Kickstart 2018: Discover what is holding you back, why, and how to avoid getting stuck “again.”

by Carol Williams

First, some questions:

  • Who’s in charge, anyway? Is it you, or is it life?
  • Are you a planner, or, are you a “go with the flow” kind of person? Why?

i) If you are a planner, what do you fear might happen without a plan? Why do things have to go “your” way? “So what” if they don’t?

ii) If you “go with the flow,” what scares you about making a plan? Is your plan too rigid? Do you fear disappointing others or perhaps not having enough room to be spontaneous?

The answer is … a little of both.

I know both kinds of people. I am definitely more in the Planner box. I love plans. I probably love plans more than is healthy for me. Why am I saying that? I’m saying that because over-planning can lead to over-scheduling. Over-scheduling can lead to stress and chaos, and ultimately, burnout. Burnout is not fun!

Conversely, there is that person who lives like he is blowing in the breeze. His ship sails wherever the wind blows, and he finds comfort there. But he looks back, and wonders what happened to his life. He’s not sure what is next, or even how to decide. He fears that he might make the wrong decision, so few decisions are made. His whole life, his desk, his home, his basement, etc., has too much stuff and is cluttered; representing such indecision.

Or maybe, you are somewhere in the middle. You decide something, go along the path for a bit, typically “full boar,” then get bored, when you then pick something new and exciting. Until, that is, this new thing gets old and then gets left behind for the next new thing. This cycle typically leads to a lot of investment with little return, and ultimately, frustration and burnout.

No matter which description fits best, we can all benefit from a little planning along with a healthy dose of accepting what life throws our way.

Let’s Kickstart 2018! I’ve developed some steps as food for thought .

Step One: Imagine it is December 2018. Write a letter to yourself about what you have accomplished. What fears have you overcome? What have you addressed that you have been putting off? How are you feeling and why?

  • Tip: Don’t overdo this exercise. Sometimes we tend to over-inflate what is possible and come up really short. This “overshooting” can be damaging to the psyche and is cause for the planning to cease. So, reach for the stars, with your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Step Two: What is the most important thing, the thing that will provide the most impact, is the easiest to do, will not cost a lot of time or money, that you can do in the next week or so to move toward your December 2018 goal? That’s right, I am asking you to start NOW. Right now, in November/December 2107. You do NOT need to “wait” until January to lay the groundwork for your 2018 year-end success.

  • Tip: This can be really simple. For example, if you want to keep better track of your finances, and your desk is a pile of unopened mail, just take 15 minutes and sort the mail. You do not need to get it super tidy. Just put it into broad categories and piles. It’s a step. Steps provide momentum and momentum builds on itself.

Progress follows …

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