Planning in VUCA times
You are meant to have an optimal life, one that's happy, successful, abundant and of great contribution. My mission is to help you achieve that.
In the past following the plan was the shortest route towards success. Now we live in a VUCA world, one embedded in volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. We cannot blindly stick to our plans. We cannot ignore what is going on around us. And maybe most importantly, we cannot ignore what is going on within.
I used to be a control freak. It led me to great success. I did it all on time in a very clinical fashion. I worked in a way that I ignored all the joy of life. I created a boring and meaningless highly effective way of working. At the pinnacle of that way of living, I’ve created a life empty of joy and purpose. So I decided to through it all away and follow my heart. I just did things when I felt like it. I had no plan. I just followed my intuition. I took action just when I felt like it. Results? Stagnation and almost depression.
Now I follow the middle path. I have a plan. However this doesn’t blindly dictate all I’ll do. I do listen to my intuition, but this also doesn’t blindly dictate all I do. This combination of my mind, my heart, and my gut has brought a lot of joy, meaning, and satisfaction to everyday activities, in fact to all my life. Want in?
Step 1. See it
Every year, every quarter, every month, every week and daily, I take some time to reflect on who I want to become and what the implications are in practice. Of course, my daily reflection is shorter than my annual one. Still they are very similar.
First I connect with that image of my life I want to embody. I want to be a happy, healthy and vital woman. I want to be an entrepreneur that provides great service, great quality in difficult times. I want to be a happy, fun and inspiring mother. I want to be a loving, understanding, fun and exciting wife. I want to be a caring, sweet and loving daughter and sister.
Step 2. Feel it
When I see that image in my mind, I ask myself: what does she want now? What does she need now? When I think about that I need to connect with my feelings. Do I need rest today? Do I need to focus on creating a great result? Do I need to call my mom? Do I need to make dinner even more pleasant?
In other words, I harmonize my thoughts and my feelings in concrete goals for the period in question. I consider if the goals that I’ve set still make sense. I feel if they still resonate within me. If they don’t, I let go of them. I can tell you, this was extremely difficult for a control freak. Now I’ve learned that letting go of goals that don’t make my heart sing actually have a tremendous positive impact in my overall productivity. Recently I had a plan to make a series of interviews. I kept postponing and postponing the project. When I saw that it didn't get done, I decided to let go of it. It was a great idea, but its timing was not there yet. When I took that decision, guilt gave the floor to productivity.
I know what you are thinking! What about those goals that you cannot let go of, those goals that someone else imposed on you. For example, when your company wants you to follow this new inefficient new procedure or system. First of all remember that you are always free. You can chose not to do it. You can chose to leave your employer. You can also chose to make the best out of it. You can chose to learn from it. You can chose to make this process a reminder of your personal resolve to quit that job in the future. In any case, you must transform this externally imposed goal into a personal one. You must do this if you are meant to be fulfilled and successful.
Step 3. Acknowledge it
The next step is delicious. I proceed to reprogram my mind. I need to do this every single day (and you too). I acknowledge myself. I think about what I have achieved: I had that challenging conversation, I was caring with my mom, I gave that great speech, I was present for my child, I had a lovely afternoon with my husband. This talks directly to your inner critic. It gives him the message: I’m more than good enough, I’m crashing my goals, I’m becoming ME.
Step 4. Plan it
I’m ready to make my plan for the day, week, month, quarter or year. Knowing what I would like to see at the end of the period, I can divided it in smaller activities. This will allow me to concentrate in the process and even forget about the goal. For example to write my books, I don’t think about writing so many pages per day. I just think about daily writing. If I’m able to make a practice of daily writing, the books happen. So what would be your daily practice? Daily exercise, daily water drinking, daily kissing your spouse daily mini process that accumulates towards your big goals.
To make it even more concrete, I like to link a time to each process.
- The early morning before the whole house wakes up, I’ll write
- The second quarter of the year, before the summer holiday, I'll take massive action, to rest with satisfaction during the summer
- The last two weeks of the year, I'll disconnect from the world and reconnect inside
When you consider which time of the day or of the year is best for which activity, the wind will be behind your back. Planning and performing would be easy.
Do I recommend this? You bet!
No matter how disciplined and motivated you are, when you follow this process daily, you will multiply the power of your brain, your heart and your gut. You will have all the reasons, all the compassion and all the courage to decide to take on new activities, to let go of what no longer feeds your soul. You will be not only efficient and productive, but joyful and vibrant. I sure want more of that!
Do you want to do something magnificent with your one and precious life?
Now, I would love to hear from you.
I would love to hear your wisdom.
Share with us which part of this exercise inspired you and will implement today
Please, share your wisdom directly in the comments below. Let's start a wave of vibrancy, excitement, enthusiasm for life. Let's live fully!
Add as much detail as possible in your reply. Remember, your voice may be of great help to someone else. Your voice might be the one thing that will finally touch the heart of that one person. Please do share your wisdom.
Share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts will be deleted as they come across as spam.
Thank you so much for reading, watching, sharing and sharing your insights.
I'm very grateful for your support!
Wishing you a very peaceful, powerful and loving 2017, elite!