If you’ve ever felt that you’ve been at a crossroads unsure of which way to go, you’re not alone! Many people face this problem every day in today’s busy world. No one enjoys feeling lost in their life, yet it happens all the time. Planning out your future is one effective method to tackle the problem of feeling lost and confused about the future. Planning is like a road map for your life. You’re much less likely to get lost with a detailed map. A great place to start is by planning out your next 12 months. So much can happen between today and this exact day in the next year. But with a map of your future in hand, you’ll have a clearer path for the life you want to experience.
What better time than now to plan ahead for your future?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the thought of planning ahead, put your worries to rest. Breaking down the planning process into a list of things to do (and things to avoid) is a helpful step towards a more organized life.
- Clean your brain. A series of toxic "items" might control space in your brain preventing you from moving forward with your actions. Brain dump everything that is holding you back (toxic people, toxic projects, toxic feelings, etc) and make space for positive emotions and positive relationships. Download the 2-page "Clean Your Brain" worksheet
- Write down your manifesto. Consider what experiences AND emotions you want to signup for, the people you want to meet and the places you want to see. Writing it down will give you a clear and personal direction of what your future looks like and will be a great support for planning your next steps in a less-rigid way. Download the "Your manifesto" worksheet
Find your next best action. You can't allow yourself to be busy. Let your mind and body relax, by focusing on one project that matters. Watch the 3-minute video I made for my soon to be release workshops, where I explain the steps to find your next best action. Now, take a piece of paper and start finding your direction to follow:
> What projects are you handling today?
> Which one do you love the most?
> Which one brings more income, or connections?
> How can you combine them to find your next best action and grow a business to love in the next 12 months
- Start with the scary part. By putting the bigger, more important steps at the forefront will give you less chances to hide behind the easy steps, and focus on the hard part. The less important plans can take the backseat until after the hard plans are complete.
- Ask yourself the right questions. The clearer these are, the better you will know how to approach your plans and will stop wasting time on the wrong directions. If you know exactly what needs to be done, you can confidently take the steps required to complete your goals.
- Go and connect. The most real and amazing plans start OUTSIDE your planner, outside your office and outside your mind. Go and connect! See my video to learn how this brought me ideas about future workshops and more in just 1 week!
- Pay attention to your resources. You might have some of them to get you started, but you might need to acquire new resources down the line. How will you adapt to these new obstacles?
- Be bold for 30 seconds, and selfish for a few hours. You only need a couple of seconds of boldness to do something crazy and boost your business. By pushing your boundaries, you open yourself up to unforeseen possibilities that you would not encounter otherwise by playing it safe. However, give yourself some love every time you do a bold step: few hours of "me-time" or "spa-time" kind of things that enables you to focus more on yourself, and less on others.
- Don't plan for rigid ideas, instead let your intentions shape your reality. Remember that only thoughts and actions can be controlled, not outcomes. The more you stress yourself over specific plans the more disappointed you will feel when they will not turned out as you want them. It is sad to remember, but during my journey I had 2 rigid plans I focused tons of my energy on, yet they did not happen: (1) getting accepted to Architecture School, and (2) having kids. The amazing part is that, I did live the emotions I was actually looking for, during different experiences.
- Don't hide behind the easy or unclear plans. Your plans and the road to reach them becomes hindered if they include foggy intentions and an unclear finish line. An unclear plan leads to confusion and inefficiency. To fix this, be sure to eliminate or limit any distractions such as side projects and other steps that aren't actually important..
- Don’t sabotage yourself. Making too many unrealistic plans will overwhelm you in the long run and bog you down. This may lead to missed or cancelled plans, which hurts relationships with others and yourself. Respect your limits to avoid running into this problem.
- Don’t worry if you can do it or not. Setting a plan doesn’t set it in stone. Allow some space for changing plans if needed.
- Don’t make the plan impersonal. The more impersonal you make your plans, the more difficult it is to see yourself participating in them. If your plans seem unrealistic and uncharacteristic of you, they will seem foreign when you revisit them in the future.
- Don’t make a plan out of others expectations. Living up to others’ future aspirations may jeopardize your own. Redirect focus to your life, and find what is most important to you. Sticking to this plan will lead you to achieve more of the goals that you set.
- Don’t play the reality's game. The hundreds of emails, and phone-calls, the thousands of comments and posts on social media, the distracting notifications, the always burning deadlines and the important news around us are our reality today. The sad part is that, whenever we throw ourselves in the middle of reality's game, we always loose: we loose time, we lose focus, we lose our minds.
- Don’t borrow other people goals. Early this year I spent 9 WEEKS to build my online program (descriptions, presentations, worksheets, membership website, landing pages, etc.) and was ready to run it, but instead I killed it before the launch. I was NOT READY for it. I hided for 9 weeks behind the easy stuff (build the program) instead of taking care of the hard part (sell the program). I hided because selling an online program WAS NOT my genuine goal, it was a borrowed goal. So, I gave myself space, and time to find out few months later that the online world no longer serves me.
- Don't ignore your doubt. Instead get curious about it and let it guide you. Give yourself enough time to act, listen the feedback and adapt your work for the next big day.
Break the vicious chain
Don’t let life randomly happen. Take a moment and think about your future journey and what experiences you want to signup for. Take 1 hour (with zero interruptions) to journal about the questions below and write down your navigation road map for the next 12 months. Find a friend you can share your plan with. Ask him or her to be your accountability partner for the next 12 months. Having a friend involved makes the process more fun and ensures you’ll have motivation to stick to your plans. With just this, you are already more prepared to fulfill your future.
What emotions might you experience during the planning process?
- Anxiety. You may feel afraid of the uncertainty of the future. This is totally normal. Staying present will help you to avoid worrying too much about what lies ahead.
- You may feel anger at first as a result of frustration about planning. While the beginning of the 12 month planning process may seem daunting at first, rest assured that things will become easier the more time you spend on it.
- Rush. It my seem that you don’t have the patience to sit down in silence and think of your plans, and you want to jump directly to action. Deep breath. You deserve this time with yourself. Own it.
- Hope will resonate with you as you gain more confidence in your ability to conquer the planning process.
- Ultimately, you'll experience genuine happiness when you'll see that your efforts of bettering yourself are paying off.
How might you feel after the process?
- Relief in knowing that you are now in a better place than before you started.
- You will likely feel more at peace with yourself. The plans about your future are more definitive and in writing.
- You will likely feel less stressed, because the previously uncertain future for yourself becomes more certain. This allows you to think more clearly about what’s happening now.
- Productivity in all aspects of your life will increase when you have a solid plan for the future.
Start today with these simple questions:
1. What do you want to experience and how do you want to feel after the next 12 months?
2. Where will you put your time and energy?
3. What motivates you?
4. What resources do you have, and don’t have?
5. What steps (milestones) will you follow?
6. Who will track your progress?
Write down these answers on a dated journal or notebook so you can have a time and date you can always refer to while you’re progressing.
Remember: there is no rush, just enjoy your journey!