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How you can make 2017 your most productive year yet!

Call me crazy if you like but I love January…

Rather than feeling a need to deprive myself in the New Year, I love that ‘clean slate’ feeling where you can draw the line and start again. This year I want to finish my book, de-cluttering my house and fulfil a multitude of business projects before Christmas looms again.

Starting with good intentions is easy but before you know it January slips by as does the rest of the year. Not having a clear plan is fatal as it allows us to drift and before we know it we are back to January and wishing we had been more productive. Well, the good news is, we are still in January and it’s not too late to do it differently this year.

This year I had so many things I wanted to achieve that I felt I needed more than the usual list on my phone, which realistically is looked at in January and then left until the following January. I started telling friends that I was going to spend a day working out my goals for the year with the help of a Spidergram and a few people mentioned Vision Boards to me. They sounded a great idea and one of my friends said she felt she was drifting and would love to get some focus, so we booked a day last week to create our Vision Boards together. The entire exercise was so exciting that I had to share it with you!

Me being me, the exercise ended up including a colour coded Excel spreadsheet. I just couldn’t help myself but before that puts you off, it doesn’t have to be a spreadsheet. That’s just me – I love them! A chart showing each month of the year is the essential to avoid unrealistic timings and overlaps but it can just as easily be done on A3 paper or a large notepad. I have re-named my spreadsheet version the Vision Chart. You can create your own Vision Chart in whichever way works best for you. I am going to stick mine in the front of my A4 diary.

So, I started with The Overview, then I drew the Spidergram of the different areas in my life so that I could be sure I achieved ‘life balance’. As a healer I strongly believe that lack of balance in our lives is one of the main causes of stress and ill health.

Having completed the Overview and the Spidergram, I created my Vision Chart. I am now going to find beautiful pictures of the topics I have listed and stick them on a Vision Board and hang it where I can see it throughout the day. I am great believer in visualisation and this will help me visualise achieving the goals on my chart.

So here you go, it’s this easy:

1. The Overview – sit and think about where you would like to be in the following time frames:

Write down where you want to be in relationships, health, career, location and any major goals you would like to achieve in that time. It is useful to do this first but if that is too hard, come back to it later and just deal with this year for now.

1. The Spidergram – create one sheet for Personal and one for Business/Career and list the components of your life that create a balanced lifestyle. Below each component list what you would like to achieve in that area this year. Here is a very simple example but you can create your own version.

1. The Vision Chart – below is an example of the Vision Chart. List the months of the year along the top and the components from your Spidergram down the left column.

Next start to insert into the chart the things you wrote below each component on your Spidergram, month by month. You will start to build a picture of how long you need to complete certain tasks, which are your top priorities, the ideal spacing between projects and how to spread your projects across the year. Be realistic. Packing too much in at once will put you off the task in hand and put you under undue pressure. You can always create a separate “2018” list, if your chart is too full.

1. The Vision Board - Find beautiful pictures that remind you of the tasks you have listed on your Vision Chart, stick them on a cork board forming a collage. Place this board where you will see it several times a day and each time you see this board focus on one picture, stop for a minute, close your eyes and imagine the wonderful feeling of that task being accomplished and the pleasure that brings you. You will be creating that reality for yourself by visualising in this way.

I was literally buzzing by the end of the afternoon. I knew what I was going to do and when I was going to do it. I had planned in realistic timings, avoided overloading certain months and had managed to find a balance in all important aspects of my life across the year – and in less than a day. Wow!

Go on, give it a go before January is over. There is still time. And I would love to hear if you found it as inspiring as I did, or if you have any other tips please leave me messages on Facebook or below.



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