I will joyfully admit, I am one of the nerdy folks who gets unusually excited about planning.
I love, love, love to plan. Crafting a well-defined map of how I am going to get from A to Z (with all the roads in between), is incredibly inspiring, and lights me up in ways I can’t even describe. 🤷🤷
I know not everyone feels this way, but more often than not, I find my clients leaning into my enthusiasm for planning.
What's important for all of us to remember, however, is that even the best-laid plans are subject to change.
I think it's the nature of life and business.
So, what are we to do when life gets in the way and our plans get derailed?
My recent experience with the month-long flu was a good reminder of how we can experience a big interruption or setback, and still achieve or make progress toward our goals.
I was excited to finish the year strong and had my Q4 plans dialed in. I was particularly excited as this quarter's activities would feed into a strong start for next year.
And then my husband came down with a nasty respiratory virus.
I did NOT want to deal with being sick so, I fired up the suggested vitamin regimen, and self-quarantined. After a week and testing negative, we chalked it up to a bad cold.
No symptoms for me, so I breathed a sigh of relief that I had dodged a bullet.
But then he got worse.
And the night before I was supposed to launch my new Open Office Hours FB live, my throat felt scratchy and sore.
I went to bed early, thinking I was probably just dehydrated or had allergies.
With wishful thinking, I told myself that a good night's sleep would cure everything.
The next morning I woke up feeling like death-warmed-over.
My throat was sore and swollen, my head was throbbing, and It was disappointingly obvious that I was going to have to cancel my live.
Frustrating, but it gave me a chance to practice what I preach.
Instead of trying to “push through” or berate myself for circumstances beyond my control, I climbed back into bed and spent the next few days nurturing my body.
I gave myself plenty of pep talks about how important this was for my well-being and high-fives that I was giving myself full permission for self-care.
I kept expecting that I would start to feel better.
Not so much.
Days were turning into weeks and my Q4 start was going nowhere.
I kept telling myself that this happens, everything will be fine, but the truth was that I was starting to feel the familiar creep of panic.
Instead of just enjoying the opportunity to take advantage of an extended Netflix binge, my “background track” started to kick in hard, with all the familiar messages I’ve worked so diligently to release.
And on and on and on. Loudly.
Of course, none of my “background track” was true.
It was just the old, ugly conditioning baiting me to see if I wanted to engage.
And in those moments, I gently kept reminding myself that those thoughts were not the ones that were for my greater good.
What IS TRUE was that healing required 100% of my attention and that my business could wait.
And, let’s face it, I was in no condition to produce anything that was substantial or would move the needle. So my time really WAS better spent focused on recovering.
If you have felt this way, I want you to know that it is completely normal, and you are NOT alone.
Shedding our conditioning takes time and practice.
Thankfully, after several weeks of being patient with my body and allowing myself the space to heal, I recovered.
As I sat down to review my plans, I struggled with disappointment and again, the familiar refrain of my inner-critic.
But then I decided to put those feeling and thoughts aside, to give myself an opportunity to openly assess my plans.
And, turns out, I wasn't as far off as I thought.
I just needed to adjust my mindset and focus.
As I reviewed my plan, it became obvious that there were several tactics and projects that were complimentary, but not necessary to my end goal.
By eliminating those and just concentrating on the essential pieces of my plan, I was able to "right myself" and get back on track.
Most of the time when you laser-focus on the “needle movers”, you’ll find that you often overestimate what is actually needed to accomplish your end goal.
This is a great lesson that proves that it is possible to accomplish the desired result by doing less, not more...
1) Start your day by asking :
What ONE thing can I finish today, which would have the biggest impact on my business?
This is where you’ll want to be ruthlessly realistic about what you can get done. If it is part of a larger project, chunk down the one piece you could complete within a reasonable amount of time (2-4 hours).
2) Commit to doing that one thing before you do anything else.
This might take a bit of practice because many of us are still in the habit of opening email, checking social media, or diving into our day without much thought. (guilty!)
Often these habits are a form of “productive procrastination”, tasks that keep us busy, but have low value when it comes to reaching our goals. If you can practice moving through the resistance and discomfort, you’ll be surprised at how much additional time and space you can create, while focusing on the projects that actually move the needle.
3) Repeat this process for the entire week.
At the end of the week, carve out a few minutes to assess and celebrate what you have accomplished. It’s important that we acknowledge our “wins” to help us form habits and shape our behaviors. Plus, it’s important to “enjoy” the fruits of our labor, which most of us forget to do.
It's easy to fall into disappointment when things don't go according to plan.
But the reality is that the landscape always has the potential to change. Give yourself permission to do what's needed, and then follow these three tips to get back on track without having to scrap your entire plan and start from scratch!
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or shoot me an email if your "background track" is giving you grief!
Hi there! I’m Jordan Eades, Holistic Business Coach and founder of Your Best Business LIfe. My passion is guiding women business owners who want to make a big impact in business—without sacrificing what matters most.
Your Best Business Life coaching provides the keys to overcoming overworking; allowing you to create a sustainable and profitable business, focus on the work that fuels your passion, unapologetically invest in self-care, prioritize experiences that light you up, and provide the support you need to thrive.