Una's Blog


Happiness 15. The secret of planning

by Una Hearne.

Of course there’s no secret!

If there were you wouldn’t find so many different theories, methods, models and templates. Here’s why – our minds work differently. Uniquely as it happens, so there couldn’t be one way that would work for everyone.

Most of the methods you find will work for some people and there are a few popular methods which work for the majority to some degree. The more people involved in implementing a plan – in business for example – the simpler and clearer the plan has to be to make sense to as many as possible. When it comes to your plans for your life though, you don’t need to please anyone but yourself.

The point of a plan is to prove to yourself that your Vision is possible. We often talk ourselves out of our dreams because we don’t know how to make it happen. What I’ve found in my own life and in coaching others is that when you give yourself permission to create a Vision and a plan of how it can be achieved – you can see clearly that it is possible. The only question then is whether you want it badly enough to do the work.

Here’s how I recommend clients start to break it down:

  1. You have your Vision – it can be huge or tiny as long as it is exciting for you.
  2. You identify the Journey goals (or milestones, or targets or whatever word works best for you). These are the main things which need to be in place for your Vision to be a reality. Say your Vision is to start a business, the Journey goals might be: Finance in place; Premises rented; Marketing strategy laid out; Production set up; Admin systems working.
    From this you can see that you know if you have all the Journey goals identified if you can say: ‘Yes if all of these were complete and in place, my Vision would be a reality’.
  3. You break down each Journey goal into the size of action steps / tasks you need. For some people or if the Vision is small and straightforward this might not be necessary at all. If you need to see all the steps to know that your Journey goal is possible then it is worth mapping them out. I need very small steps mapped out so I can see what I will be doing day to day, week to week.

You can add timelines to your goals – bearing in mind we are rarely realistic with times in plans and you may need to change them as you go along.

What about all the parts of the plan you don’t know how to do? Instead of letting these stop you moving forward – recognise that these are in fact Research Goals. This is the magic bit. For example, with that business you want to set up* – what if you have never done this before and haven’t the first clue how to go about it? A Journey goal might then be: ‘My business is set up by March 2024’. The action steps might include: ‘Find a course or mentor who knows how to do this and learn what I need’. When you have acquired this knowledge the next action steps can be mapped out in your plan. Every ‘don’t know’ is a Research Goal in disguise.

There is no right or wrong way to plan and the only relevant question to assess your plan is ‘How is it working for you?’. If it’s working well, carry on. If not, adjust the plan and try something different.

*Works for any goal – the job you want, lifestyle you want to build, relationships you want in your life, etc.

As usual don’t take my word for it, or anything, try it out for yourself 🙂


Pic credit: lwcy. Found on pixabay

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