Do You Have a Plan? (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 10)

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 1 Issue 10, June 22, 2009
Do You Have a Plan?
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In This Issue:

Ah, the Irony!
Do You Have a Plan?
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Ah, the Irony!

”Write what you know,” is what the experts say.

This issue is about the importance of creating a plan. And the issue is a few weeks late, because I didn’t have a plan. (Ah, the irony.) I didn’t have a plan for the newsletter, nor for my life goals. Because I didn’t have a plan, I was spinning from task to task not quite sure what I needed to focus on, not quite getting the right things done. Before I could publish this newsletter, I needed to get my house in order. So I buckled down and crafted my personal plan. And now I’m on track, and focused once again. And you get your newsletter.

Having a plan is crucial to attaining your goals (and mine), and to crafting a life you love. I’ve got my plan, and I encourage you to do the same.


Lori Howard
Life, Career, and Business Coach
Your Coach for a Better Life!

p.s. Check out my website to see my updated service offerings. Contact me for your complimentary consultation.

Do You Have a Plan?

Do you have a plan to accomplish your goals and dreams? If you think of your goal or your dream as the treasure, do you have a map to get there? Without the map, you might visit some interesting places, or you might go nowhere. But the odds of getting what you’re after go way up when you have a plan to follow. Creating a plan gives you a map to accomplish your goal.

I am an organizer and planner. It’s how I approach most things in life. Having a plan eases your anxiety. Not sure what to do? Check your plan. You won’t forget, it’s all written down. A plan provides you with encouragement. Look how much you have accomplished! A plan gives you a guide. What do you need to do today? Review your plan.

I sometimes forget that not everyone was born with planning genes, and so this article is going to talk about how to plan – whether or not you are a planner.

Planning doesn’t need to be complicated. As with most things in life, it’s best to keep it simple. It begins with writing down a solid goal. Make sure your goal is clear, specific and measurable. Will you know when you’ve attained it? How will you know? Suppose your goal is to get a new job, more specifically, to get a new job as a Manager of IT in a small to medium sized company in the financial services industry. You will know you have achieved your goal when you start your first day of work.

Now, simply identify all the steps to get there, in order. Each step should be an action you can take, a task you can complete. The steps are what you do. Ideally, your steps should be things that take less than a week to complete.

In our example, our steps might be:
1. Clearly identify what kind of job you want. (What will your typical day be like, what activities will you perform? What the work environment will be like?)
2. Identify where those jobs are: What companies might have those openings.
3. Research the individual companies – to find out more about them.
4. Assess your job skills, identify your strengths and weaknesses
5. Research ways to mitigate the weaknesses (i.e. take a class, read a book, etc.)
6. Take steps to mitigate the weaknesses (expand this once you know more)
7. Update your resume to highlight the strengths for the job you want.
8. Develop a job hunt strategy to find openings (note: include networking, online job postings, consulting friends and family
9. Begin to look for openings)
10. Submit your resume, apply for openings
11. Secure interviews
12. Negotiate the offer
13. Accept an offer and set your start date
14. Start your new job

It is important to get everything you know captured in steps, as well as place holders for things you need to look into. Notice in our example, it is possible to have a step involve research (step 5) or a placeholder for further planning (step 6) for things you don’t yet know. That is perfectly acceptable. You’ll still know what to do when you get to that step.

Also remember, the plan is not set in stone. As you follow your steps, as your plan unfolds, you will learn or discover things along the way. That is why you should review your plan periodically, and modify it as needed. I like to check in after completing the 2nd step, then again every 2 weeks. If you’re new to planning, you might want to check in after each step along the way.

In past newsletters, we’ve talked a lot about how to unearth your dreams, how to figure out what sort of life you really want, how to manage your fears, overcome obstacles, and manage your stress, while going after your goals and dreams. At some point, you need to ask yourself, “Is this goal, this dream, this objective, worth the effort its going to take to realize it?” In order to know that, you need to know what it’s going to take to get there. You need a map of where you’re going; you need a plan of action.

What is your goal or dream? Do you have a plan to accomplish it? If not, why not take the time right now to create and write out your own plan. If you already have a plan, take a few minutes now to review it, and update it.

I’d love to hear from you, post your thoughts below!

Recommended Resources

Still not sure how to get started with your own plan? Could you use some help clarifying your goals and setting your own life plan? Call me at 773.263.7772 or email me now to schedule a free coaching consultation/first session. This is not a sales pitch; it’s an actual coaching session. In less than an hour, we’ll spend a few minutes talking about how coaching works, and then you’ll receive some coaching. There’s no obligation to buy, and no cost to you.

Want to learn some more skills to launch your life forward? Go to my web site and download my free report: Five Days to Goals That Inspire You (in the section: “A Gift for You”) and you will not only set the goals, you will also create a daily action plan to achieve them!

Contact Me

I welcome your feedback, comments and questions. Also, if you’re interested in contributing to this Newsletter, email me your submissions.

Tell me what you think about this newsletter by posting a comment below.


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About this Newsletter

© 2009 Lori Howard. All rights reserved.

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Client Stories

When I first met Lori, I was in a rut. Having spent 25 years in the same industry, I was bored, max’d out and didn't know what to do next.  I was pigeon-holed into an industry that I was not so fond of, and saw no way to get out.  I felt trapped. Lori understood my predicament, as she had seen it all before -- she was sympathetic, but resolute in knowing that she could help me find answers.  I took great solace in that! 

Through several sessions and dozens of exercises, I began to get a clearer picture of who I am, and where my strengths and talents truly lie.  Working with Lori, I was able to translate that understanding into updated, targeted resumes that quickly produced interviews and gave me the confidence to express myself better than ever before. 

Consulting a Career Coach should be mandatory for anyone in today's work force, and Lori is the best at her profession.

Robert J. Norris, Warrenville, IL