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The Power Of Planning

It’s that time of the year, the kids are winding up their school year, we’re heading into holidays, and that crazy festive week of planning Christmas before a much needed, wanted and deserved break.


It’s a little bit like limping into the finish line. Years ago i trained for the City to bay fun run, it was the first time i’d ever been a ‘runner’. I’d stuck to a rigorous training regime, i was ready… the City to bay is 12kms, somehow my tracking app on my watch/phone had a glitch, so when i thought i was at the 10km mark, i was actually only at the 9km mark. Those last 3kms were a mental battle to keep moving. Keep going, until the end…. Crossing over the finish line was so exhilarating, i’d set a massive goal for myself, gone and done it, finished the race… but boy was i wrecked, not just after the race, but for days afterwards.


And I think that’s what we’ve been experiencing this year. We’re literally hanging out for the finish line. The magical time line of Christmas and New Year. We’re hanging on the for the end and this is such an important time.


This year has meant that we just keep going and going

we’ve just hit the winter solstice here in Adelaide, the nights are cold the mornings are dark (although now that we’ve had the ‘darkest day, things are looking up). We’re enaring school holidat time. And it is of course just about school holiday time and the end of financial year.


For some, the end of the financial year is a photo finish. You’re scrambling to tie up loose ends particularly if you’re in a sales role. Perhaps you’re run off your feet in retail.


For me, the end of the financial year is a wonderful time for reflection on the last 6 months. But more importantly it’s the perfect time to check in with where I’m at for my goals, and to either pivot or go all in to reach some of my goals to finish the year off strong.


Where I think we fall down about this time of year is that we don’t really recognise how wonderful it is for a fresh start. At the beginning of a new calendar year, we’re buzzing with excitement, there’s planning, and resolutions being made left right and centre. It’s a time for wonderful celebration.,, but often only viewed this way once a year.


What if, at the beginning of every financial new year we took the same amount of time out to plan, and reflect that we do in 1st January. Imagine that, a whole 6 months head start.


Here’s some of my top tips for planning.


Firstly,

Reflection I find the easiest way to do this is to go back through my diary (yes, still paper based) or calendar and have a look at where I’ve spent my energy for the first six months of the year

Have I utilised my time as much as i could? Did new habits fall by the way side? Am I spending time doing things that are brining me no value or joy.

Once you’ve had a chance to go back over your calendar, write down the stuff you did like, write down the stuff that you didn’t, write down the stuff that you’re going to keep doing? Write down the stuff that you want to stop, write down the stuff you’re going to start doing.


Next

Lay-It-Out

Now, I’ve been a ‘planner’ from way back, nothing gives me greater joy than plotting out my year, or in this case my next 12 months. The organisation of it all is energising, and I love finding pockets of time where I can wither squeeze something in, OR make sure to block it out for down time and family time.


Grab out your calendar, I like to do mine on a piece of paper with post it notes (visual really works for me). Then on your post-its write down all of your major commitments. It could be a presentation, a sporting final, a fun run event, your kids end of year graduation, school holidays, a weekend away, dinner with friends (yep, I have these pencilled in for a few months in advance) all of the major stuff that’s outside of your weekly routine.

Start putting each post-it note in a line for the month. If you’re really fancy you can use different colours for work vs home life.

These are your big rocks.


Next up,

Your weekly routines and commitments. It could be going to the gym, your Sunday golf game (if you play weekly), kids after sports commitments, family dinners.

I write these out term by term (incase any of the kids stuff changes from term 3 to term 4).

If you’d like some help with your planning, check out our reflect & Celebrate workbook and join our next planning session here.


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