Una's Blog


Happiness 18. Planning – Ideas and Creativity

by Una Hearne.

When I ran my three day ‘Designing Your Future’ (TM) course the middle day was all about planning and goals. We talked about goal setting in the morning and how the size of goals and words you use, need to be right for you. In the afternoon we made plans. The extraordinary thing was that although over 100 people have done the course in total, no two plans looked alike. When you give yourself permission to do it your way you create something unique – and it is what will work best for you.

The first thing I suggest to free up your thinking and take you out of your habitual methods is to work on large paper (flipchart or wallpaper are good) and use colours. This can link you back to a kind of childlike playtime frame of mind, accessing your natural creativity. Start by writing your Vision in one sentence somewhere on the page and then make little marks around the page where you are going to write your Journey goals. Just go with whatever feels good to you, there is no right or wrong with this process, just fun. If it doesn’t work for you, you can always try something else.

The variety of plans created on the DYF course ranged from lists and Gaant charts to mind maps and diagrams – even one which looked like a computer motherboard. There were also lots of natural images used such as trees, stepping stones and pathways.

Write each Journey goal as the outcome – what will it be like when it is complete. (see May blog for definition of Journey goal.) For example, suppose your Vision is to start a business, Journey goals might be:

  • An easy accounting system up and running.
  • The location for this business secured.
  • A successful marketing plan is in place and working.
  • Production is streamlined and reliable.

Or suppose your Vision is to de-clutter your home, Journey goals might be:

  • List of every shelf and cupboard. Hang on the kitchen wall.
  • Each item has a target for reducing the amount of stuff.
  • Each item is done when 15 or 30 minutes free to do it. Using rule – if I don’t love it or use it, it goes out of the house.
  • Each item on the list is covered with pretty paper as it is finished. Result – a pretty  collage and gorgeous de-cluttered home.

You have a finished plan when you can look at it and answer yes to this question: If each of these goals was completed successfully, would my Vision be my reality?

A plan will likely change as you progress – some things might not work and you may try something different. Your life and circumstances can change as new opportunities and life events occur. You may have to change the planned steps or deadlines. This is not a problem, it is simply part of the process. So it’s a good idea to have your plan in a form that you can easily change and update. Make it fun and you will stick to it better. Go on, I dare you, have a play. 🙂


Pic credit: Pexels, Geralt, kimdaejeung. Found on pixabay

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