183 Unlock The Lasting Long Term Effects of Planning
I spend a lot of time talking about how weekly planning improves your day-to-day life but in today's episode, I'm covering the long-term effects of planning.
Through consistent planning, I have seen an increase in repeatable success on long-term goals, improved response to change, and the ability to commit to plans confidently. This has led to a decrease in my anxiety levels and overall, this has given me a sense of control and harmony.
When you start making the small shift in your life of planning the right way in your day-to-day living and doing weekly and monthly planning, you will start to experience the long-term benefits of planning.
In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. Discover the long-term benefits of consistent planning and how it leads to repeatable success on goals.
2. Learn how to plan for change and how it can lower your anxiety levels.
3. Find out how to commit with confidence and ease when you understand how to plan correctly.
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So, you know, I talk about weekly planning, monthly planning, all the planning, all the time. And I share with you very specific things that it does to help get you out of overwhelm, get unstuck, all of that. But what I haven't really shared with you guys are the long-term benefits of continued planning. Because, guys, this is where the magic happens, truly. So today I'm going to be sharing with you three long-term benefits that you will 100% start experiencing for yourself when you show up and start doing consistent planning. So let's go ahead and jump in.
Welcome to the Work + Life Harmony podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the TOP Program and TOP Planner, teaching all things time management, organization, and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife, and just like you juggling #allthethings while running multiple businesses and a family, guess what? You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out.
There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning, and organization, to skyrocket your productivity so you can have Work + Life Harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you. And if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my Work + Life Harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram @megansumrell with the word Harmony, and my team will send it right over.
Hey, there, welcome back to Work + Life Harmony. Today, I want to shift gears a little bit. I spend a lot of time talking about all of the benefits that you get when you learn how to plan the right way, especially as it relates to weekly and monthly planning, which are the foundational planning techniques that everyone that goes through my Top program learns how to master.
And I've shared in so many different episodes all of the kind of immediate daily living wins that we get when it comes to planning. But today, I want to take a step back and share with you three specific things that are long-term benefits that you get after you have really kind of gotten into planning mastery and have been doing your weekly and monthly planning consistently for a while. So I've been doing it for years. I really wanted to share kind of these three things that you can look forward to when you start mastering your planning. Now, just to recap a couple of the there are a ton of benefits that we get in our day to day life when it comes to planning and making sure that we're not getting overbooked, over committed, over scheduled, that we are able to not be doing everything last minute, that things aren't falling through the cracks.
Like there's just a lot of those kind of daily living benefits that we get. But let's go ahead now and talk about three of the long-term benefits that we get from consistent weekly and monthly planning. You can also throw in quarterly and annual planning as well. The one that I love talking well, I'm going to say I love talking about the most, but I love all of them, let's face it. The first one of the three is this.
You start to create repeatable success in progress on those long term goals. I get asked a lot from people, they're like, how is it that you keep setting big goals for yourself and keep wanting to do all these projects and then you always do them? Well, the reason is because of the consistency in my weekly and monthly and also quarterly planning, you can do this just with weekly and monthly. Now, the reason why this happens as a long-term benefit is a lot of people are great at setting goals, thinking about what they want to do, breaking them down into action plans. But if you only jump in, do your weekly planning like once in a while, you're like, oh, this is a busy week, let me go ahead and get some planning in place.
And then you don't for a while, then you come back and do it. Or maybe you do it for a few weeks and then you don't. Well, that's where we lose that kind of rinse-and-repeat consistency with making progress on those longer-term goals. Because one of the things that we bring into the weekly planning process is the plan that you've like, your action plan that you've created for hitting those goals. And then when you've mastered monthly planning, you can with pretty good certainty pick an end date for your goal and know that it is highly likely that you're going to hit it.
So because of the rinse and repeat weekly and monthly planning process, when I decide to say, yeah, it's time for me to start working on this project or this goal, I know that I'm not being unrealistic on when I'm starting it or being unrealistic on what the end date is because I've got the foundations in place for staying out of overwhelm, staying out of reactive living and knowing realistically how much time I'm going to have in a given week, month or quarter to work on those goals. So if you find that you are consistently setting goals, but then you're not able to start them or they drop, you get way through and then you lose steam or it felt like the sprint and you're collapsing at the end of it, it's because you're missing that foundational planning process. When you get that in place, that long-term benefit of always making progress on your goals is incredibly empowering. It lights me up. Now, the second kind of longer-term benefit that we get from planning, it's kind of three things all at once.
