"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves."--Thomas Edison
Now that you've discovered and written out your vision and created your visual reminder in the form of a vision board or vision book, it's time to make a plan.
If you want to realize your vision, the best way to get there is to have a concrete set of steps to get there – and a plan is the easiest way to make sure you do it. Creating a plan to realize your vision is a little bit like eating an elephant (my apologies to any vegetarians!); you can't eat it all at once, you have to do it one bite at a time. So give yourself time and space to complete it.
Like we talked about in Sunday's show, the best way to create a plan is to start with when you would like to achieve your vision and work backward from their, filling in the path with all the steps it will take to get there. Start with the big pieces and fill in the smaller steps as you go. This really helps in clarifying exactly what you'll need to do to get where you want to go. Of course, you can edit and change your plan as you learn more about how to get there, too.
If your vision is larger in scope – like starting a business, then your plan will likely have several goals toward which you are aiming in order to match the size of your vision. If your vision is more singular in focus, like publishing a book, you may have one over-arching goal for your plan with several sub goals (or "markers"). Either way, you will likely have three to five markers (or more), which, in turn, have a series of smaller action steps you can achieve easily.
Remember to make sure that all of your goals and markers are "S.MA.R.T." goals. That means specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. We talked about this in detail on the show, so be sure to listen to the archived show to learn more. Then remember to create your action steps in small enough, do-able chunks that you can easily check them off but not so easy that you let yourself off the hook.
Now that you have your plan, it's time to put it into action! First, hang it up where you'll see it every day. Then calendar your action steps, at least the ones for your first marker, and make sure you take them. Again, make it do-able; likely one to three actions per week is good for starters so you're not overwhelmed by all there is to do. And, remember, some of your actions may be one-time events and some of them may be daily practices like writing for a certain amount of time each day.
Then make sure to get support. This is really important in helping you to stay accountable to what you want to create. Maybe you want to share your plan with your family members or ask someone to be your Accountability Buddy. You could also hire a coach like me, someone you can count on to "hold your feet to the fire" of your greatest self. Regardless of the kind of support you seek, the most important thing is that you don't isolate yourself.
Last, be sure to have fun while you're working on your plan. Life is meant to be enjoyable – especially the things about which we're passionate! Having fun will help you achieve your goals even faster, and you'll have the gift of experiencing achievement in a whole new way. This isn't to say it won't be challenging from time to time, but if it gets "un-fun" for any length of time it's time to reassess. Then, for every marker you achieve, even every major action step, and certainly the big goals, celebrate yourself! Acknowledging what you've accomplished will give you more fuel to keep going through the times when you feel like it's too hard.
So, go get your journal (or your computer, like I do), your vision board and have a blast making your plan! You are well on your way to being the contribution you want to see in the world and creating even more evidence for how much you matter.
Meditation for Making Your Plan:
What is your Plan? Use your vision to create your Plan… and remember to let it come through your heart rather than your head. Give yourself plenty of time – at least an hour or two, even better set aside some time for several days – to work on your Plan. Once you've got your basic version, print it out so you can look at it every day, fleshing it out, editing and keeping it near your Vision where you will see it.
MANTRA for Making Your Plan:
"I am taking action!" As you begin to put your action steps into motion, talk about what you are doing in the current and positive. Share your actions with your friends and family so you have their support, especially during the times when you feel like giving up or backing away from what you've committed to do.
MOVEMENT for Making Your Plan:
Create your plan and begin to put it into place. Just as you did with your Vision, feel free to keep reading the rest of the book while you are working on your Plan. The more time and care you take with it, the more connected you will feel to it. Remember to put your action items in your calendar and to celebrate every marker and goal achieved as well as the actions you take to help you complete your Plan and achieve your Vision!