May 17, 2013 by Vicki
(For e-mail readers, the address for the video is http://youtube/QhBfek8h5g0)
Action Plans can help you to be happier and to have a life that reflects your own interests, needs and desires. Women tend to adjust their lives to accommodate and support the lives of their children, partners, and family members. My Action Plan has helped me to differentiate between my needs and other people’s needs. It has also helped me to realize I have to be healthy and happy, before I can help others. I hope that women can use this system, or create one for themselves, to find that same realization in their own hearts and minds. My Action Plan relies on the determination and application of Resolutions, Goals, and Plans to your everyday life.
I struggle to define Resolutions and how they work within the Action Plan. The best description I can give is that Resolutions are the ocean that feed both the rivers of Goals and the lakes of Plans. Resolutions need to be determined first before you can make your goals and plans. To determine your Resolutions; ask yourself what you would like to change about your life. Write them down, look at them critically and ask yourself why you want change these items. Your answers to the “Why” will be your Resolutions. For example, when I first started my Action Plan I was struggling with depression. My answer to what I would like to change about my life was that I would like to stop being depressed. When I asked myself why I was depressed; I was flooded with examples of when I felt I couldn’t be me. Looking at my answers, I realized that, in order to shake off my depression, I need to start being me. So my first Resolution was Be Vicki. In order to find your Resolutions, you need to look critically at your answers and group together answers that seem linked. When you find the link, you will have found the “why” and you will have a Resolution. Once you have a list of Resolutions, you need to create a list of goals to help you achieve your resolution.
Goals require a stated date by which they must be accomplished. Action Plans need to be flexible and fit your life. Choose a span of time that is reasonable. I have found a monthly Action Plan works for me. When I first started my Action Plans, however, I gave myself three months to work within because I needed to make a lot of large changes that took time. Be honest and kind with yourself regarding your time span. I’m not saying don’t challenge yourself, but on the other hand, recognize that habits of a lifetime will take more than a day to change. Once you have identified the span of time you would like to work within, and then look at your Resolutions. What physical changes need to occur for you to reach your Resolution? For example, I identified “Be Healthy” as one of my Resolutions. I know that I am overweight so I placed a goal of losing X amount of weight within the time span. Once again, be kind and be reasonable with your goals. The point of an Action Plan is not to WOW anyone with how fast you have changed your life. The point of an Action Plan is to make YOU happy. Not all Resolutions will have Goals. I have several Resolutions that have never had an associated goal such as “Be Honest.” Also, try to limit yourself to ten Goals, especially when you are just starting with the Action Plan. You don’t want to overburden yourself with too many objectives. Focus on what is important to YOU, right now, and don’t worry about the rest. They can be looked after in a different Action Plan.
The final step to creating an Action Plan is determining your plans. Plans are the daily activities you do to reach a stated Resolution. Plans are the ordinary, everyday, “ho-hum” actions that make the difference between what you used to do for everyone else, and what you do now for yourself. Plans need to be simple and specific such as “I will take an hour each day and read one of my favourite authors” or “I will go for a half an hour walk each day.” Plans seem to be the simplest part of the Action Plan, but they are also the most important and the hardest to apply. Plans change the way you live your life because everyone only lives one day at a time. Plans will also impact other people. If you give yourself an hour everyday to read than that is an hour everyday that you are not answering everyone else’s demands. Set the Plans that matter most to you in the Action Plan and then hold them sacred everyday. Do not give up on them for anything less than an emergency. On the other hand, if you simply cannot follow through on your plans; don’t beat yourself up. Your Plans exist to make YOU happy. Beating yourself up doesn’t make you happy and will just make you resist further plans. Identify the problem and rework for the next day or the next Action Plan.
The goal of an Action Plan is a happier life. Your Resolutions, Goals, and Plans should reflect this goal. When thinking about my Action Plan, I always think about whom I would like to be and try to create an image in my mind of who she is and what she is like. From there, I contrast the way I see myself to the version of me I would like to see and form my Resolutions. I try to create reasonable Goals that I can achieve within a specific time frame and daily Plans I can perform to guide me on my path. I hope this explanation helps others to make changes in their own lives. Don’t hesitate to change and modify as you need. Remember, you are all Beautiful and, in the end, it is YOUR life to live.