There's different ways of looking at it, but ultimately, over time, we build muscle memory in knowing how to respond when change happens. Now, I will be the first to admit, and any one of my loved ones would chime right in and say, yes, megan was not someone that responded to change. Well, for a very long time, if I had something laid out and then something happened and it required a change, it would usually set me off. I'd get very frustrated. But then once I had time to kind of sit down and think about it, I could be on board.
Sometimes not. But because of having now years under my belt, of consistently, always showing up and doing my planning, I know how to plan for uncertainty. That's something that we teach inside of the program. And I've been doing it for so long now that it truly is muscle memory. So that when something comes in that was unplanned, it's going to derail what I was already scheduled to be doing.
Now, do I still get irritated? Of course. I'm human. But it doesn't trigger this downward spiral into me freaking out. Instead, it triggers a, oh, I know what to do when this happens because I've done this so many times that I know how to absorb this change and adjust my plans to accommodate it.
Now, coupled with that, what that also means is, again, this is kind of dependent on your personality type. But if you are someone as I was for such a long time, that change like that can trigger kind of a sense of anxiety, dread, frustration, whatever it may be for you, it actually lowers that. I find now that I am far less reactive and my anxiety levels around change have diminished greatly, even through all the craziness that we went through in 2000 and 22,021. What's been interesting, and I did a previous podcast episode on this is when I go back and look at my results from personality tests like Myers Briggs ones. And I used that example in that episode, and I look at my results from those, say, six or seven years ago to today.
It has actually shifted some of the letters that I get in my Myers Briggs because of reduced anxiety around things not going according to plan, because of the consistency of planning. I don't want to say flippantly, it's going to change your personality type. We are who we are, right? But it can change 100% your responses on how you respond to things that may typically have triggered a negative response for you. Now, again, that's not going to happen overnight if you join the Top program and you're like, I've done two weeks of planning and then this change happened and it freaked me out.
Of course it did. It's been two weeks, right? That's why I labeled this long-term benefits. Think about it. Even if you were to make one subtle change in a health habit.
You're not going to believe me, I've tried. You're not going to eat a salad one night and then wake up the next day and suddenly drop £10 because you ate one salad. Right? But consistency of that change over time leads to those long-term benefits. Now, the third thing that planning gives you, that long-term benefit is you begin to commit with confidence.
So when you commit to something and you've experienced the benefits of mastering planning and truly being in control of your calendar when I commit to something and when I say yes to something and I tell someone that I'm going to have something done at a certain date. I can commit to that with such confidence because I know that I have the systems in place to make sure that happens. Because I've been seeing those consistent results. Now, I used to still make commitments and know that I would get there, but I was always worried that it was going to be, oh, boy. Does this mean that three days before I'm going to be staying up till midnight trying to get this thing done?
Because I committed to something when I really shouldn't have. And now I'm sprinting to play catch up. So I'm not talking about committing with confidence and then you're exhausted getting there. You're able to commit with confidence, but also with ease. You're like, yeah, I can do that because I know how to plan for that.
And I have the tools in front of me showing me that this is something I can commit to without overscheduling myself. So I wanted to just kind of take the time in this episode to paint for you what that picture looks like. Six months, twelve months, three years down the road, when you have been planning for yourself, this is a gift you give yourself so that down the road, your future self is going to look back and go, oh, my gosh, things feel so different. Look at me. I absorb change without freaking out.
I feel so much less calm. I have made so much progress and success on my goals. And I show up as a woman that commits with confidence because I know how to make those things happen. So if these are things that you desire to have, know that it is 100% possible. When you start making just that small shift in your life of planning the right way in your day to day living, of doing that weekly and doing that monthly planning, and then I'm telling you, it is magical when you start to experience those long-term benefits from planning, I'm telling you, the goodness just never, ever ends. All right, have a great week. I'll see you back here next week.
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