From the “The Principles and Patterns of Building… Everything!”
A BEAUTIFUL LIVING, LLC Masterclass Series
Since we've been married, James and I have had 3 homes built. I each instance, I found myself careful considering the layout of the yard. Of course, the utility and comforts of the home were thought through thoroughly first, but the yard would take longer to nurture into maturity. It would take more than just 3-6 months to build; it would require planning that would need to be cultivated over a lifetime. Where would we have areas of recreation? Would we have a fire pit, a barbeque, outside dining, outdoor movie space? Would we have fruit trees (I love canning and making jam...yum!)? Could we plant trees that would eventually hold a big, comfy hammock? Planning was just the beginning but it was extremely fun! Planning is the gift we give ourselves: it has the power to ease stress, help us feel more resilient when difficulties arise, and aids in calming our fears of the unknown. Sign me up!
The Law of Preparation has four phases. Last week we talked about how to evaluate our resources. Today, let’s focus on the other 3 pieces associated with being prepared:
Brainstorm Your Options
After you have a clear inventory of your available resources, let’s map your options by brainstorming every idea that comes into your mind. But here’s the trick, you’re not allowed to make any value judgments while you’re writing! Why? Any negative thinking, self-judgment, or self-criticizing will make you self-conscious, divert your creativity, and distract you from focusing on solutions. In brainstorming, my very best ideas have often come at or near the end of writing sessions. The more ideas I get rolling around, the more material my mind has to mix and match in innovative and creative ways. It gives me life! I’m amazed at the brain’s capacity to create new solutions as I push ideas, dilemmas, and puzzles around in my mind and let it get to work sorting and compiling solutions.
Here is a worksheet to help you get brainstorming effectively:
From the BEAUTIFUL LIVING LLC Masterclass Series
Choose The Best Option
After you’ve evaluated all the resources at your fingertips, what are your options moving forward? Now that you know what your options are, based on your resources, what is most viable? What is most believable and workable? What is realistic and doable right now?
To help you work through this carefully, fill out the following worksheet:
From the BEAUTIFUL LIVING LLC Masterclass Series
Develop a Plan
You know your resources. You’ve brainstormed your options and narrowed it down to one final option fully aware of your plan’s strengths and possible challenges and you’re realistic about your expectation. Let’s talk about developing a plan; this is your last step in the preparation phase.
How Often Should I Be Planning?
Your planning strategy will depend on your goal or objective. I don’t see goals and objectives as being the same. To me, a goal is associated with a specific timeline; you reach it and you’re done, it’s measurable--success! Goals relate to our daily checklists and appointments, schedules and deadlines. Goals might govern intellectual and physical pursuits--often measurable by tests. But an objective is a lifelong quest, less easy to measure definitively. And since no one knows the day or the hour of their demise, it stands to reason that an objective can’t have an end date by which to measure success. Objectives, to me, are open ended and subjective. They are set when seeking to increase wisdom--the moral and just application of knowledge, when setting value goals with children or students, and when pursuing character traits like personal virtues. To me, working toward growth in the areas of emotional, social, and spiritual intelligence require us to pursue lifelong objectives, not goals with deadlines. No one “arrives” at emotional intelligence and then stops, pats themselves on the back, and thanks heaven that that’s finally done.
If you’re working on personal development objectives related to character growth, plan to check your progress daily when getting started and then weekly when you become more adept. Character habits require regular attention--we forget, our muscle memory is reflexive (sometimes even addictive) and hard to overcome, we slip back into old patterns of behavior--we’re only human after all! Eventually, those traits we want will become more natural and spontaneous and that intense focus can be shifted to additional lifelong objectives. Our capacity can be stretched again.
Daily Planning Format
Up Close Daily Planner Page
Sorry if it's grainy! I haven't been able to figure out how to transfer this information into a more useable format.)
Weekly Planner Format
Just a Closing Thought as You Think about Making a Plan
Yikes! That looks super dangerous. No, thank you. Get organized. Get a plan--even if it changes a hundred times, even if you feel like you're winging it, even if you are dealing with less than ideal resources.
So much love as you set out brainstorming and planning your goals and objectives! Please feel free to message me. I’m on Instagram at beautifullivingsystems and at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Until next time…
Heather Roberts Butler
Founder and CEO of BEAUTIFUL LIVING, LLC