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Use Planning to Avoid Overwhelm

Posted Sep 22 2008 11:00am

(Note: This is a guest post by Jenn Givler, as part of my Introductions series while I am away. Enjoy!)

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi’s words are very wise. And, I’m sure you know that you need to take action, or nothing will change. But, what actions are the right ones? And, where do you even start?

That feeling of overwhelm can really get you stuck in inaction. And then, as Gandhi points out, there will be no result.

It all starts with planning. And, if you’re anything like me, the thought of making a plan sort of feels stifling… or confining. I mean, what’s the sense in planning when you have no idea what’s going to come your way in the next few weeks or months – you want to have the flexibility to take advantage of any new opportunities, right?

I’m not a natural born planner, I had to learn the value of planning, and I had to learn to do it in a way that allowed for a certain degree of spontaneity, but also helped me move forward and feel productive, and fulfilled.

The first thing to realize is that – the plan can change. Anything you develop can (and probably will) change. The second thing to remember is, stay true to yourself and only include things in your plan that feel really good deep down in your soul.

To begin planning for the things you want to accomplish, the first thing to do is paint a big picture vision of where you want to be in 6 months to a year. I often tell people to write an essay as if they were standing in their lives and had everything exactly as they wanted it.

This activity will help you devise the bigger goals, and then you can fill in the details. For example, let’s say you want to leave a full time job within a year. Once you can see that in your mind’s eye, you can start thinking about smaller actions that will get you to that larger goal.

Next, think about how much time you have to work specifically on your plan. Think about what you’ve already got in your schedule, and determine when you can fit your actions in. Set boundaries when working on your plan – if you plan to work for 2 hours, focus and get through the activities you want to get done.

Finally, start looking at what activities are serving you and what’s not. In other words, what are the things that will get you closer to your goal, and what are doing because you feel you should? Start to release those things that feel like “shoulds.”

Planning and goal setting can seem dry and boring on the surface. But truly, it’s the only way you’ll make changes. Just remember, rigidity is not how life works, so allow for flexibility and new opportunities. If you get stuck, get help. There are many, many experts, books, web sites, and blogs out there to help you get what you need and move forward!

About Jenn
Jenn Givler is an Intuitive Business Coach. She teaches holistic business owners and healing arts practitioners how to promote their businesses. Through her Mindful Marketing program, Jenn teaches marketing techniques that help you connect with the people who need you, but don’t make you feel overbearing or aggressive. If you wish you were more courageous about marketing, check out her web site:

Create A Thriving Business

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