Intentional Living Week Eight: Planning

by Christine

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable".
Dwight D. Eisenhower

The assignment for week 7 was to decide on your top 4 Lifetime Priorities. Was that an easy or difficult task for you? Are you clear about where you want to spend your time and energy? This week you will learn how to develop a plan that will help you accomplish your goals.  

There is a 1980's TV series called The A-Team. It is a campy, action adventure show that boasts of 4 former Vietnam vets fighting crime. Yes, there is a little more to it than that but for our purposes that is enough explanation. Anyway Hannibal Smith, played by George Peppard, cigar in hand, mugs for the camera as he says, "I love it when a plan comes together"...while everything around him is blowing up.

Life is about planning. You have worked hard to identify what is important to you in life; you even put your LPs in order of importance. Now is the time to draft a plan that will help you achieve your LPs. You are going to start with your number one goal and dedicate the first three months of 2013 implementing your plan. As the year progresses, each quarter you will take on a new LP. 

There are three guidelines to keep in mind as you build your plan. First, start small. My #1 LP is Maintain good health. I needed and wanted a regular exercise routine and after attending a marathon with my son I decided to take up running. I love the positive people at the races and the sport really only requires a good pair of shoes and the desire to Just Do It. Now let's be clear, I did not lace up and run 26.2 miles the day after making this decision. I purchased a new pair of running shoes, got a training program from my trainer at the gym and set a goal of running a 5K (3.1 miles). I started slow and worked the plan...I ran my first 5K in October after 4 months of training. (I finished second in my age group.) I have seen positive health benefits which support my #1 LP but I am no where near running a marathon. As I said, start small. 

Next, keep it simple and be specific. I have a friend who can take the simplest task and turn it into the most complicated chore. As a result many things are left undone. As you move forward with creating your plan, keep it simple. You don't need a complicated plan, just straight forward and clear. Also, be specific. When I started to run, I set a specific goal, run a 5K. In doing that I knew what I had to accomplish and when I was successful. In the coming weeks we will talk more about this but for now as you are developing your plan, resist the urge to make the creation of the plan an overly complicate task.

Finally, make sure the plan fits into your life. I know enough about myself to understand that if I had to drive a half an hour everyday to exercise that I wouldn't. Running fits in my life at least for as long as my knees hold up and I can head outside to do it. Create a plan that works for your life.

Week 8 Assignment: Build the plan.

This week start putting on paper ideas on how to further you #1 priority. What are you willing to do to achieve your goal? Start small, keep it simple and specific and make sure works in your life.


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