Day 44--Ten Essentials to Planning

Welcome to Day 44!




Ten Essentials to Planning


Brian Johnson’s workshop on creating Masterpiece Days has been my inspiration for teaching planning. 

Brian gives us 10 things to keep in mind during the planning process:

  1. Today is the day to do it.

  2. Make a Perfect Day template and then a real life plan.

  3. Keep your WHY in focus.

  4. Make progress and do your #1 thing each day.

  5. Fundamentals (eating, moving, and recovery-sleep/ stress management) make everything else better.

  6. Be in control of your Kryptonite.

  7. You have the most control of your AM and PM routines.

  8. To get more done at work, use Deep Work blocks. 

  9. To have a happier, more meaningful life, schedule play and connection/love habits.

  10. Get better over time.

Let’s talk about each of them really briefly.

Essentials to Planning

Today is the Day to Do It

Today is the day to do it. The Assistant part of your brain will always want to put off change until tomorrow, until Monday, or until a less stressful time.  But, unless we create a sense of urgency, nothing will get done.  

One of my favorite ways to build urgency and to make sure that things get done is to use a mind tool called Jeopardy.

It’s simple. 

All you do is hum the Jeopardy TV show theme to remind yourself that your life is short and time is ticking away.  “No time like the present.”  

It’s a way to remind your Assistant to stop procrastinating, and that you won’t listen to her when she tells you to put off your goals one more day.  You don’t have time for that.

The clock is ticking!

Make a Perfect Day Template and a Real-Life Plan

Make a Perfect Day Template and then a real-life plan.  Kind of like how you used plate templates when planning your meals, you want to have a template of what your Ultimate Health and Weight Loss Day would look like. This is an ideal day with all of your weight loss and healthy habits scheduled in.

I wanted to call it the Perfect Day, but no day will actually be perfect. We have real lives with stuff like dentists appointments, work travel, networking events, and kids’ soccer practices.  Every day seems to throw out a new curveball. But, this is what your ideal day would be if none of that stuff happened.

Then, you take that ideal day and rub it up against reality.  You throw into your schedule all the dentist appointments, meetings, soccer practices, and then plan around them.  You do your best to get all those perfect day habits into your day--keeping in mind all of your real-life time constraints.  

You may not get your ideal day very often, but you’ll be a heck of a lot closer than you would be otherwise.

Keep Your Why In Focus

Keep your WHY in focus.  Just like you take time each morning to remind yourself of your Why, you’re going to remind yourself of your WHY every evening when you make tomorrow’s plan.  

What's your deepest purpose, your biggest goal you're going toward right now?

That’s your target, so you’ll write it down each day.

Make Progress and Do Your #1 Thing

Make progress and do your #1 thing. Your Big WHY is going to take some time.  So you need to make consistent progress toward that WHY each day. 

To do this, think of one thing you’re going to do today to get closer to that WHY target. That's the your #1 priority and the most important thing you do each and every day.

Fundamentals Make Everything Better

Fundamentals (eating, moving, and recovery) make everything else better.

You know I’m 100% behind this one!  

Getting stuff done takes energy and health and that’s why your eating, moving, and sleeping/ recovery from stress (EMR) habits are so important.  They’re the currency to pay for all the energy you need to reach all of your other wildly important goals. Your fundamentals allow you to do all the other stuff in life. 

The other thing to know about your fundamentals is that they all affect each other.

It’s hard to eat well, exercise, or recover from stress if you don’t get enough sleep. 

It’s hard to exercise, sleep, or eat well, if you don’t recover from stress. And, so-on and so-forth.

So, that’s why I’m here to help you get your health and weight loss fundamentals down pat.  

Control Your Kryptonite

Be in control of your Kryptonite. We all have kryptonite--those things that we find distracting or addicting and get us off course. 

Don’t be ashamed. Nobody’s perfect.

Just be a scientist and be truthful with yourself.  

Then, change your environment or make a rule. 

I recently made a rule that I don’t start a new Netflix TV show on weekdays. That’s full on kryptonite for me. Be honest with yourself and get better.

Control Your AM/ PM Routines

You have the most control of your AM and PM routines. You have the most control over the beginning and ending of your day--AM/ PM. The middle of the day is more unpredictable and subject to appointments and other people’s schedules.

So, if you want to add new habits to your day, you’ll be most successful if you add those habits as part of your AM/PM routines. 

For instance, I just recently added a 30-minute walk with my husband and dog and a 10-minute meditation habit to my AM routine.  To my PM routine, I also added a 10-minute before bed yoga habit.  

Those things would never have happened if I tried to do them at noon.  But adding them to my AM/PM routines mean that I’ve got some great new habits.

Use Deep Work Blocks

To get more done at work, use Deep Work blocks. This is more of an FYI.  Although I’m not a life coach, sometimes I act like one.  

This is one of those life coaching/ planning tips from Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work. 

Newport says that in our distracting society, we have to be intentional about planning blocks of time—Deep Work— where you're undistracted, creative, and get things done.

These time blocks work best when they’re 90 minutes or less.  After 90 minutes, of deep work, your brain needs a break.

Make Play and Connection Habits and Plans

To have a happier, more meaningful life, schedule play and connection/love habits.  Day 5 of this week’s lessons is all about this. 

Research shows that we can’t will ourselves to be happier. But, we can schedule play and connection with loved ones—and that makes us happier.  

I suggest making these “appointments” into daily and weekly habits to make sure you connect and have fun each week.

Life is short.  Don’t put off all the good stuff until a later date.  Enjoy your family and friends now. (Plus, research shows that having fun and connecting with your loved ones has a HUGE positive impact on your health.) 

Don’t ignore this one!

Get Better by Being a Scientist

Get better over time. You knew I was going to say this one, right? 

Be a scientist.

You won’t get your schedule or plan perfect, but with practice, you can get better and better at it.

Be sure to experiment, get data, and then tweak the plan to get better week-after-week and day-after-day.  

The rest of the week’s lessons will put all these elements together. See you then!

Mission Freedom!