Saturday, 30 June 2012

Positive Planning is the fun way to Organise!

For the last 6 months I've been meeting once a month to spend the evening with these lovely, crazy ladies:

Though they're not normally in such extravagant costumes!

Each month we've been having a 'Positive Planning' session, trying to sort our lives out a little by aiming for the good things and plotting out ways to get to them. they may be career related, or to do with anything in life, like holiday dreams, or goals to be more confident.

It all started because we were all feeling a bit haphazard toward the end of 2011, and I remembered a course that me and Rosie had been to a couple of years before, that was about planning our craft careers. At the time it surprised us how we made revelations about what we wanted from life, and how to get them, in a short session. Here's my original 5 year plan from that workshop (the paper has discoloured over the years):

Some of the things are working well, I've had another baby, and learnt to drive! But other plans have changed drastically, so we decided it was time to try and re-create the session for ourselves.

The three of us sat down together, with some questions that Rosie remembered from the session, and a few other questions that Ali and I came up with. The idea is to give yourself 2 minutes, no longer, to answer all these questions - the time limit helps you do it without over-thinking it. The questions we used were:

  • What do you wish there was more of in your life?
  • What do you wish there was less of?
  • What are 5 things you value the most?
  • What internal barriers are stopping you from reaching your goals?
  • What external barriers are stopping you?
  • What are the positives in your life (for example your personal qualities, or the resources you have available to you)?
  • What steps could you take to achieve your dreams?
  • What are the 3 things you most want to achieve?

Then from this, you make a plan, with connecting paths of the steps you can take to reach your goals:

It can be as creative as you like!

You might end up with all kinds of other notes too, for example I had a page about where I wanted to go with my blogging / crafting, because I had to get that plotted out in my mind:

We set each other goals each month - the aim is to take small steps that could eventually lead to bigger things, for example, one of my goals was to learn to drive, so one of my steps each month was to take more lessons.

They can also be steps to plan more, or to discuss things with other people. One of my goals one month was to talk to my husband about sharing the housework out more, a goal another month was to ask someone to babysit so we could have a night out!

Rosie has been very nice and given me and Ali stars for when we've completed our tasks:

And we've started to make them for her too.

It's so nice doing this with someone else, as we often end up having a lot of giggles while we plan stuff out, but it also gives us someone to commiserate with if something isn't working. Telling someone else about your goals also means you're accountable for trying to reach them too - you have someone to say to you 'did you do that thing? because you know you want to!'

Do you make plans for your life? If you don't have anyone to discuss it with, then why not blog about it and ask your readers to keep asking you how it's going?

Remember that a comment on this post, or on any of my posts from this weekend, will count as an entry into the Grand Giveaway {NOW CLOSED}- but only if you've registered your interest in winning that here!

I'll be back at 8pm with another giveaway! x


Julie Baswell said...

Wow, I love your illustrations. I don't understand them, but love them. I guess I will have to try this trick. I'm sure tho that mine won't look as good or as thorough as yours. I would love to know the phrase/writing that is on the top star.

Counterfeit Kit Challenge said...

Great idea! It would be more fun if I had YOU THREE doing it with me. :)


scrappyjacky said...

I do have a 'one little word' for the year....and have tried to make some plans based on that word.

Annie Claxton said...

This sounds inspiring - I have a couple of mates who might be up for giving it a go. It's good to really think about what's important to you and have something to aim for, but I think it's also important to appreciate what you've achieved and not beat yourself up over the stuff you haven't got to yet x

Patricia said...

Very intersting! Planning out your life on paper!

dogmatix said...

What a good idea. My OLW is change and while I have been making small steps, some are much harder than others. Things are also changing at work, which I am hoping will give me the kick up the a*** I need. With that in mind, I am going to use your questions to try and focus it all on paper. Hope thats ok and thanks for sharing :)

Louise said...

interesting! There's always too much wine flowing when i meet with my friends to give this a go x

Jo Murray said...

It's great to have a support group to reinforce your resolve to organise. I'll be going through your checklist myself.

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great idea. I have a wonderful group of girl friends, but we don't do anything this formal. Maybe we should! Throughout the year, my son and I did set aside 30 minutes a week to talk about his college planning, and that was a huge help.

Emily Mae said...

This is an awesome idea, to plan it all like that. Even if it changes, it must be nice to have that big map of everything! I do make plans, and I often have a hard time following through, but since I've made a really good creative friend (through the wonders of the Internet!), it's been easier to stay accountable, especially because we're often collaborating, and I have someone to answer to on big projects!

Nathalie said...

What an awesome group to belong to!!! Am a bit jealous... Great positive post!

Cherie said...

I loved the drawings of reaching goals and how to get there. Such a wonderful idea! My life feels like its in constant rotation and it would be smart to sit down and make a plan!

Diane Standish(crazeedi) said...

looks like you have terrific fun friends! Lucky you!

Missus Wookie said...

Oh yes planning in a positive way is one of the ways I make sure I do everything I want to do (or at least try) cool set of questions and friend to work together with.

I'm learning to drive too - have just bought a dvd of questions and such... now have to install and use it!

Kirsty.A said...

I love these ideas!
Might give this a try over the summer (always a good time for planning as I think in academic, not calendar, years1)

Margie said...

I love this-very inspiring!!

Clair said...

I've been thinking a lot about my own goals recently, so it's great to see how you've charted your way towards achieving your aims. I'll definitely be giving your ideas a lot of thought, so thanks for sharing x

Caroline Hackney said...

I love this idea! I'm working on a Life Map as part of a spiritual development class I'm taking, which is more about looking back but definitely helps with planning forward.

The past couple of years on New Year's Eve, me and hubby have filled out a questionnaire which is part looking back (i.e. what did I achieve in the last year?) and part looking forward (i.e. what would I like to achieve in the next year?) We're just at the halfway point this weekend, and I'm going to be looking at what I put 6 months ago to see if I'm still on track - and to count how many goals I've already met so far.

Jimjams said...

Lovely idea - very inspiring! I'm not a great one to plan ahead - but I think I need to start MAKING things happen

Lisa-Jane said...

I really like the idea of this. It might really help us right now too. I will definitely come back to this in the morning (I'm SO hopeful of a nights sleep, insomnia is driving me crackers!)

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