When my mom was going through an aggressive round of chemotherapy, she came to stay with me. Years before this, she appointed me durable power of attorney. This meant I had the responsibility of handling her medical, legal, and financial affairs, in the event she was unable to. Because we had so many discussions over the years about her wishes, writing everything out was simple and only took a few minutes.
If the thought of planning makes you cringe, you’re not alone. A Harvard Business School study revealed that a large proportion of the people fail to set goals and make plans.
- 83% of people do not have goals.
- 14% have a plan in mind but are unwritten goals.
- 3% have goals written down.
Your Fears Are Limiting You
In January, most of us write new goals or make resolutions. By February, many of us are already sliding down that slippery slope toward not accomplishing them.
According to research from the University of Scranton, 92% of people who set New Years’ goals will never achieve them. Clients I’ve worked with are people who become paralyzed by the thought of planning. They place way too much weight on the process. Planning is important, but it doesn’t have to feel heavy.
3 Excuses that Keep You from Succeeding
- Fear of failure.
- Apathy or indifference.
- Lack of planning skills.
Some resist planning out of fear and wanting to avoid being wrong. Others don’t know and can’t see what they desire, so they become apathetic, saying things like, “What’s the point?” Then, there are people who say they want to plan but haven’t found the right system that feels easy. They believe they lack a special skill set to plan and so they don’t.
If you are using any of these excuses to avoid planning…stop.
Overcome Fear Using a Vision
In January, I spoke with Mignon Francois, owner and operator of The Cupcake Collection, an award-winning bakery in Nashville. We discussed one of our favorite books, The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, by Jack Canfield.
Mignon said that one of the greatest principles she was putting into practice this year was using more time for herself. She set the vision, and decided to employ the principle of working 196 days this year, or three to five days per week.
Decide on the Dream and Write It Down
Once Mignon knew what her dream was, she began to take on the feeling of working less, by connecting to the thought that she could actually do it. In doing so, her mind opened to all the wonderful possibilities in front of her. She was able to spend more time with family, mentoring entrepreneurs, speaking, traveling, and writing her book.
Mignon suggests we not overthink the plan, which could lead to procrastination. She says take a few minutes, and write it down.
Tweak the Plan as You Go Along
Ten years in business taught Mignon how to create efficient processes and delegate day-to-day operational tasks to trusted staff members. This allowed her the freedom to pursue other passions. As a result, she was able to start out this year by working less and creating more.
Making a plan does not guarantee success, but it focuses your attention. It helps you on your journey of getting from here to there. Planning not only helps to prepare you for life’s crises, but also for its celebrations.
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Elisha Lowe is a registered nurse, business strategist, writer, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker with two decades of experience in healthcare. She works with top healthcare organizations to grow novel products that support improved patient outcomes.
You can follow her on Twitter @ElishaLoweRN or learn more at www.elishalowe.com.