Archive for planning

Mar
09

Paint By Numbers Living

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Setting numerical goals can be both a prison and a liberation. Having numbers to aim for, such as pounds to loose, miles to run, dollars to earn, books to read, fruit to eat, phone calls to make or words to write, can either turn into a “should”, leading to resentment and often giving up, or can help to motivate us or help us to adjust our course, as we work towards achieving them.

What makes the difference is our attitude and how conscious we are of our choices.

Here’s an example. Yesterday, I found an old exercise in one of my journals. I’d listed the things I wanted to create in my life. Then I allocated an amount of money to each of them, so I could see how much I needed to earn, on a daily basis, in order to have them.

I’ve done this type of exercise on a number of different occasions but it has never been that useful to me. That’s because I know that much of the lifestyle I desired couldn’t simply be bought. So, despite my best intentions, I’ve always ended up feeling the exercise was a bit pointless.

Today, I decided to experiment with a different approach. Instead of just writing off this process as useless, I asked myself how this exercise might help me rather than if it would.

I know from past experience that setting a numerical goal in a numerical context can be a great motivator. For example, when I wanted to pay off my credit card debt I drew up a graph with 3 different coloured lines. Two represented the amount I owed on two different credit cards and the third represented the total debt. The lines went from the left hand side of the graph showing the amount I currently owed to zero at the point in the future by which I wanted it paid off. Every month, after receiving my credit card statements, I plotted the actual amount that I still owed.

Having a visual numerical representation of my progress inspired me to keep going and to beat the goals I’d set. The second month, which was one with a lot of family birthdays, was the only one  when I didn’t meet or surpass my targets.

So, in this situation, where my goals were easily quantifiable, making them measurable was hugely successful.

However, not all goals are quantifiable and even when they are, the way in which they are achieved is critical as to whether they feel like a prison or a liberation.

Creating a desired future lifestyle is never going to keep you motivated if the journey to it’s creation is filled with stress, striving or struggle. So it’s important to remember that the numbers are a tool – something to aim for – but they are not the destination.

The destination is the process. It’s about the journey itself.

So, bearing that in mind – how might the exercise of monetising a lifestyle be helpful?

1.  It gives me something concrete that I can measure my progress against.

2.  It gives me something concrete that I can measure my results against, so I can adjust my course if I’m no longer on target.

And . . .

3. When I have the experience of working towards the results I can see if I enjoy the journey enough to make their pursuit worthwhile.

Categories : Creating My Life
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Feb
16

Planning from the Present

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Returning to my blog after a fairly hefty absence, I discovered a comment, left by Chieko, on one of my “I don’t know what to do with my life” type posts, asking “How was your 4 week period?”. Hmmmm. I thought. What 4 week period would that be then? So I went back and looked.

On August 22nd I wrote a post which finished with:

“So, this is what I am going to do for the next 4 weeks. I am going to experiment with creating my life from where I am and without knowing where I’m going. I’m going to pay more attention to what is present and, when opportunities occur which I’m not sure about I will say “yes” rather than “no”.

Bottom line I’m going to have 4 weeks off from being concerned about not knowing what I want and see what happens.”

Well, the truth is, I seemed to have forgotten this idea pretty quickly, referring back to it just once more a few days after the original post. But it still appeals and it still inspires me. But more about that later.

On Oct 15th I mentioned a new project which I intended to write more about but which also seems to have been forgotten. And then there was the final burst – a new 28 day challenge I set for myself which would last until my return to Phoenix and the end of the Coaching School. But . . . you guessed it . . . that fizzled out too.
So, in answer to your question Chieko, my 4 week period disappeared down my good intentions plug-hole, while I was wandering off to pastures new. Actually, I wasn’t so much wandering off as lying down – literally!

The last time I posted, on Nov 13th, I said:

“So, now I have a choice, do I want to stay stuck and pretend to be playing the game or will I take the next step and create a plan? I choose to re-engage in my project and create a plan. So, once again, I reset my commitment to enrol 10 people on my 6 month coaching programme called – ‘When You Don’t Know What You Want – Make It Up!’.”

Hmmmm. Dropped the ball on that one too. I think it was the word “plan” that finally did me in because I had another really low period and even took to my bed for a few days. Not to worry though cuz, here I am again. Once more into the fray and all that.

So, back to that perennial question, where to from here?

Well, I think I can safely say that creating a 6 month coaching programme, right now, is a step too far for me. I don’t want it enough. But coaching itself is most definitely not off the agenda. It’s just the form it will take that’s uncertain.

Having a plan was enough for me to take to my bed and yet I’m finding that being without direction is equally demotivating. However, I think I may have found a way to have the best of both worlds and it involves returning to what I said in August: “I’m going to pay more attention to what is present and, when opportunities occur which I’m not sure about I will say “yes” rather than “no”.

More on that in combining past and future . . .

Categories : Creating My Life, Mood
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Nov
13

Waiting For Magic

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Tuesday felt like a good day. I made my commitment to my project and moved from one thing to the next and it all seemed to fall into place. Since then I’ve been spinning my wheels, waiting passively for something external to move me onto the next thing. Waiting for magic.

I’ve been thinking, it’s a bit ironic that I’m saying I’m committed to creating a workshop about what to do when you don’t know what you want, and here I am, not being able to identify, in the moment what it is I want to do, and getting very stuck in that. Perfect, of course.

One of the ideas I want to get across is that everything you need is in your life right now. So, if I apply that idea to my life what do I see? What opportunities have I been missing while I’ve been waiting for something else to jump up and bite me on the bum?

Remember, I’ve taken advantage of the cosmic hint to write an invitation letter (described in my post about little struggles), and then got hung up because I couldn’t seem to finish it. Then the waiting started. I’ve been making a note of the 30 day challenge “homework” but haven’t taken any action related to it, because I didn’t know what to do. And then it struck me, I didn’t know what to do next because I didn’t have a plan.

OMG The “P” word.

And then the s**t really hit the fan and I came face to face with the truth that is my fear of running this coaching programme. Having a plan suddenly makes it real.

I’d forgotten the difference between intention and commitment and how “You’re not really committed until you’ve proved it by putting in place a supporting structure. Until you do, anything you think you want remains an intention without the power of true commitment and, consequently, is unlikely to materialise.”

So, now I have a choice, do I want to stay stuck and pretend to be playing the game or will I take the next step and create a plan? I choose to re-engage in my project and create a plan. So, once again, I reset my commitment to  enrol 10 people on my 6 month coaching programme called – ‘When You Don’t Know What You Want – Make It Up!’.

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Life Moves Archives

Gillian Pearce – Life Moves

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About Life Moves

Life Moves is an unfolding story of my journey to discover and create what I truly want from life. I hope you will find my writings helpful, inspirational, encouraging, amusing or, at the very least, usually worth reading. Please feel free to comment on any posts about which you have an opinion. Or make one up. I do it all the time and it can be very dull, alone in cyberspace.

Bon Voyage!

Gillian