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It is that time of the year again… time to say goodbye to the old year and bring in the new. 2017 is finally over. It wasn’t a horrible year, but it definitely had its ups and downs. I’m not the only person who seems to feel this way. I have heard many people say they are so glad this year is over. Time for something new. A new year to try to do what we didn’t get accomplished the year before. I do hope 2018 is better than 2017. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good things that happened this year. We went on our anniversary cruise in November. I finally left my profession of medical transcription after 17 years, which that was something I probably should have done way before I did. I was able to land a job as a customer service rep for a great company that I can also work from home for. That was the main reason I stayed at medical transcription so long is it was one of those jobs where most of us worked from home. Problem is pay had gotten so low I was barely able to make minimum wage and I knew I had to make a change. Yes, I have to deal with some very upset customers, but there are some really nice people also. Plus, I have four weeks of vacation per year that they make sure you take. I’ve never worked anywhere that they encouraged you to take time off. In our departmental meetings, we are told to make sure we don’t forget to use our vacation, it is just weird. I was an independent contractor for over 10 years, so vacations, benefits, etc. were not in my vocabulary. I’m still trying to get used to it.

As far as the rest of the year, we had some family problems that are still needing to be worked through, but that is nothing new for this group. There were also the health issues, but those have been a part of our lives for quite a while. I’m not really sure how I really feel about a new year, but you can’t stop time and you either learn to accept that or live in a delusional world all your own. But, what is really important, is to make a plan so 2018 doesn’t pass by and then on December 31, 2018, we aren’t sitting here wondering where the time went and looking at all the things we didn’t get accomplished.

I am doing something a little different this year. I have ordered a 2018 Law of Abundance planner. This is one of those planners that start with you figuring out exactly what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. You write down your plans, why you want to accomplish them and how you are going to accomplish them. Once you have set out your short and long-term goals you then make a plan to accomplish them. A roadmap for the year that you can follow, rewrite as needed, and then make weekly and monthly assessments and readjustments to make sure you still want to continue on that path or if it needs to break off into a different goal. As they say, if you don’t plan, you are planning to fail, or something like that. I know this is important for me, as I have so much I want to do that I get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing, which then frustrates me and then I just want to give up. I have always admired those people who know exactly what they want to do. They have known since they were little kids what they were going to become and then they persisted until their dreams came true. Now I know some of those people ended up never achieving success and then had no idea what to do with their life after that, as they had no plan B. But, sometimes I think it is good to not have a plan B, C, or D. If you have nothing else you can do or want to do then you have to keep persisting until something happens.

When you are a person who wants to do a lot of things or is good at several different things, then if one thing doesn’t work you go to the next. The problem with this is that mindset gives you an out. Oh, this didn’t work out, well I will just move on to this other path, or you have all these different things going on at once and wonder why you have nothing finished, just a bunch of half done projects. Once you sit down to see what stage everything is in you want to give up as there is so much undone it can overwhelm you. That is where I end up a lot. One of those situations where you see all this stuff, you organize all of it, you plan it all out, but finally, you see you have nothing complete, nothing is working like it should, so you just stop as you have no idea of what you should even be doing. That is why this year I am starting a planner, a roadmap to what my most important goals are, why I want to accomplish them, and then reasonable steps to achieve them. I would suggest to you that if you are wanting to truly make 2018 the year that you see your dreams coming true or that book finally written or whatever you have been wanting to do that you get you a good planner, one that works for you, and then take the time daily, weekly, monthly to set up what needs to be done and then follow your plan. If you get sidetracked don’t worry about it. Acknowledge it and move on.

Find a plan, method, or something that will help you setup 2018 to be the best year yet – the year you finally make progress towards your dreams. Until next time…

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Image result for happy new year 2017Well, Happy New Years…  Here comes 2017, a new year, new possibilities, and will we make the best of it?  It is so hard to believe 2016 is gone.  I’m still sitting here wondering what happened to it.  The holidays were kind of surreal to a point.  I don’t know if it is because both Christmas and New Years were on a Sunday and then the holiday was celebrated on the following Monday just really has me off kilter.  My question is why do we need to take off the Monday when the holiday was already over?  Do people really need to take that day off?  What about us who work a weird schedule and Monday is already our day off?  I do know I was sitting at Christmas lunch with the family and it just didn’t feel like Christmas.  I know I live in Texas and it was in the 70s, and we were sitting outside, but the whole year of 2016 was a bit weird.

