3 Ways to Stick to Your Plan

“Luck is the residue of design.” – John Milton

As this year edges closer to being buttoned up, you may feel the urge to lay out a new and improved plan and begin mapping it all out.

You may have already begun to explore all your options and dream about all the avenues, backroads, roundabouts or donkey paths you’ll possibly navigate to get there, wherever “there” may be.

It’s a wonderful exercise.

But now comes the hard part. The next step is to take deliberate action and stick to the plan you’ve spent so much time erecting in your mind. Keeping your focus, attention and energy intact is a challenge. These are important considerations in order to stay the course and carry through on things. This is where many people and their plans get side-lined, weigh laid or completely shanghaied.

We have some solid tips for keeping on track.

1. Make clearing the decks for this year a priority

One way to keep focused on new plans and stick to them is to remove the distraction of lingering to-dos. These are the things you keep putting off, month after month.

Get them done or do your best to let them go and start the new year with a clean slate.

If they’ve been on that list for a long while, there may be a host of reasons or rationales for why you didn’t complete them.

They may just be like a lame horse in your list, and it would be a merciful act to quietly put them down. 

Try to think of it like a critical path in project management. You cannot really move on or move forward efficiently, until a certain step is completed or resolved.

2. Plan two weeks out for each holiday

Know where you plan to be and with whom two weeks out for the holiday season.

Cap off the year by using December as a practice period. Then, springboard into the new year by planning and following through diligently.

Try experimenting with approaches you may not have used before. For instance, you may have learned that your friend keeps plans on track by meditating 30 minutes each day, and afterward writing ideas, tasks, and goals in a daily journal or playbook. This is their way of mastering the madness of the holidays.   

Keep what works for you and jettison what does not.

Remember this is a chance to experiment, take chances, be bold, letting your reach exceed your grasp, before the clock strikes twelve and we are launched into another year around the sun.

3. Pre-purchase and pre-wrap

This is nice holiday season hack. Buy your gifts and wrap them early as possible. It may seem odd at first to push the season if you normally wait to the last minute, but this one change up may path the way for creating a more planned out and manageable holiday season.

If you take care of some of the smaller, pressing items in advance, you can then focus on staying more present and avoid circling back to items that might otherwise distract or sidetrack you.

Final thoughts

Dreams are wonderful things, and they can often give rise to bold and lofty plans. But sticking to your plans, creating timelines and following through with self-accountability is what will ultimately transform your dreams into tangible achievements.

Here’s to the enduring beauty of both big dreams and well-crafted plans.

Lisa Ryan LPC

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