I must admit to being pretty left brain and a bit of a straight line thinker and I have to say creativity is not my strong suit, so when I'm going through my annual planning process it can be a bit uninspiring ... boring even.
And you know what, I don't always achieve my goals.
Most years I begin with a HUGE, and I mean REALLY HUGE, "to do" list and often times it's more about what I think I should do, rather than what I really want to achieve. No wonder then, that I get bogged down in the detail of the to do list and forget what it was all about in the first place.
But this year has been different, very different. I've discovered a system that has helped me look at my planning process in a much more creative way and I must say, I've had a really fun few days working through it.
It's more than a bit "girly" and I really love the fact that each page is in full colour with lovely drawings. It's fun and whacky, but it also asks some great, and thought provoking, questions that really get me thinking.
The author, Leonie Dawson is a bit of a cookie, hippy character from Australia and I really love her authenticity and her great good sense in making the whole process fun but also very insightful.
She does both a business planner and a personal/life planner and the can be purchased both as digital or print version and I think they're absolutely great. If you want to find out more, check it out http://tinyurl.com/j8gvk7x.
I first wrote this article around this time last year, and I make no apologies for re-posting it again today... Because I heard recently that most people manage about 9 days of their New Year resolutions before they give up. So if you've had great intentions regarding the changes you'd like to make this year, but find sticking to them much more difficult than you'd thought, here are a few tips to strengthen your resolve:
1. If you've got a goal - WRITE IT DOWN and look at your written goal every day.
2. Be clear about WHY you want your goal - and how much better off you will be once you have it - and write that down too. Write down lots of benefits that achieving your goal will bring you and think about them every day.
3. Imagination is stronger than willpower, so imagine yourself AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE.
4. GET EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED. Generate strong feelings of how it would feel when you achieve your goal, get yourself really, really motivated to achieve your goal.
5. Think only in the positive - the brain doesn't process negatives (try NOT thinking about an orange elephant), so FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT, rather than what you don't want.
6. Check you can MEASURE PROGRESS towards your goal and break your goal down into smaller manageable chunks. Monitor your success and if you're not meeting your targets, use that as a reason to get even more motivated.
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