What I do know is I need to get my goals in writing for the new year.  I have never believed in resolutions.  Honestly, what is a resolution other than a hope or wish that has no plan?  Most people barely get two weeks into January before they have given up or forgot what their resolution even was.  What we need to do is make goals.  Goals are something you put in writing and then make a plan on how you are going to make them work.  Let’s say you want to lose 40 pounds.  Okay, good goal, but how are you going to do that?  You then make your short, medium and long-term plans on how you will make that happen.  Short term, lose five pounds in one month, medium 20 pounds within six months, and long term is by this time next year you will have lost the weight.  Now, just putting that down on paper is a start, but it still isn’t a goal.  To be a true goal you now need to put down the steps to get there.  Choose your diet, plan your meals, set a certain amount of time each week to exercise, and then you put these steps to the medium and long term goals also.  You should sit and do this type of planning to every goal you have for the new year, whether it be personal, financial, or business.  One thing I did was Google goal planning templates and the search came up with many free or very inexpensive forms to help you figure out how and what you really want to do, and then a plan to make it happen.  A lot of people try to set goals that are too hard to obtain and then when they fail they just give up.  Remember they should not be so simple that you barely have to work obtain the goal, but it shouldn’t be so hard that there is no way to obtain it.  Don’t set yourself up to fail by making goals that are unrealistic.

I know last January I said that 2016 was the year I was going to start writing fiction.  Guess what, I have like five or six different half started books that now I have no idea where I was even going with the story.  I just said it was the year for fiction writing, I didn’t make exact goals to get there.  Exact goals would have been a short story each week, or so many words written per week, or something that I can accomplish that is not dependent on someone else doing something…  The goal needs to be something tangible and related to you and your wants and skill set.

I am currently still working on my goals for the year.  I’m trying to make sure I am setting up goals that I can work towards, a plan for 2017, so on New Year’s day 2018, I’m not sitting in the same place I am today wondering what happened to the past year and why I didn’t get anything accomplished that I had planned to do.  Until next time…

emoticon-question-marksAs I wrote yesterday’s blog post I had no idea how prophetic my writing would be. About an hour after I wrote and posted it I received a call from the CEO and HR Director for the company I have worked for since early 2013. They informed me that I was being laid off. The company was needing to downsize and was letting several of us go and I was one of them. I, of course, am an independent contractor, so I cannot apply for unemployment. Within an hour they had deactivated all my usernames and passwords and that was it. No warning, nothing. I had my little cry, but then realized I needed to take the next four days and take my time and figure out exactly what my plans are, what am I going to do, where are we going in 2015, as now things have completely changed. I don’t have the money base that I just had a day ago. I am now going to have to figure out how to replace that income. I mean it wasn’t that much, but it definitely was better than nothing. For some reason when we are finally getting to the point of the finances going well, getting caught up, things looking really good, something has to go wrong. Loss of job, unexpected bills, something breaking, health issues, etc., why is that? Why can’t life just go along and be okay. I guess I understand we have to go through trials, but at some point in our life you would think we would have gone through enough issues that we get a pass from such an age to the end of our lives. I know we have been through more than a lot of families, but less than others.

The other day I was reading a book though that really seemed to foreshadow what ended up happening. The basic premise was based on the book “The Secret,” but also brought in a component of NLP – neurolinguistic programming. This is where you basically learn how to speak things into existence, not just claim and wait. One of those things where you can picture being in a certain place, but if you words are negative and you constantly state you will never achieve anything – then you won’t. One of those things to where if you constantly tell the universe you are broke, you’ll be broke sort of thing. I am still not sure how I feel about either ways of thinking, but the book did talk about something that really stuck with me. People who step out and say they are going to do something with no backup plan and nothing to fall back on normally are able to become successful in their endeavors. A person who has nothing to fall back on has to make things work or end up homeless. I mean we aren’t at that point, but I now have to choose. The thing is that is a hard thing to do when you have to have an income and a job is normally an easy choice. It is there. As long as you are working a paycheck will come your way every two weeks or so and you can plan on being able to pay bills. You aren’t sitting in your office hoping someone will call or email so you can make money. It takes away the guesswork of when you are going to get paid, but it also keeps you stuck in a job that you probably do not enjoy or even like. Your time is committed to that employer which normally means you either are too tired, don’t have enough hours, or such to work on your own business. Your own business is normally doing something you enjoy on your own terms. Of course with this freedom comes the feast or famine situation where you are normally sitting for days or weeks with no jobs or you have so many jobs you are having to make waiting lists or turn down customers. Of course, you normally have no control over this type of situation, you just hope you saved enough money or paid enough bills during the feast to get you through the famine. Problem is, a lot of people go crazy with the money during the feast and then have no way to pay the bills when the famine comes. This type of life is just too much stress on a lot of people and that is why so many people never go into business for themselves.

