How To Be Emotionally Intelligent In Business (and Life) Plans in 9 Steps
August 2, 2022
It’s probably not surprising to anyone that I love to make plans. There’s an entire chapter of my book Inexplicably Me entitled, “Some People Have Security Blankets. I Have Lists.” I’ve been making lists and plans since I was seven years old. It’s something that makes me feel safe and, at the same time, excited for the future, but what I’ve noticed is that there is a massive gap in the gross majority of business and life plans we put together.
We forget to think about how we want to be feeling, but when you consider all the plans we make, isn’t that the crux of it? We want to be feeling a certain way: loved, successful, proud, excited, or anything in between, but how often do we use feeling words when it comes to making our plans for the future?
Of course, we make plans and God laughs as the saying goes, but I’ve grown to believe that plans are more than just goals or things we hope will happen or maybe that we even expect to happen. Plans are a way of putting our intentions out into the Universe. They are my version of manifesting.
Without a doubt, we need to allow for flexibility and the likelihood that our plans will change, but if we focus on what and how we want to be feeling and project that as a part of the plans we make it becomes bigger than just the “things” we want to create in our lives, and we can begin let go then of the way our life is “supposed” to look and be open to the possibilities of all the ways in which we can start to be feeling the way we want to feel. When you can get to a place where you’re feeling what you want to be feeling you will, without thinking about it, manifest and create the life you’ve always dreamed of—whether it looks exactly the way you thought it might.
Beyond just the emotions, for someone like me (a high achieving, recovering perfectionist) it is vital that we create goals and plans to excite us about our futures and have something we are working towards. It can help you focus and home in on what’s important and where it is best to focus your energy, especially if you’re an entrepreneur, have a side-hustle, running your own business, or hoping to do so in the future.
So, whether you’re looking to create a 30-day, 90-day, six month, one, three, or five-year, etc. plan here’s a process you can utilize to make the most of your time spent and craft something emotionally intelligent.
First, think of the time frame:
What period of time is this plan for? 90 days, 6 months, one year, one week? Whatever you want it to be set the time frame. If picking an exact time frame feels scary, there’s no need to limit yourself you can just call this your plan and don’t worry about a specific time frame at all!
Throughout this process, there is only one very important rule: Do what feels right to you!
Take some time to brainstorm:
It can be really overwhelming to think of where we want our lives to be next week, let alone in three years, so let’s start with some brainstorming/free writing without judgment.
1) Sit down with a piece of paper, your laptop, or a journal.
2) Find a place where you won’t be disturbed
3) Dream big.
Allow yourself to write down everything from what you hope you’ll have within the given period of time you’re making your plan for to what those things or accomplishments will allow you to feel. Don’t be shy. This is your plan, your brainstorm, you never have to show it to anyone if you don’t want to. Put it all out there without editing yourself.
4) Take some time to read it back.
Brainstorms don’t have to be pretty or make logical sense. If, as you’re reading your brainstorm back to yourself, you decide you want to cross things out or highlight things or change something, do it! This is yours, and there is no right or wrong way to work on your plan.
Next, look at the buckets of your life.
Okay, I know this sounds like a lot, but take a deep breath. You can do this.
Sit with your brainstorm and on another page put down all the different buckets that fill your work and your life.
For example, these are some the buckets I used when crafting my plan: speaking engagements, Inexplicably Me, general writing, Worthiness Warriors Podcast, Flip the Script courses, Dance In Color, social media platforms, personal (i.e., relationships, life at home, self-care), etc.
You can have as many or as few buckets as you’d like. Get specific and clear about each bucket you see in your life and always remember, this isn’t set in stone, it can change and shift just like our lives do.
Then, develop your overarching goals.
Think about what your overall goals are for the period for which the plan is being created. These aren’t bucket-specific, but general for your business, personal life, or both.
These don’t have to feel plausible or make any sense right now.
Be creative and think big or small, whatever you feel called to. I just don’t want you to limit yourself because the little voice in your head is telling you that something isn’t possible. My friend, anything is possible.
