Today, she spent her lunch hour sitting in her car in the parking lot, crying.
Going home to her family at night wasn‘t much better as Leena felt like she was ineffective there too. Her family was eating unhealthy meals and the house was always a mess. Leena would have loved to hire a housekeeper to come in twice a month, but there wasn’t money to spare. She was feeling run down and couldn’t remember the last time she had enjoyed some time doing something just for fun.
From the outside looking in, Leena has it all, great job, great house and family. So why is she spending her lunch hours crying in her car?
Leena’s stuck. She knows she’s struggling, but she doesn’t know what to do to fix it. Her personal life is all rush, rush with no time to enjoy her family or some free time. She and her husband earn good salaries but somehow, money’s always tight.
Does any of what Leena’s experiencing ring true for you? Are you stuck, wondering where all the joy went?
You might find your answers in a new book, The Plan, by international business life coach John M. McKee and business consultant and mentor Helen Latimer. During their years working for major corporations in Canada and the United States, John and Helen worked for and ran very successful businesses. Over the years, they created many business plans that helped keep them their businesses on track. It occurred to them, what if that approach to business planning, the one used by successful companies all over the world, could be adapted for people to use in their lives?
The result of their research and exploration is The Plan. The Plan provides a step-by-step process that, if you follow all the steps, will bring about dramatic and long lasting changes in your life. In The Plan, you’ll learn about the three key life areas: career, personal/family and financial. John and Helen believe you need all three areas to be solid to find true satisfaction.
If we don’t have things going on after our work is done on the personal/family side, it’s hard to feel replenished and connected. There’s no balance and there’s emptiness. We need to feel fulfilled and challenged by our work. We need to believe we are earning the kind of salary we deserve for our work and to be able to afford a decent standard of living. We need to have people in our lives we love and whose company we enjoy.
Many people are good in one or two areas. We all know people who have wildly successful careers but go home to an empty house. Or people who earn terrific salaries but never seem to be able to build up their savings. Others have wonderful home lives but struggle to find the right career. Very few people it seems, have it working in all three areas. The Plan provides the key to changing all that.
Working on your own plan, John and Helen encourage you to take a long term view of your life and look ten years into the future. This long term view gives you the big picture of where you are going, and helps you as you set your goals, both short and long term.
In the book, John and Helen provide a detailed, yet easy to manage approach to creating your own plan. The Plan is filled with examples, exercises and worksheets to ensure you’re successful in creating your plan. There are also on-line tools and additional resources listed in the book, everything you need!
The process of creating your plan begins with looking at the gaps in your life in each of the three areas. Looking at the differences between the life we’re living and the life we wish we were living helps us define where we want to make changes, identify those areas where we don’t feel satisfied.
Another part of the process is to take a close look—a very close look—at your strengths and your weaknesses. Most of us have a fairly good idea of our weaknesses. Few of us take the time to really understand our strengths.
Sometimes, we take our strengths for granted, or believe that because we’re good at something, it’s nothing special, that others must be good at it, too. Reviewing your natural talents and building on the talents you’ve developed, you’ll see new opportunities, new directions.
Next comes the work of setting short-term goals. These goals will help create a sense of urgency and, by writing everything down using the worksheets in the book, you’ll have a plan that you can review at the end of every week to see how you’re doing. You can make adjustments as required and keep yourself motivated.
Having a strong desire for something is not enough. Your desire needs to be so clear that you can see each step you need to take to reach it. Creating a step-by-step plan with dates that shows what you’re going to do and by when you are going to do it is a very powerful tool. Taking this step is absolutely essential and separates those people who succeed from those who don’t.
Creating a plan for your life is not done overnight. John and Helen suggest it will take you four or five weeks to complete all the steps necessary to creating your plan. Not only is there a terrific feeling of accomplishment once you’ve created your plan, the process itself is enjoyable.
Here’s Janice’s story:
Janice felt that her life was going downhill fast. A mom with three delightful children, she was also a business executive for a large television corporation. Despite her outward success, Janice was feeling dissatisfied on both the home and career fronts. After taking the time to create her Plan, she was quickly able to “check off” nearly all of her first year objectives. She regained her confidence appearing on TV and getting a promotion on the job front. Seven months after creating The Plan for her life, she was energized and able to enjoy more quality time with her three children. She was also able to cast aside much of the “baggage” she’d been carrying on her shoulders at home. She told John that she had “reinvented herself,” and saying, “I love who I am becoming.”
Now, John and Helen are not suggesting for a moment having a Plan means your life
will be problem free or that you will be able to control everything that happens to you. What they are saying is that having a Plan will result in you having a life that is good, perhaps very good—great even! No life is perfect. You’re still going to have to do the laundry, write reports, pay taxes, and occasionally, you’ll have to run to catch the bus. But, on the important stuff, you’re going to be rocking
Learn more about The Plan online at www.ThePlanSite.com