I guess once you get to my age you start having to really take into account everything so that you make the right decision. When you are 20 or 30 starting all over again isn’t that big of a thing, as you still have 40 to 50 years to make up for any missteps or start again if you have to, but once you are 50 you don’t have as much time to fix the situation. I think that is what makes this decision so hard, as I need to take into account if I can continue to make money this way when I am late 60s or 70s or if there is only five to ten year window of opportunity before I am unable to continue. I guess it is like being at a fork in the road and instead of two options there is four and making the right decision gets more difficult the longer you sit there. I guess it is time I figure out what I am going to do, as I’m not getting any younger as they say. Until next time…

Here we are the last day of 2014.  I can’t figure out where this year went.  It seems like only yesterday I was writing the last blog post for 2013 and now here we are doing it again.  Every year WordPress sends you a report of what exactly happened on your post the past year.  The number of posts, visitors, etc.  They also show what your most popular posts were for the year.  In 2013 the most popular were my entries about the “girls,” but this year it was my posts on depression.  Talk about total opposites on the subject scale.  One of my posts on depression was written probably two years ago, but it was one of my more popular posts for this past year.  Are people more depressed?  Are their friends more depressed?  It really makes you wonder.  From the view in my world I thought the economy was getting better.  Everywhere I go there are help wanted signs and for jobs that really do pay quite well.  The huge mall near my house was extremely busy this past month, which isn’t good for me because I live on the service road of the highway that runs in front of the mall, so starting in November one of the main exits I need to get on the highway is closed because of shoppers.  The other day I had to circle around blocks of back streets just to get to the library, because cars were backed up on roads that normally never see traffic.  It was quite the mess, but apparently people were out buying for Christmas in record numbers.

I know for some people depression is an illness that affects them no matter what the circumstances.  Everyone around you cannot see why you aren’t happy, but in your world the darkness is so strong there is no escaping it.  The holidays have become bittersweet for me.  I got to spend Christmas day with my 6-year-old granddaughter and 1-month-old grandson and watching her open presents and act the fool was quite enjoyable, but while we were celebrating a close relative was having a major downswing in their depression.  Three years ago Christmas and other holidays were a very painful thing for me.  It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I was finally able to say the heck with it when it comes to my youngest son and our situation.  It has officially been three years since I have seen him in person or had a conversation with him… I have offered, reached out, and done everything I know to do to help fix the situation, but we are now to the point that he is the one who is going to have to reach out.  I finally came to accept that you cannot make someone talk to you, love you, or even interact with you if they aren’t in the mindset or place to allow it.  I figure one of these days something will happen, hopefully nothing horrific, and he will decide he needs this side of his family, but my only hope is that we are in a place that we can accept his offer after he has so easily turned on us.

So what is coming in 2015, I have no idea.  I have my 2015 business planning workbook that I am slowing filling out so I can have a road map of what, where, and how 2015 needs to go.  My true goal is to finally be able to quit my day job and make a living through my own projects, books, etc.  I have new ventures in the works and for the first time in a long time I actually see an exit plan coming to life.  The main thing is to make sure I have a clear plan of how I need to proceed so when I am sitting here writing my last post of 2015 I’m not in the same place I am today – in a job I dislike, no clear plans, and wondering where the heck 2015 went.  That is the problem with time, it keeps marching on whether we want it to or not and there is no way to get that time back once it is gone.  You can lose money and then make it back.  You can lose friends and make new ones.  Time – once it is gone it is gone and then all you can do is sit and wonder where it went.

I hope for all of my readers out there a prosperous and fulfilling 2015.  May your plans come to fruition and your life go down the path of your choice.  Till next time…

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