Ep 196 The #1 Secret to Planning

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Episode Notes:

Listen today as I discuss the #1 secret to planning.  If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed for work you will want to check this episode out.  Learn how planning can be the the super power you need next in changing your life – both from a professional and personal standpoint.

In This Episode:

  • #1 Secret in planning 
  • Setting goals in a consistent manner 
  • Annual/Quarterly/Monthly/Weekly and Daily plans
  • Planning your personal life 
  • Setting your future self up for success 
  • New ways to calendar your time 
  • Free guide:  3 Steps to Excel in Your Career Without the Stress and Overwhelm:  www.michellebourquecoaching.com/3steps

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Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Berg and today’s episode I’m discussing the number one secret to planning. Welcome to the richer time Podcast, the podcast, we’re busy professionals, like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule. So you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place.

Michelle Bourque 0:37 Hello, hello, hello, welcome back to the podcast. Friends, I’m so happy that you’re here. And I have a question for you to get started. How much of your life do you plan? Or are you someone that feels like you just cannot plan a thing. And you’re always running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Because I can say for a long time, I think I could probably fall into both categories. I remember, in fact, when I first started in sales, and I was literally on the floor, in my cubicle in tears, because there were so many manila folders piled up, which back then each account was in a manila folder, we didn’t have these fancy apps to be filing things. And I had just started, I thought I could never possibly get through all of them. And thankfully, there was a veteran sales woman there who was so helpful. And she told me to just write all of your accounts down on a notepad, put the folders in the drawer, and plan accordingly. And now, this did a couple of things, it really allowed the info to get on paper. And to put it in a way that it could be out of my brain. And I know I would be able to figure it out. And it got rid of all of that visual overwhelm, right? I mean, so often, we live life in a way that there’s so much external stuff going on that it just adds to our overwhelm feeling. So doing that I was able to plan with deliberation. And I want to fill you in on the number one secret that most folks don’t know about planning. Planning, in fact, gives you an E normal amount of freedom in your life. Oftentimes, when I suggest planning more people think it sounds super restrictive. That is not the case. I used to always think of myself as a planner of sorts. But since coaching, that skill has become one of my superpower tools, I believe, and it took a while for me to really get it, especially as I started in device sales, because there is a lot of the day to day that changes, of course, based on the oh our schedules, patients maybe not showing up for appointments, or offices forgetting to tell us about appointments. And yes, I still plan. And I love it. So I want you to first pay attention to what comes up in your brain, when I suggest planning more of your life. I’m currently working with someone on this who insists she is not a planner. And yet, she knows exactly when she has to plan to get her kids to school. She knows when she has to plan to get to her volunteer position. She knows when she has to plan her business meetings. So when you tell yourself you’re not a planner, it just adds this extra layer of resistance to the process. And it will ultimately end up holding you back. And it’s just a lie. We all have some plans at some level. So I want to first suggest you just be open to considering I’m learning new ways to plan. A lot of times we feel overwhelmed and anxious because we try to keep all the things that we have to do in our head. Our brains are not meant for storage friends, they are meant for processing. So taking the one step of just getting it all out on a piece of paper or a Notes app. I love the things app, whatever works for you, that will free up some space in your brain and give you a little relief. Now.

