Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Who needs a plan?

When I'm feeling low or struggling to motivate myself then a plan is sometimes the last thing I need.

Just making a start, no clear idea where I'll end up, is often more beneficial than spending time trying to write up a plan.

Once I've started, gotten some momentum, a plan will start to form and I can begin to refine it, knowing I'm already making progress.

I found this last year when I signed up for NaNoWriMo. Weeks before November. I started writing. No clear aim in mind but I started to get new story ideas and followed them up, using them to test how long I could write for, how many words an hour I could manage. By the time I sat down on the first of November to write a brand new novel, I had built up momentum and confidence and a clear plan.

Two weeks ago I started something similar with exercise. I've been wanting to climb a lead overhang for years. I make progress but something happens and I stop going to the climbing wall or exercising and lose the momentum I built up.

I know my lack of stamina is a major part of the problem. There is no use working on pull-ups when I get exhausted too quickly during a stressful climb.

I also want to run a 10K race. Preparing for that will build up my stamina for climbing. As my stamina improves I'll have more energy to work on my other goals: writing, business goals. As I make progress in these goals I'll be more motivated to keep exercising!

Are you sensing a pattern?

There is synergy in improving several areas of your life at the same time.

We need to be careful. I can't go out and run 10K today. I went for a jog last week and had to switch to walking after just one kilometer! But I will keep going out and will improve.

Over the last couple of weeks I've started to form a plan. I'm going to work on some key goals for 100 days. I'm going to set clear goals, measure my progress and I expect within 100 days I will have completed or be close to completing some of these goals.

You can choose to work on improving any part of your life. Where would you like to be in 100 days?

Here's a challenge - set aside a couple of hours and write down 100 goals for your life. These can be short term - finish in an hour; to goals that will require the rest of your life. They can be fun, creative, practical, silly, insane... or even secret goals that you have been passionate about your whole life but have never dared to tell anyone.

If you don't make it to 100 goals then take a break and pick up the list later. No-one needs to see the list, you can even tear it up and start again if you want.

When you've finished - celebrate! You've just achieved something that few people do.

More tomorrow on the official first day of my 100 days, 100 goals...

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