What’s Your Plan?

photo (9)Today is the first day of the second quarter of 2015. That means it’s time to talk about one of my favorite topics: planning.

Why? Well, the answer has something to do with practicality.

Right around January 1, we’re all always hopped up on the start of a new year, the hope of succeeding at our New Year’s Resolutions, and the gift of annual inspiration that comes along for the ride.

By April 1, however, many of those New Year’s Resolutions may have tanked, our financial planning may have gotten a little hinky, and we’ve faced some unexpected challenges that life always brings.

That’s why I love retackling my goals at the start of the second quarter. It’s a more practical, grounded time to look at your goals, and simultaneously a great time for growth– the perfect time to set a revised and detailed plan for the upcoming 3, 6 and 9 months.

As a result, for the past week, I’ve been engaged in some serious updated planning for the next quarter and beyond. Here’s the steps I’ve taken that you too can follow to complete an ideal quarterly review.

Plan Your Finances

Over the past week, I’ve looked in depth at our finances, I’ve evaluated the fiscal plan for both my businesses, and I’ve made some major shifts in terms of our operations as a result.

I’ve also revisited our home budget in great detail. In our household, we’ve made some great changes to cut costs and expenses over the last two weeks that haven’t taken a lot of effort, but are now saving us more than $1000 a month that we were previously spending. We’re also now locked down now into a healthy budget that makes sense for all of us for the next few months.

Take an hour or two this week to really look at where you’re headed financially and make revisions as necessary to your budget and savings plan. Set yourself up for success here, and you’ll have peace of mind for the next few months.

Plan Your Wellness

Over the last few days, I’ve also looked very closely at my plans for my own wellness. As a result of some work I’ve done since late last year with the phenomenal naturopathic physician Dr. Samantha Brody, my own health and well-being has taken a high priority now and going forward.

Just yesterday, I had a consultation with Dr. Samantha that covered my stress levels, my physical fitness, my diet, the supplements I’m taking, my sleep, and my daily wellness plan (including taking breaks when needed). My preferred yoga classes are now in my schedule, as are my lunch and periodic breaks, and I’m mapping my work around them instead of the other way around.

What do you need to do to maximize your health and self-care over the next few months? Take some time to map it out, and adjust your calendar and plans accordingly. Your body, mind and spirit will thank you.

Plan Your Personal and Professional Goals

This is always my favorite part of periodic planning, because it allows us to take a moment to dream big, aim high, and set the bar for what’s coming next.

Critically, this is a place where you must be concrete. Articulate and write down your goals in as much detail as you can, whether that’s the revenue you want to generate, the promotion you want to earn, or the new job you want to land.

For my part, I write up ten personal and professional goals for the next quarter every time I do this, and I map out a plan to meet them. You can see one of my more spiritual goals for the next quarter in the photo attached to this post.

This year, I’m working with a phenomenal goal setting tool known as PowerSheets, by the awesome Lara Casey (the photo above is a tiny snippet). What I love about PowerSheets is that they guide you through all goal planning for the next six months (I started at the first of this year), with monthly planning sheets  for each month to set specific, dedicated goals by month, week and day.

Then, after three months (e.g., the start of the second quarter!), you are given a chance to review and revise what’s working and what’s not. Perfect.

You can learn more about Lara Casey and her PowerSheets right here. (And just in case you’re wondering, this is not a paid endorsement. I just love her stuff!). They’re an excellent tool for goal setting as a part of your quarterly planning process.

Lastly, Plan to Let Go

One of the phenomenal things about reviewing our goals and direction every quarter is that it truly gives us a moment to release anything that we’re holding on to that isn’t working or has residual negativity attached to it. This, in my book, is perhaps the most important step you can take toward meeting your goals going forward, because it clarifies what you really want in your life, and what you don’t.

For my part, I’ve made a list of things I’m letting go of as I’m heading into the second quarter– things like anger, overwhelm, fear, isolation, and a cycle of scarcity that a friend recently pointed out to me is really just a way of testing my ability to manifest resources under pressure (something I’m really good at, it turns out! Now, I’m opting to unplug from that cycle in favor of longer term stability, security and growth).

Now it’s your turn: What do you want to let go of from the first three months of this year that isn’t working, didn’t happen as planned, or just feels downright yucky? Write it down and commit to letting it go.

And then ask yourself: What do you want to welcome in instead? Make it delicious and delightful. Make it rich. Make it meaningful. Now’s your chance.

Be sure to share with me in the comments below what you’re planning for yourself and your loved ones for the next three months and beyond! I want to know!

Here’s to higher alignment with what matters most for the next three months and beyond, for all of us.

Have a great week.

All the best,

Elizabeth

PS. Did you catch me on Ivanka Trump’s website last week? Ivanka has named me her first “Entrepreneur in Residence” for her Women Who Work campaign. Click here to read my recommendations for how to set yourself up for success for the long haul, as shared with Ivanka and her readers. Enjoy.

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