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Planning to be spontaneous

Sounds counterintuitive, right?

I’ve been a planner my entire life. When I was a little girl, I’d want to know the plan for the week ahead. Was I going to pack my lunch because I didn’t like what was being served at the school cafeteria? What should I wear? What days were my activities? 

As a kid, I wanted to know the plan so I could be prepared. 

As an adult…a mom of three super busy kids…a wife of a highly successful and busy husband…a business owner myself…a human who must have regular connection with other humans (other than zoom)…I STILL want to know the plan so I can be prepared.

In my past, I had an important figure in my life who hated to plan ahead. This person lived in a world where flying by the seat of your pants was they operated. This person would regularly tell me that my planning inhibited their ability to be spontaneous.

For the longest time, I believed that line of BS. But, now, I firmly believe it’s BS.

When you have a clear plan for where you’re headed, you give yourself the FREEDOM to pivot and adjust based on new information you acquire.

Let me give you an example…..

When I plan a vacation, I’ll book an Air B&B or hotel…book a few day trips and secure reservations at restaurants that look intriguing. However, when I arrive at my destination and find out from the concierge or one of the locals that I REALLY need to spend some time at a particular place or dine at a certain restaurant, I’ll change the reservation to do something different. The point is – when I arrived, I had a basic framework for my trip…and then I made adjustments based on new information I learned once I got there.

When I started my business, I was thinking I would be a project management consultant. I made a business plan based on that. Then, I started working projects…and got a few calls to help C-suite level individuals with some coaching. It totally aligns with the work I’ve done in the past…made sense, and so I added coaching to my suite of my services.

I made a plan. I had goals, and then I made adjustments.

If you have no plan, then how in the world are you going to know if you’re successful? If you don’t set goals you can measure, how will you know if you need to pivot and do things differently?

Planning doesn’t have to be a big process or take a ton of time to do. In fact, I have a 3-step approach that works every, single time.

  1. Think about your one big goal and the one result you want to achieve. 
  2. Align your workload and develop strategies to achieve that result.
  3. Once a week (or you determine what is best based on your schedule), review your work and determine if you’re making progress towards that one result. If not, what’s preventing progress?

Cheers to planning to be spontaneous!

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