Part Four

A Strong, Kind Plan

OK, so now you have your goals, your actions you want to take and some genuine motivations to get you going. In this section we are going to look at creating a plan that is challenging and supportive in equal measure.

Download the worksheet below to fill in as we work through this page.

First I would like you to consider a few things. There are no right and wrong answers so just go with what feels most true for you.

  • I am more motivated by penalties/ rewards
  • If I make a plan I stick to it/ avoid it
  • If I am accountable to other people it motivates me/ demotivates me
  • If I join a group or class it makes me more/ less likely to succeed.

We all have different ways of responding to a challenge, some of us like to coax ourselves along with carrots on sticks, some of us like to throw ourselves in with military dedication, some like the camaraderie of a group and others prefer to change in private. What is your preferred and most sustainable way of changing?

Now that you know that, it is time to create a plan of action. A plan is a great way of laying out a progression towards your goal and you can change it if you need to, but otherwise it will give you a course of action to stick to when you’re feeling uninspired, tired, unsure of what to do – just stick to the plan.

As you make your plan, consider the following ideas (all optional), and bear in mind you’re trying to create the plan that works for you for each separate goal – not the most logical, but the most motivating and easy-to-follow.

  • Decide whether you want to work towards one goal at a time, or two or several
  • Schedule actions at set times in your calendar
  • Sign up for a group class or course
  • Find a competition to work towards i.e. a race, exhibition, writing contest and sign up
  • Ask friends or colleagues to hold you accountable to a set goal and/ or routine actions
  • Find a way to make difficult tasks more interesting/ engaging/ beautiful (i.e. can you incorporate (eco-friendly) glitter into working on your finances, can you listen to your favourite podcast while working out, can you keep track of a celebrity with the same goal as you?).
  • Can you make your actions more fun?
  • Look at penalties you would have to pay for avoiding scheduled actions, i.e. money to charity, burpees (that would motivate me!), admitting it on social media
  • Look at a rewards system for meeting both your short-term and long-term goals, i.e. 1 action = a latte, 5 consecutive actions is going to see something fun, 10 or more = buying yourself something you want (or can be something great that is free if your goal is financial)
  • Make it beautiful/ creative if that inspires you (brainstorm, draw, did I mention glitter?)
  • Make it logical and simple if that motivates you

OK, now make your plan!! I recommend some kind of scheduling even if you have a massive brainstorming map, so that you take regular action.

Do you have your plan? OK, now I just want you to consider the following two things:

  • is it do-able? Have you been overly zealous? Don’t set yourself up to be very resistant to an overly-harsh schedule
  • Is it challenging enough? This is not meant to be a minuscule adjustment but a change you will notice, so be kind but be optimistic about what you can do also

Well done on doing this! I know figuring all this out takes quite a bit of effort, but you’re going to be glad you did. And bear in mind that if you find you need to change your plan as you progress, that is fine! Just make sure it is still a strong and a kind one!