Michelle Bourque 4:35 I’ve talked a lot about planning and many podcasts here. And as I’ve learned more, some of what I suggest has actually evolved as well. And I’m loving the new system that I have now. So I want to share something with you. Each week I like to write down what I have to get done. Let me back up for a moment here. In order to plan what we need to get done. We have to know what the goals are right? So what are your annual goals? Think about this from a personal and professional standpoint, why are they important? And then under that, what are your quarterly goals that support the annual goals? And why are they important? And then under that, what are your monthly goals? And why are they important and supporting your quarterly goals? And we keep going down the line. So what are your weekly goals that support your monthly goals that support your quarterly goals that you guessed it support your annual goals, I talk about the importance of setting priorities and being crystal clear about them. And the way you do that is by naming it, name, what your goals are. So now you have a starting place. Let’s look at the weekly goals. It’s important to plan the action items that are going to be the needle movers on your goals. And I don’t want you to confuse this with tasks. Tasks can be something like answering emails, doing laundry, the things that need to get done, but don’t really support the goals. So let’s continue to break it down. And let’s keep it simple. You choose one to five goals per week that if you do them, that will move you closer to your ultimate goals. For example, one of my quarterly goals for coaching is to increase the number of subscribers on my email list. So a weekly goal might be complete a free guide and send it off for women who want to excel in their career. But without the stress and overwhelm. This is actually perfect timing by the way to get started. Because here we are at the end of the month. So you can just pick up where we are at. Just do your goals for the end of the year. And then back them up into the quarters and months and get started on your weekly and daily. And once you have your weekly goals, then you plan each day. Now, do this in a way that sets up your future self for success like you tomorrow night up for success, okay, you can plan the day the night before, or I prefer planning in the morning. And the way you do it is look at your goals. And what are 123 Do goals that you can complete in order to get to the bigger goals. And if on a couple of days, it’s only one goal, that is totally fine. There are days when you might have the kids home, for example, or it might be end of quarter and all hands on deck. Do this in a way that might make you feel a bit uncomfortable, but not in a mean girl way, right? We want to feel uncomfortable because we’re doing something different. But not because we’re beating ourselves up. And it might just be a little uncomfortable, because you haven’t really done it this way. And take time to assess what you were able to get done from your plan and what you were not able to complete. And then just get curious as to why that happened. Consider it a learning process. As you dial in getting your schedule on point, you will be amazed at what you learn once you start assessing. The problem is most of the time, we’re just reacting to life. And we’re taking the calls and responding to the emails with this urgency of a fire drill. And that’s not always needed. I want you to be more strategic with your life. When you have a plan, your brain is focused on the task at hand. And you’re less likely to be distracted by the shiny objects, you know those things that take the focus off of your needle moving activities, and I get it, it is sometimes way more comfortable to do what we know, challenge that if we don’t change what we are doing, we won’t change the results and our life. And I might even be so crazy to suggest planning things like your food. I love this again. What did your brain just say when I suggested that? It’s just really great info to know, right? Because if you said she’s crazy, I don’t have time for that. I would again say your brain is lying to you. Of course you have time. I want you to notice every time you tell yourself or someone else, you don’t have time, substitute that for. You don’t want to just call it like it is if you are saying you don’t have time, it simply means it’s not important to you. You have other priorities, something else is in front of that and that is totally fine. But just to own it, because when we tell ourselves we don’t have time, it sounds so victim like, and it’s way more empowering to just know, it’s not something that you want to do. Because we all have the time, we just all choose to do different things with it. And I like to take maybe two, two and a half hours on Saturday and pack all the lunches. I make all the eggs for the breakfast. And sometimes I’ll even prep some of the components of our dinners. And you know what that does? It’s the secret I mentioned earlier. It gives me the freedom during the week to not have the conversations like, what do you want for dinner? I don’t know. What do you want for dinner? I don’t know who’s gonna go to the grocery store? I don’t know. Oh, yeah. And then walk aimlessly around the grocery store. Now, that to me, is such a waste of time and energy. And I plan foods that I know I will like this is not supposed to be something that is a punishment to us. Because at this point, sometimes people will ask, Well, how do I know if I will feel like having what I made? That’s an easy answer. You decide in advance that you will feel like it, make sure you’re putting something on the plan that you will enjoy. And I like to think about it like I’m setting my future self up for success, totally hooking up Mab on Wednesday, when she stuck in a case late. And I already have the food ready for her to go. Right? It’s just such a different mindset. I’ve done it also along the lines of wine. And when I work with clients who want to cut back on wine, it’s what I teach them, plan one or two glasses of wine, and then stick to that you prime your brain to know what the deal is now, especially around this wine part. I’m not saying that you might get to the second glass of wine. And if you have normally been having three or four, your brain might be like, Oh, come on one more. Now, that will open up a great opportunity for you to get curious, curious about why it is that you want to escape with the wine. And why you might not think it’s important to honor the commitments that you’ve made to yourself. And that could be an entirely other podcast. But I would suggest that you just start planning more plan when you’re making these plans. Friends, I want you to plan initially at a foundational level that will show your brain that you will honor the commitments to yourself. So if you want to put Oreo cookies on your plan, do it if you want to put three glasses of wine on your plan, do it, we’re getting into the skill set of learning how to honor the commitments that we make to ourselves. And then maybe you pick one day during the week and you cut back on a glass of wine, or maybe you take out the Oreos, right? Because now the relationship that you have built with yourself is going to be more solid. Same with planning your time. Start with small areas that you know you can stick to and that trains your brain to know what is going on. And it reinforces that when you say you will do something, you do it that allows the freedom of the chatter after for example, having the wine like I shouldn’t have had that. I’m not going to have any tonight. And then you get home after a long day and say screw it and the cycle continues. Planning gives you so much freedom. And the other part of planning that I’ve often had questions around is how do I know how long it will take to schedule these activities? Especially if you’re doing something new in your life? Right? Great question. The answer is, you guess just take a guess. As humans, we often overestimate what we can get done in a day. And we underestimate what we can do in a year. And most times research shows that an activity will take as long as we allow for it to get done. Think about your school projects. Most of the time, you didn’t need three weeks leading up right you probably did it like a couple of days before. But imagine if you flipped that. And you did the projects in the first couple days. And then you didn’t have to think about it for the three weeks leading up. So like I said, Just guess, and then you put it on the calendar, and then you do it. And then you assess if you need more or less time and be honest. If you need more. Do you really need more or were you dilly dallying, like checking out the socials in between? If you’re saying you’re getting something done in a set amount of time, focus on that and you become so much more efficient when Do you have time limits on activities. And I will also say a great tip is once you write down the things that you have to do for the day, take a look at the list. And are there one or two items that if you did them, you could actually knock a few other items off your list. This, again, is one of the important parts of planning. Getting it out on paper will allow you to see if do you really have to do all of the things that are jumbled up in your brain? Because sometimes just doing X can take care of Y and Z. But we need to be able to see it to plan for it. Again, freeing up more time for you. And maybe just maybe you can do more of what you love in life. You know, I would actually be curious about that. What is it that you want to be able to do more of?

