Mindful Planning in a Pandemic

Restlessness use to me my middle name!  I was always running to the next challenge, idea or crises!  In a positive light, it supported my constant improvement and achievement.  In a negative shadow, it created an incredible amount of chaos in my life and exhausted me.  

I would probably still be somewhat lost in my restlessness if I hadn’t gotten my feet knocked out from under me-literally.  Two consecutive back surgeries in a month’s time, coupled with a very long recovery took me out of my beloved movement and also began the process of keeping my restlessness in balance.  It was during this painful period that I learned mindfulness, and specifically, presence.  

Presence, being in the moment, is the nemesis of a futuristic strategist!  However, being forced to be in my moments opened my awareness to many opportunities that I overlooked while I was racing toward the future.  I also honed a few important skills that support mindful planning.  

Reflection, observation and noticing are a powerful skillset that support mindful planning.  Often times, we jump to what we want ‘our business or life’ to be, without looking at where we’ve come from, where we are in this moment, and how we can build on that.  Reflection requires a ‘pause’ moment.  

With my coaching clients, I do RAP sessions; reflect, assess and plan, leading with reflection to support the client in ‘seeing’ accomplishments, repeated patterns, growth and development.  Deep learning really comes from reflection on our experiences.

The Pandemic is definitely creating a pause moment in our lives.  This is a gift and a great time to reflect on where you’ve come from, and where we are right now.  What can we take forward and build on and what change do we want to create? 

In this pause moment, I came face to face with some of my belief systems that were holding me hostage to a crazy schedule.  One of those belief systems, training and coaching should be done in person, has been completely disproved with the virtual world I now live in.  I gained three hours a day and have used that for self-care, not increasing my workload!  

Traditional year end planning often times is focused on strategic plans, action plans, objectives, smart goals and benchmarks, structures that keep us focused forward.  My challenge to you is to start with a non-traditional format of being fully present to yourself, in observation, noticing and reflecting on where you’ve come from, where you are and then mindfully plan forward. 

Some might say that the pandemic is causing so much uncertainty that it’s difficult to plan.  My thought is that we are always surrounded by uncertainty.  Mindful planning keeps us moving forward through the uncertainty in an intentional way.    

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