Here are examples of some of the overarching goals I created for my latest plan:
- To continue to fall in love with my work, be excited by it, and find joy in it as often as possible
- Have teams in place so that I just get to show up to record, speak, or create
- Travel the world (I, of course, have a separate plan for traveling, which I highly encourage if you’re someone with the glorious affliction that is wanderlust.)
Develop your goals by bucket.
Now it’s time to look at those buckets we created. Get specific about what you want to create/have in each of these buckets. If some of the goals scare you a little or a lot—that’s okay!
You are not a failure if you don’t achieve them. Your life is going somewhere incredible whether you hit the exact goal you set for yourself or not. It may feel like a failure, but it’s really just rejection whispering to you that something even better is out there for you, which is why it’s important to work on to stay open to changing our plans.
However, if some of these goals are feeling overwhelming, break them down even further. Write some goals that feel are more achievable and then have a stretch goal that feels maybe a little out there to you.
It’s important to set both achievable goals and big dream goals because it feels good to accomplish something (I sometimes write down “shower” on my To Do list just to check it off) and doing so shows us that we can trust and believe in ourselves on our way to those big dream goals!
It’s now time to ask: How do I want to be feeling?
Think about all the feelings that achieving these goals would bring up for you or simply emotions you really want to be feeling and list them all out.
This can be anything from one feeling word like: joyful, balanced, peaceful, or slightly more complex phrases like, “loving my career and feeling balanced between work life and personal life.” You write down what feels right and good to YOU!
Plan your ideal days:
This next section is another one that I love to work on. (Okay, let’s be honest, I love all of this.)
In this section of your plan look at each day of the week and think about ideally what you’d like it to look like within the time frame of this plan/by the end of the time frame you’re creating for this plan.
Example questions to ask yourself: Do you want certain days of the week where you don’t have meetings? A certain day of the week where you insert 15 minutes to read? Is there a particular time of day you like to work out?
Whether or not it feels feasible, write down ideally how you would like each day of your week to go. At the bottom of this section think about/write down one or two ways that you can start to craft your ideal days right now. It’ll give you a head start moving forward in creating a space for all these goals and dreams to come to fruition.
Lastly, look at the long-term goals:
Ask yourself what you hope for in the future after you’ve gotten past the period for this plan?
For instance, if you’ve created a 90-day plan, think about what it looks like in one year, if you’ve created a 3-year plan think about what goals you have for five or ten years down the road. These are the big dreams that feel a little farther off and might require some more time and plans in the meantime to get you there.
Okay, one more thing…Implementation
You have your plan! I’m so proud of you. That was a lot, but it’s also really exciting, right? You can begin to implement this plan however you want. Here are some ways to get started:
- Pick one bucket or section to start with and break down how you want to reach those goals.
- Go micro. Pick one specific goal within a certain bucket to plan out even further.
- Don’t do any more planning (at least for the time being). Use this as a tool for manifestation and know that you have thoroughly communicated your commitment to your dreams to the Universe, breathe and focus on finding ways to create the feelings you want to be feeling in your life right now.
- Step away from your plan for a bit and come back to it when you’re feeling untethered, then start implementing when it feels right.
- Share your plan with a friend, family member, or someone you trust to honor what you’ve put together and create an implementation plan with them.
We know I love plans. We know plans often go awry, so you might ask, why make them? I believe we make these plans to better understand ourselves, our deepest, desires, wishes, and sometimes our fears. Planning for the future can be scary, but I also tend to find that if I have a plan I can actually settle in and be more present in my every day knowing I’ve let the Universe/my higher self know what I want and I have ideas of how I want to get there.
No matter what, remember that there is more than one way to get to how we want to be feeling and even though the feelings are only a part of the plan focus on ways you can create those feelings in your life right now because remember when we’re feeling the way we want to be feeling we start to create the lives of our dreams, even if they don’t look exactly like the plans we made and for those of us that love to create and crush goals, you get to have those to look forward too.
I love you; you’ve got this! XOXOX, CAMDW