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Intuitive Planning: Closing Books 2018

Plan and Let Go

I am a firm believer in Intuitive Planning. I love to set myself goals; life goals, professional goals, family goals, health goals and relationship goals. I often set them up, break them down to pieces, set timelines and then never visit them again. I’m not joking, I literally don’t look at my goal lists, track progress or do any further deep analysis of my success that would be expected of any self respecting life hacker. After the timeline for my goals has ended, may that be a month, a 3 month or a 1 year period, I do look back and see how far I’ve come and more importantly where I am today. It’s just a trip down the memory lane and I try to focus on the positive. I usually notice that just by having set out in a direction has usually led me to where I wanted to go, more often than not actually faster than I had planned for. If I didn’t do something I had planned for I try to think whether that something is still important to me. If not I just let it go. Once I know where I am, I will plan where I want to go (more about this in my next post).

Why I prefer this method to the maybe more traditional ways of goal setting is that it allows me to live my life without meticulous monitoring of myself. I tend to be hard on myself and if I wasn’t advancing to a pace that I deemed acceptable I’d probably get frustrated and disappointed with myself. I’ve also noticed that as long as I know where I’m going I am more creative, more flexible and definitely more adaptable. The problem with road maps is that there is no way I can control all the external variable of life. It would be pretty arrogant of me to imagine I can plan around every curveball life kicks at me on every area of my existence and I’ve learned to trust my intuition quite a bit; I know that having my goals in the back of my mind is enough to move me to the right direction.

What I set out to do in 2018

My plans for 2018 were quite simple but in no way easy. I had just separated from a toxic and violent husband, he had lived with our kids for 14 months and had abused them mentally and physically the last couple of months of their time together; the final nail to the coffin of our relationship and the main (although not the only) reason why my children had moved in to live with me. There was nothing I wanted more than to wipe away my kids’ bad experiences, heartbreak and insecurities and fill their little hearts with love, security, stability and joy. This meant focusing on creating them an environment that was always positive, predictable and filled with people who would be a positive influence to them. As they were moving in with me to a city that was new to them this meant building a social network of mom friends, hobbies, school, and therapists that could support them and me. I’m extremely proud to say that I built all that. My children, especially my now 9-year old son, is filled with laughter and happiness. We still have our bad moments and he still struggles with insecurities and sometimes we both wish he would have better self control but he is not angry, depressed and violent anymore. The best part is that we have started to define our family again, we now approach everything from love and respect and what is healthy for everyone. We are also excited making plans and setting goals for next year, we are hungry for life and excited to see what the new year brings to all of us. Rebuilding a home, family and two precious children in a relatively short period of time is not a small victory.

Workwise I set out to get a promotion and a raise (kinda figured out the two should go hand in hand). The year was insane and insanely good at the same time. I got my promotion and raise, was pushed aside due to ridiculous company politics and power struggles; bounced back, got promoted again and received another raise. The company was sold to a larger company and now I get to do all kinds of interesting new things including finding and implementing strategic and operational synergies between our new parent company and us. I learned few unpleasant truths about myself (I am not as patient and mature as I would like) but I will work on that in 2019. I also learned it is possible to completely lose motivation and ambition if you are too tired, I will have to make sure I figure out a good balance in 2019.

In a nutshell

I’m writing this from Finland, where I’m visiting home for the first time in over 5 years. I come back after a very tough but extremely rewarding year. I learned so much about myself, my abilities, my values and what I want for myself and my family. I learned how to plan intuitively so that I maximize direction with intent while harvesting all of my creativeness. I have figured out how to improve my physical and mental health, how to better take care of my family, how to make sure I don’t lose my ambition and stay hungry at work. Most importantly I’ve learned all the things I still need and want to develop in our lives and in myself in all the different roles I have – human being, mother, professional and friend.

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Always Be The Best

It’s impossible to be the best. At anything. There is always someone who is better than you.

At work there is Sharon who is organized like Martha Stewart, her email is clean, her project plans are accurate to the minute and even her stationary matches her nails while you are just trying not to forget to complete the tasks that your boss specified were the most important and if you did nothing else he hopes you can commit to finishing at least them.  At school pick ups you see Katie, who made personalized Halloween trick or treat pails for the whole class (you know who you are!), again very Martha, while you haven’t yet filled in the paperwork that authorizes your friend to pick them up if something happens to you. Your neighbor Isabel brings your sick kids Martha’s Organic Home Made Chicken Broth while you are working on the projects you have now dutifully committed to. Finally your assistant Emily is the hottest girl there is, she exercises hard core, bicycles, hikes and does mountain climbing (even Martha loses here!) and she dresses too nice for the office. She’s the girl who makes everyone look shabby and just not put together. The best part? She’s super nice, positive all the time and is good at what she does.

It’s easy to get discouraged and start hating these girls but let’s decide not to do that. We could also discredit them by pointing out that Sharon doesn’t have kids so of course her work is organized – she has all the time in the world to polish the details! Katie works half time as a tutor so crafting is practically her job, Isabel is a stay at home mom and her only aspirations are cooking and home keeping, she doesn’t have to commit to projects. Emily is insecure and overcompensates her bad self esteem with torturing her body and overdressing.  We could do that, but let’s not do that either. Let’s not do that because all that stems from our own feelings of inadequacy and honestly just gives us an excuse not to strive for excellence.

Once you get over yourself and start admiring kick ass people around you can realize this one thing you can be best at. You can be the best you. You don’t have to be perfect, but you can actively try to be better and do the best you can today, to be best in the areas that are important to you. This doesn’t mean beating yourself up for not being absolutely fabulous at everything, but it does mean not accepting mediocracy in any area. We tend to think all or nothing, compare ourselves to others and stop trying as we get discouraged. It doesn’t have to be that way, you can hold yourself to a high standard, expect excellence from yourself and learn from the people around you. Be thankful you have role models to learn from and to pull ideas from. They are free information and idea banks for you to become amazing and there is no reason not to copy their tricks and hacks.

You can only start doing this if you value and respect yourself. Where you are today or how far you still have to go do not define your worth. Your efforts do. Accept where you are and decide where you want to go. It’s is up to you to decide what kind of life you want and how you are going to move forward. Welcome to my blog, we will kick ass together!