For years I had a lot of negative thoughts and feelings about planning. I thought it was too restrictive, too tedious, and even too rigid. What I have come to really appreciate is that my calendar is simply the vehicle to having the life I really want.
Now, this isn’t something that I always understood. As I said, I used to dread the thought of planning, and there is usually some resistance around this that comes from my clients, too. However, as my clients begin to understand WHY planning is so important they are usually quick to come around just like I was, and now, this sacred time is non-negotiable for those of us that realize how truly powerful it can be! Spoiler alert: it’s much deeper than you might think!
Let’s dive into it here this week so that you too may be sold on the power of planning which will help you create the results you want.
I strongly believe that our lives don’t have to just happen to us, rather we can deliberately plan for it to unfold as we desire. This starts with creating big visions that are broken down into yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily chunks – aka goals. Every day we can plan deliberate action steps that get us closer to each of our goals, thus ensuring that if we honor our calendar we will inevitably attain all that we desire.
What I later learned is that when we plan, we recruit the highest level brain that only humans possess – the pre-frontal cortex. The PFC for short has our best interest and goals in mind, so utilizing this side of our brain is essential to creating the life we want. On the flip side, when we wing it and are in the moment we use our primitive brain; the impulsive part of our brain driven by the desire to seek pleasure and avoid pain, yet which does not really concern itself with our long-term plans. So, when we plan, better to recruit the PFC and not awaken that primitive part of our brain.
In addition, when we use the PFC for planning, we give our future self long-term gratification. Let’s say you forgo eating a lot of processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats for many years, go to regular check-ups, and workout regularly…you would be giving your future self the amazing gift of health. In your 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s you might have more energy, vitality, and could even live longer. The same is true for being a good steward of your money in your 20’s & 30’s. Your future self might have an abundance of wealth to retire with and enjoy the back half of life with.
You see, delaying gratification in the moment often increases gratification in the future, which in my mind is so worth it. This also deepens self-trust, self-esteem, and promotes a healthy relationship with yourself when you are able to count on yourself by following through.
Eating healthy, going to check-ups, moving your body daily, and managing your money are often boring and unsexy activities, but the gains for the future really outweigh the costs in the present. So, I encourage you to consider ONE thing you really, really want in your life right now…….? Is it to lose 20 pounds? To get a raise at work? To increase sales within your business? How specific is your plan to get to this goal/outcome? The more specific your plan is, the more likely you are to attain it. Having a plan itself also reveals your belief that you can obtain this outcome.
So, what is your plan for getting what you want?
Next week, I will walk you through the process I use to plan and teach you how I overcome my primitive brain who would rather not do anything that is on the plan. I will even include a worksheet so that you can try it for yourself and get closer to the outcomes you most desire. For today, I hope I have sold you on why planning is worth it. Your future self will thank me ☺
Have a great week everyone. If you would like to talk directly about a specific outcome you have been wanting to achieve please reach out to schedule a connection call – a few spots in November remain!
Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.