Michelle Bourque 15:51 I’m going to post something on the socials. For that I would love to hear from you. Instagram at Michelle Bourque coaching, let’s chat about it over there. Okay, so let’s do a recap here of a few things. First, what are your thoughts around planning? Are they useful and getting you to your goals? How can you be more open to the idea that planning could be amazing for you so that you can make the changes that you want in life? A lot of times people will say they feel stuck in life. And it’s usually because you’re just reacting to everything and not living on purpose, consciously in a deliberate way. It’s good to know, right? And maybe if you just make a couple of these small mind shifts, you might end up blowing your own mind. So get clear. What are your thoughts about planning, planning equals freedom. Next, get clear on the annual, quarterly, monthly, so you can start implementing daily planning. The daily plans support the weekly which support the monthly, which support the quarterly, which get you to your annual got it. And then say no to the things that don’t move the needle on your goals, be deliberate and scheduling the one to three, do goals on your calendar, so that at the end of the day, you know, you have given yourself the gift of honoring the commitments that you made to yourself. And that strengthens the relationship that you have with yourself. And when you do that over and over. It not only frees up time and increases your belief or your confidence in yourself. It also gives you the freedom to do more of what it is that you want. The freedom and knowing you totally got this.

Okay friends, listen, I have a new free guide for you, which starts having you take a look at just this idea. I share ways to excel in your career. Maybe that’s increasing your sales or going for a promotion and doing it without the stress and overwhelm. I have some planning tips and questions in there. So go to www.michellebourquecoaching.com/3steps. If you prefer you can also just DM me or email and I will get it out to you again, Instagram at Michelle Bourque coaching Okay, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s circle back next week but for now, make it a great day. Take care


Michelle Bourque 18:27 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one, go to Michelle Burt coaching.com and click on get started to begin

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