Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Guiding Star 2018 #7: The Plan

Here we are.  The final Guiding Star exercise.  All the contemplating, pondering, grumbling (yeah, I hear you), and questioning is over.  Today you compile your plan. I've created a Google Document to assist this final exercise, which you are welcome to modify. You have to use this template, you really do. Having your plan in writing will keep you inspired and motivated all year. Below you'll find some final guidance.

Okay, let's get going.

Materials: For this exercise, I suggest you head to your computer.  For ease of sharing, my Buddy and I use Google Docs.  Your Buddy will be seeing this document at least once a month.

Time:  At this point in the process, you'll likely be able to complete your master plan in 30 minutes. I would be surprised if you need more than 60 minutes.

Guiding Star Plan
This link should lead you to a template for your plan. You should be able to copy  and paste the document into your favorite program.  As I said above, feel free to modify.  

- Fill out the areas with the delightful material you've created through the exercises.  Explanations for each section follow:

Over the year, your Slogan will become the most important part of your Guiding Star.  We’ll put it at the top of the plan.

These are the deep messages you uncovered in Exercise #3: Can You Hear Me Now?  Find the 3 that fill you with the most passionate energy.  Write them here.

From your list of Hats, choose one to be your Focus for the year.  Believe it or not, I find it best to choose one that has been ignored.  You'll know which one it is; it's usually crying out to you. Go ahead.  Pick the ridiculous one.  The life you are meant to live is underneath that one.

Here we are!  The fun discoveries from yesterday's exercise.  Remember we are looking for a blend of professional and personal, necessary and desired.  The minimum is 5; the maximum is 10.  Be realistic.  Keep them simple.  You’ll feel so good if you achieve a goal, even if it feels ridiculously simple.

- When your plan is complete, share it with your buddy. Ask them to review it one last time. Listen to their feedback and make any changes you both agree are needed.

- Now, pay attention.  This next step is simple, yet crucial. Pick a monthly date when you will write your report and share it with your buddy. Write it in your calendar, on your to-do list, set a reminder on your phone, do whatever you need to do to honor that date.  Example:

I am starting my Guiding Star plan on Sunday, Jan. 8.  I have put a note on my to-do list on Wednesday, Feb. 8 (and every following 8th day of the month for the rest of the year) reminding me to write my monthly plan and share it with my Buddy.

- Now, pay attention again. This next step is also simple and also crucial. You need to cultivate a new habit, that of visiting your Slogan and Touchstones daily.  How are you going to do that?  Will you memorize them and ponder them when you wake up?  Will you write them on a card and carry it with you?  Will you send yourself an electronic reminder?

- Finally, pay attention one last time.  You guessed it - another simple, yet crucial step.  For the first 2 months of your Guiding Star plan, I urge, no, I exhort you to review your plan weekly.  All you must do is look at it and reflect on how you are incorporating your plan into your life.  That's all.  FYI, I like to do this on Sunday evening.  It is usually a quiet time in my life.

You made it! Your 2018 Guiding Star plan is complete! Now the fun begins! Don't worry, I'm not leaving you alone. I'll be guiding you along, particularly in the first three months.

Always remember:
Positive works
Keep it brief
Feeling stuck? Starting January 4, 2018, one-on-one assistance is available at the discounted rate of $30/hour. This offer expires on February 1, 2018. (Click here to schedule a session).

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