.

Maybe you’re wondering whether you should do some specific training course to help you with your business, or to hire a business coach.

Maybe you’re wondering if this coaching thing is really going to work and if you can commit to stepping away from your job, so that you can transition into your business.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed just listening to this right now, that’s exactly what happens on a daily basis to a lot of people. You can see how this sort of thinking is not very helpful

Now, remember a time that you’ve made a decision about something, and how much clarity, confidence, and certainty about what you’re going to do next. Even if the thing is a little bit scary, at least you are clear and confident about the next steps.

So what gets in the way of making decisions like this and how do you get past that?

Here are some ways to bust common decision blockers, according to Lisa Sasevich and I.

1. Do “Just Enough” Research

Some people do a lot of research before they make a decision. And if you are researching all the time and then never making decisions it means that you are researching probably a bit much.

And while a little bit of research is great to help you make a decision, too much is going to tip you into decision blocking. 

It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis, especially if you are a questioner tenancy or if you lack self confidence.

Here are two things you can do.

Lisa recommends that you tune into what you really want, hear the answer, and take action. 

I recommend that you put a time limit on your research – a hard stop – so you contain it to equip yourself with r ohhh  essential information to make a decision.

2. Stop Seeking Opinions

We’re not talking about market research here. If you are constantly second-guessing what you are creating, wanting to put out there, or wanting to sign up for, then you can ask other people about their experience and opinion to a certain point, but once again it’s easy to go overboard with this.

Just remember that other people can give different perspectives but they have different values, goals, and resources.

So like doing research, it’s important that you put a hard stop on the amount of opinions you seek, and to seek opinions from people who you believe are wise and sound. 

But ultimately, I recommend you use those perspectives to either strengthen your own opinion, or reconsider it. 

Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re thinking about getting a VA for your business. You aren’t quite sure if you want to spend the money or whether it will be worth it. 

So you start asking other people what it’s like to have a VA and what they recommend. Because everybody will have a different VA and for different types of tasks and they will have totally different expectations of their VA compared to you.

Opinions can be a handy but subjective guide – take them as information and not gospel. As the expert in your own life, only you know what you want and need, why, and what your expectations are.

The same goes with software. People often ask me which CRM they should use, which mail program they should use, and I just say do the free trials and see which one works best for you. That’s what I do, because some of the most popular software doesn’t gel with me and my learning style, but you can only know that if you do a trial. 

3. Trust Yourself 

People are often researching and polling and getting opinions because they lack trust in themselves. Remember that you are your best investment. If you want to be light, respected, trusted, and invested in you and you need to do these things for yourself.

Start to trust yourself. Do you research, get opinions, but make your own decisions for your own reasons. 

Know that you will make mistakes along the way, but they can use this to tweak and find tune your decisions to get the best outcome anyway

Nobody else is you. Only you are you. Back yourself, and you will find that other people back you too. 

As you can see, to make decisions easier on yourself, you are going to need to pull back from a few things, and let go of achieving. When you can tap into your courage you will bypass the overwhelm and you can try, and adjust as you go and learn. 

It takes courage to do certain things in your life. And that’s really what we are talking about here.

4. Make a Plan

In my experience, every time you get decision fatigue and feel overwhelmed, you can get past that by making a plan. 

Even if you plan to make a decision by a certain date, at least that is defining a hard stop.

Plan to spend a certain amount of time doing research. Plan to spend a certain amount of time asking opinions if you need to do that too.

Plan where and when you might do a trial of some sort. 

You will have your next steps mapped out clearly and will know exactly what to do and when. You can even ask for help to get those things done, once you have the steps written out and scheduled.

Summary 

Today, I talked about how easy it is to feel overwhelmed and to become stuck with decisions or taking action. I have discussed four ways to bust common decision blockers, according to Lisa Sasevich and myself.

  1. Do just enough research
  2. Stop seeking opinions 
  3. Trust yourself
  4. Make a plan

For this to work, you’ll need to take action.

You might like to write out these four steps, as a reminder of what to do and how to do it. You might like to put in place a timeslot every week to make a plan for things that you need to make decisions on that week.

Also, you might like to create some sort of a decision matrix to help you make decisions and take action in the moment. 

Ready to get clarity on your pathway to success?

Understanding who you are and what you need will allow your business to thrive! If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.

Learn more here: