High Level Planning With a Little ‘Be’ Time

Do you think anyone ever begins anything with a clear direction or end in mind? Planning takes time and knowing where to start can be overwhelming.

6 years ago I began with a new direction for my business and my life. As the years passed and I grew my body of work (writing, creating programs, and blogging), it was becoming harder and harder to ‘see’ the direction amidst the meandering flow of creation. I needed an overall review and a renewed direction for the future. It was high time for some high level planning.

If your creation (aka life story/business) seems to be lacking in direction or vision, I invite you to read on. I want to share a process with you to help you clear up the chaos and form the structure for the next and best chapter in the story of your life.

In sharing this, I have a little confession to make. I did something that might seem somewhat selfish or crazy or both to many in our culture of ‘doing’. I cleared my calendar for a month with the express purpose of engaging in some high level ‘being-ness’.

Before you judge…my motives were not entirely woo-woo. I hoped to emerge from this planning time with a direction for my business spanning the next 5 years. Guess what – it was a resounding success! Who knew? Sitting, walking, trusting, writing, meditating, yoga, getting organized – all the while surrendering to the process. I had to ‘be’ before I could engage in high level ‘do’.

The hardest part for me was owning the following truths during this time of ‘being’. “I’m not lazy, I’m not neglecting my business and income, I’m not going to debtor’s prison ;) I’m figuring out my life!”

The result! I’m now a true believer in taking time to ‘be’ before I engage in ‘do’. And like all true zealots, I have to share.

As an Evolution Coach, I help people evolve in to a new direction as they create the best life story they can. Our world is in chaos right now and it’s breeding a sense of discontent in many. If you’re confused and scared and want a new life story, there’s not a better time to begin. And it all starts with a little ‘be’ time!

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. “

~ Albert Einstein

The difficulty or challenge you now feel can be used as the seed for the creation of your great new life story. Your story can be filled with loving relationships, a business or career that feeds both your soul and your bank account, as well as a life filled with purpose. All it takes is vision, structure, planning, faith, persistence and support.

I want to help you with that. From my experience, you can’t teach something well if you haven’t lived it – and actually figured out how to do it successfully. I learned how to create and live a great life story. But stories evolve. That’s why I want to share the process I used when honing the direction for my life story going forward.

Now that I have a solid plan in place, I want the same for you. Like most things worthwhile in life, a good plan takes time to develop. I’ll share my process over a 4 week period so you can walk the path I walked. Here’s to helping you create your best future life story.

Week 1

1.  Go out and buy large pieces of paper. I’m talking the 24 inch by 36 inch size. I buy mine in pads from an art supply store. They are newsprint grade and only cost $4 for 30 sheets. Large pieces of bristol board from the dollar store also works. This is the canvas for your story board creation. Use it to write ah-ha’s, make sense of confusion, jot down dreams – anything that you think/feel might help you plan for your amazing future life story.

2.  Accept and own the following – you are taking this sacred time for you and the development of your future life story. Let everyone in your life know that you are now in the cocoon of self discovery. Take time where and when you can, and leave ‘guilt or shoulds’ behind. Gift yourself with 30 days of precious story development time.

To help with this please access the following free tool. Download The Art of Flow here and use it weekly to organize and structure your ‘be’ time. It will help you find the space and time needed to engage in this precious life work.

3.  Walk, write, sit in silence, and contemplate the following questions…

  • Who Am I?
  • What did I love to do when I was between the ages of 3 and 8?
  • Am I living a life true to who I am today?
  • What are my dreams?
  • Who do I love and why?
  • Where do I work – where do I spend the majority of my life energy? Do I enjoy it. Does it fill me up or does it deplete me?
  • What kind of legacy do I want to leave this world?

4.  Use your large sheets of paper to record what your mind, heart and soul want to express. Magic happens when you can see your true self in black and white on paper in front of you. Look at the information. Then walk, write, sit in silence, contemplate. This is high level work. You are beginning the process of creating a new story for your life. It will be an authentic story. It will be the story you came here to live.

Week 2

I did a bit of research this past week to find out what’s trending now in North America. The biggest increase in books sold on Amazon are adult colouring books. That’s not surprising. It’s proof that we are tapping in to the zeitgeist of the times, even if we don’t know why we are doing so.

My coaching clients are proof of this. Many come to me because they are exhausting their life energy stuck on the hamster wheel of life. They know their hearts are calling them in a different direction, but the heart doesn’t speak in a ‘language’ which is easy to decipher.

The easiest way to tap in to, and decipher our heart’s desires is through the creative process.

The Ancient Greeks felt that art is the creative expression of free will. These are the same peeps who brought us Aristotle, Plato and Socrates to name a few. (This level of wisdom is definitely a cut above social media soundbites.) When you begin to tap in to your creativity, you are getting closer to tapping in to your free will and your authenticity.

The second instalment of the 4 part ‘Be’ to Do planning process is to….doodle, colour, contemplate your belly button, stare off in to space, arrange some flowers, STOP STRESSING. Inspiration flows – but not when we try to control the outcome. Continue to work with the outline in part 1 and take time to tap in to your creativity when you are stuck with a question. This process is like breathing. In breath, out breath…in breath, out breath. It flows. Your authentic life plan will develop when you allow it to.

Here’s an excerpt from  a blog connected to this idea that you may find helpful.

Begin to create as your heart whispers its intentions to you. Create a beautiful meal, a garden, a meaningful conversation. Begin where you are and grow in to the courage, wisdom and passion needed to live a life where you are utilizing the greatest gift of all. The gift to create a beautiful life in alignment with you.

Week 3

For those of you who spent the week naval gazing as part of your homework assignment – Congrats! Remember, part 2 was … doodle, colour, contemplate your belly button, stare off in to space, arrange some flowers, STOP STRESSING. High level planning comes from a high level place. It doesn’t occur when we are trying too hard to ‘do’.

In a crazy world like ours, multi-tasking is a badge of honour we wear. This became apparent to me this past week. I belong to a Master Mind. It’s a group of 150 successful people (mostly women) from all over the world. We support one another as we build our businesses. 3 or 4 times a year we meet in Asheville, North Carolina to work on our business, not in it. We connect monthly on phone calls and more often in a private Facebook group.

We’re normally a pretty heart-centred group of entrepreneurs, but sometimes the crazy pace of the world sneaks in. The discussion in question was about offering podcasts versus video when connecting with clients. Most agreed that watching video was impossible because it meant you had to pay attention. Podcasts were preferable because you could listen to a podcast while commuting, colouring with your kids, making dinner …. you get the picture.

The problem. Multi-talking means you don’t give your all to anything so nothing is wholly (holy) accomplished. That’s a recipe for regret when all is said and done. There’s ample proof now that multi-tasking is not effective and decreases productivity by up to 40% (dependant on how often you switch between tasks). Check out Psychology Today – The True Cost of Multi Tasking for more.

This leads me to the 3rd part of our ‘Be to Do’ series.

You’ve spent time answering questions (part 1), pondering (part 2) and now it’s choose time. Pick one thing to change in your life. That’s it. It could be * get your finances in order, * turn that part time passion into a full time gig, * work on your relationships, * write that book that’s been percolating for years. Your choice. To be successful with life change, you work on one thing at a time. (Funny enough; other aspects of life tend to change right along with it, without much effort from you.)

Week 4

Energetically, 2017 is a 1 year. It’s all about new beginnings and will set the tone for the next 9 years. This is an exciting time. The work you are doing with ‘Be’ to Do couldn’t come at a better time. 

So you made a choice. (Part 3) You know the one thing you’re going to change in your life….awesome! Now, life is going to conspire against you as you work to make that change a reality. Oh sure, it will go well for a while and then life will step in – and you’ll lose momentum. I know what you’re thinking….wow, is she ever a downer!

Not at all. I’ve made a life out of pursuing change myself. (My numerological birth number is 5 which is the energy of change…. I came to the planet to do this.) My working life has been about helping others enact change. I know how this goes. The Universe has a ‘checks and balances’ system in place. Whenever you want to enact change – It asks ‘Are you sure you want this?’

One of the first things I ask a new coaching client after setting a goal is “How would you like me to respond when you don’t follow through?” It’s going to happen. If you have a system in place to respond when you lose momentum, you will be more successful at this change thing.

Example

You want to eat better and lose 10 pounds by summer. It’s been 2 weeks and you’re doing really well. Then….birthday celebration at work. Someone brings in a cake and your co-workers goad you in to having a little piece. Before you know it, you’ve had a second piece and you’re licking the left over frosting off the cake plate.

You drag yourself home and beat yourself up. STOP….no biggie. Back-sliding happens to everyone. Luckily, you have a plan in place. You know what you’re going to do when you slip up. If you were one of my clients, we would have worked out a way for you to handle this.

You would learn to see this as a momentary lapse; knowing you have the opportunity to make a better choice in the next moment. Life is a series of moments. Just choose differently in the next moment. And don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for all those moments when you made a choice in alignment with your goal.

Change happens in increments. The best laid plans will go awry. I planned to do this 4 part series over a 4 week time frame. This is week 6. My father in law went into hospice 2 weeks ago and passed away a few days ago. I accepted that plans would have to be put on hold, but I would continue with my plans when the time was right. “C’est la vie”  This is life.

So in a nutshell, here is how you take your choice and make it a reality.

  1. Sit down and plan for how you will enact the change in your life. (It could be to find a better job, work on relationships, lose weight, exercise, meditate, enjoy life more….)
  2. Plan for how you will handle setbacks.
  3. Celebrate your accomplishments.
  4. Give it time. Minor habits take 21 days to set. Major changes take longer.
  5. Be proud of yourself. Change is hard and you’re a rock star for setting an intention for how you want your life to be. Kudos for doing what it takes to make that life a reality.
Black background with a round zen circle at the top in black and white. There is a meditating woman at the top and a paint palette with a brush at the bottom. Underneath is the caption

In a world of ‘doing’, a little ‘being’ goes a long way

If you want help with this process, email me. We’ll set up a 2 hour planning session to help you develop a structure and vision as you create a new story for your life.

Please feel free to email me and share your journey – pitfalls, detours, pit stops, flat tires…whatever. I always love to hear from you.

Paula’s signature. It is a picture with the words LOVE and then the script Paula and my logo “Evolution coach” underneath
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