Life Planning 101 Part Two
Many birth professionals are low in a personality trait psychologists call conscientiousness: it’s major function of personality (just like introversion/extroversion) but it’s a measure of dutifulness and reliability.
I am not naturally an organized, dutiful planner. Most of my adult life I didn’t really plan projects in a systematic way or keep a calendar. (Shocking I know but neither does the majority of the US population.) When I did buy a planner I’d mark trips with a highlighter or scribble down random appointments, which I frequently still missed because I didn’t actually look at my planner regularly.
The truth is I had a predictable, routine life with variations rare enough to keep in my head.
But as I began to take on larger ambitions in life, I discovered that working really, really hard wasn’t enough. Sure I’d formulate loose plans in my head; whatever was written down would often times end up forgotten, lost, or would slowly become irrelevant. It took me several years of (truthfully) being highly unsuccessful to realize that being sincere and hard-working aren’t enough to generate success.
Then I began to study people I admired and came to realize the value of having a clearly defined goal, with planned action steps that were scheduled out into my daily reality. This took my production from random (‘when I can squeeze it in’) to routine, gave me the ability to confidently ask for support, and ended in results that astounded everyone in my life—including myself!
If you are naturally conscientious you are already experiencing all these benefits in your life– if you are more creative, spontaneou, and thrive in complex unpredictable situations–you might really benefit from more planning. And to try and entice you to stay with me, here are five surprising benefits that made a huge difference in my quality of life and business profitability that you will also experience with life-planning:
- You will become excellent in your birth business while still cultivating a life that you love.
For many of our students at Brilliant Birth Academy, becoming a birthworker is one of their first steps toward a life marked by a higher level of contribution. Birth is a sacred and fleeting moment of time and showing up with consistent excellence for the challenges may require a higher degree of planning and organization skill than life has previously required. This method will enable you master a skill you must have in order to build a thriving business but will prove invaluable to you as you tackle dream after dream.
- You will turn your dreams into plans that get finished
Dreams are beautiful—when you’re young. But the older you become, all those beautiful dreams that used to energize you will start to fester—because they become all things that you didn’t ever do rather than things you still hope to do. The truth is, dreams don’t get ‘done’. Projects do. It’s great to have a ‘bucket’ full of future dreams but believe me—bucket lists are way more fun when you learn how to take one of those shiny dreams and turn it into a plan—that gets done!
- You will align your time, attention, and energy with your values
Planning is a powerful awareness-generating process. Intentionally identifying how you spend your time, attention, and energy and how you should actually be spending it in order to accomplish what really matters to you, is how you build a life that is resonant and aligned with your deepest values. Plus, with all of your ideas, plans, and next steps safety recorded down, your mental space will become clear and your attention will be more focused inside and outside of work. You will be amazed at what an intentional, purpose-driven, disciplined, and joyful person you can be!
- You will get more done and rest more at the same time
Before I knew about goal achievement, I would somehow just drop projects, move on, and never really finish anything—I never shipped products or made a profit. Because my work had almost zero pay off, I felt I was never doing enough; I worked constantly—on nights, weekends, and vacations. I used to go to the beach with my family, bring 15 books and forget my bathing suit. Now that I’ve clearly scheduled when I need to work to achieve what matters most to me, my whole life has a glow of gratitude and I actually, really, rest.
- You will overcome difficulties, limitations, and set-backs
When you draft a plan, you anticipate possible obstacles and allocate for them. Without a plan, and without using a planner, every single obstacle hits you like a fresh ton of bricks and you’re too buried to lift your head up and see patterns. Non-planners tend to have the same ‘crisis’ and limitations over and over again. (The second and third and fifty-seventh time you hit the same obstacle, it’s no longer a real reason for you to be having problems, now it’s an excuse.)
There’s enough crisis’s in birth—we need to not be having preventable ones!
The powerful review process I’m going to share in the next few posts really helped me identify the repeating set-backs or limitations I was having so that I could course correct NOT in the middle of an emotional crisis. I hope it amazes you how you start to deal with life’s inevitable difficulty with more grace and decisiveness.
Ready to dive in? In the next blog post I’m going to lay out how I went from a non-planner to a planner and how you can get the same benefits even if you’re not naturally a conscientious/planner type! See you in the next post.