The start of the new year often involves making New Year’s Resolutions and the chance to dream big about what we might achieve in the forthcoming year. We might have important goals in our business, decide to work on our fitness or even achieve some long-held ambitions in our personal life. However, without a plan, a goal is just a dream, a desire. It isn’t enough to just set a goal or ambition, you will find yourself disappointed in 12 months time if that’s all you do. In order to make your goal a reality, you need to develop a plan and ensure you understand all the smaller steps you need to take to get there. Having a detailed, yet flexible plan will provide you with the map you need to reach the destination of your goal.
When you have a chronic illness, having a robust plan is even more important as it will enable you to see the direction that you are travelling even in the depths of brain fog , pain or exhaustion. Having a chronic illness, means that your plan will need to be flexible. You want to be able to change your plan depending on how you are feeling. If you’re having a bad week, then you’re not going to be able to achieve what you had planned. However, if you keep your plan loose and ensure that there is a lot of contingency, you won’t feel guilty about it. When you have a chronic illness, you should never feel guilty about taking time for yourself and you need to make sure your plan reflects that.
A plan can provide focus
Having a plan can also help in a number of ways. It will give you the focus that you need in your day to day business. You will know what your priorities are and what activities you need to complete in order to be a step closer to meeting your goal. When you run your own business, the list of tasks are endless and it can often feel like it is impossible to reach the end of your to do list. There are always more jobs to be done but some are more important than others. It’s also impossible to work on everything at once. If you know what your goals are and what the steps are that you need to take to get there then you will be much more likely to achieve them.
How to avoid distraction
Having the focus of a detailed plan will also prevent you from being distracted. It is so easy to get distracted by shiny object syndrome when you’ve got your own business. You see that someone is doing something new and think to yourself, “hey, I should give that a go, it’s working for them, I’m sure it’ll do wonders for me too”. However, before you try anything new, you should think about how it fits into your plan and whether it is taking you closer to your goal. You don’t want to be distracted by non-relevant activities as that is in fact taking you away from your goal. Again, this is particularly true when you have a chronic illness as you want to get to your goal in the most straightforward of ways.
A plan will also stop procrastination. We all know that feeling of overwhelm when we sit down to work for the day and instead of working, we spend hours scrolling through social media or looking at our website stats or emails. If you know what you should be doing and when, it will give you the opportunity to get to work straight away without distractions. When you have a chronic illness, you want to make sure that you don’t spend unnecessary time at your computer or on your phone, so removing that temptation and knowing what we should be working on can really help.
Helping with Decision Making and Forward Planning
If you struggle with decision making, then having a good plan can be of great assistance. With every decision you have to make, think about whether it will take you closer to your goal. If it will, then it’s probably a good decision. If not, then it’s probably best to avoid it or at least wait until you’ve achieved your goal.
Finally, if you take time at the beginning of the year and then every 90 days, assessing where you are, setting your goals and writing your plans, you can identify any issues and any weaknesses. Maybe you need additional support or will need to get extra training to reach your goal. Maybe the best option would be to subcontract a piece of work out. By looking at it early, you have enough time to identify and rectify and potential glitches before they arrive.
How I can help you
If you would like any additional support with your goal setting and planning then please do contact me. I offer one-to-one mentoring where we can go through your goals and your plans in details, making sure that your plan works with your strategy and your health – you can find more details here. I also run the Excel against the Odds Success Academy where we run annual and quarterly planning workshops and I also provide group coaching to go through your plans in detail. Please find more details here.