How to Create an Annual Plan That Doesn't Freak You Out [The Stress-Less Career Show - Episode 3]

Welcome to the third episode of the Stress-Less Career Show. I'm super super excited that we made it to episode number three! If you haven't seen the last two episodes, I highly encourage you to go back and watch them. Our first week we talked about intention. The second week we talked last week we talked about your purpose versus your calling. Today, we're going to be talking about the importance of planning.

I'm sure you have heard this saying time and time again: if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Now that January is over, I cannot stress enough that If you haven’t created your plan for this year yet, it is time to create your plan. I don't care if you're not an entrepreneur or a business owner. Creating this plan is about creating intention and figuring out your purpose and calling so that you have something to move towards in your career. So where do you start?

Get your piece your pencil and paper out if you haven’t already because these steps are really important. Start by defining your big picture goal for the year. Maybe in 2019, you want to get a promotion. That's a big picture goal. Your next step is to break that goal into milestones. What are the milestones that you need to meet to ensure that you're going to be able to be more likely to get that promotion.

What is an example of a milestone? Well, maybe you don't have the software experience under your belt that will make you an ideal candidate for this position. Your first milestone might be sign up for a class. Your second milestone might be to learn the next thing that you need in order to stand out in the workplace. Your third milestone might be thinking about the relationships you’re cultivating in this organization so that if a promotion comes up, you are the first one they think of. Think strategically about how you are going to take that big picture goal and break it down into realistic and very specific milestones.

Once you have those milestones, there's a third important incredibly incredibly important piece and that is to break those milestones down into tasks that take 10 minutes or less. Oftentimes when we have a plan, we get so overwhelmed by the plan we can't actually move forward. There can be so many steps involved in taking a class and achieving that first milestone. You might have to research a bunch of organizations, save up some money, buy supplies; it's easy to get overwhelmed. When you break your milestones down in your in your big picture goals down into tasks that take 10 minutes or less, what you're doing is you're taking away that overwhelm.

You can start telling yourself, “all I need to do is a task that takes 10 minutes, that's it.” Your brain loves crossing stuff off so the more tasks we cross off, the more we're likely to feel confident and show back up in our lives again. We change the way the brain is wired by accomplishing more tasks, big or small.

So, take the time to discover your big picture goals for 2019. I would recommend a revenue generating one for your career. I would recommend one of your goals be around a career or personal project that you want to work on, and then a goal for self care. Your self care goal is a must! I cannot stress enough that a lot of us are losing our identities in our careers, businesses, and entrepreneurial journeys. In our career, we need to have our personal life be a part of our planning.

What is the self care goal you need for your well being? Your self care goal could be that you go to take a tap class every Wednesday night, for example. I encourage you to go beyond the common ones. I know a lot of us want to lose weight and that's great but try to challenge yourself to something that's going to make you feel good. Your goal could be to set up a support system around weight loss if you want to include that fitness piece into your goal, but I really want you to think about who you are outside of your career and make your big picture self care goal about that. This will help you make sure you don't have an identity crisis when you switch positions (which it will happen!).

In summary, what are we doing to create our 2019 plan? We're determining our big picture goal, we're breaking those big picture goals down into a few milestones. You don't have to create a million milestones, you can just do the first few. From those milestones, you will create an a list of tasks that take 10 minutes or less.

Depending on your personality, you might know that you're the type of person that will get overwhelmed if you create a list of 100 tasks that take 10 minutes or less. If that is the case, don’t create a long list! Try creating a list of the first four tasks and make the fifth task be to determine the next four tasks you need to complete. Know how your brain works and then create those tasks accordingly. Then, make sure you have them written down somewhere you can refer to or even share those tasks with an accountability partner.

Remember: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The power is in the foresight, the power is in the planning. You’ve got this!

If you are feeling completely lost on how to create a plan for 2019, I’ve got your back! In February, I’m bringing back my online group program, Jumpstart the Work You Love. Each Thursday of the month, you will learn how to craft your dream career and the actionable steps you need to take to 'make some changes around here' AND take care for yourself along the way. Learn more and sign up by clicking this link. Spots are filling fast so I hope you can join us!