Do you ever find yourself setting goals only to realize that you feel totally overwhelmed or uninspired at the idea of achieving them?
Well today, I'm going to share with you a system that helps me plan beautiful goals that I actually want to achieve... and trust me, it makes it a helluva lot easier to accomplish them.
I'm a BIG goal setter. I was that kid in elementary school who would write out her goals for the new school year every summer and write highly detailed plans for achieving those goals. If there was a goal that needed to be accomplished, my little Capricorn brain could create a plan for achieving it. I JOYFULLY did this every year, sometimes a few times per year for decades.
But, true story, as I got deeper into running my own business (one that would later turn into Hey Awesome Girl), I would set goals and make plans only to feel really, really depressed at the idea of achieving those goals. For some reason when it came to business, something had gone seriously wrong with my goal-setting mojo.
The interesting part of this was that at the same time that my typical goal setting mojo no longer seemed to work for me, I'd discovered a new practice that was working for me - really, really well... Back then I called it ManiFiction... and here's what it is and how I discovered it.
In 2010, I was 25, I'd just quit my full-time job at a regional magazine and started my own business. My ex-husband and I also separated that year. Over the next several years I went through a TON (like a ton - ton) of ups and downs in life and business. Some were earth-shattering, some were challenging, some just fuckin' sucked... but during that time I also got deep into studying a topic that I'd been interested in since I was a kid: fiction writing.
I studied screenwriting tips for fiction writers. I devoured writing craft books and I immersed myself in many, many stories of love and adventure. The craft of storytelling allowed me to make a ton of connections in my brain that still serve me to this day in my work.
But fiction's most valuable asset to me was that it gave me a tool to escape my often harsh realities and see things differently. So I started applying it to my life. I started writing stories about what my future could look like and I called it ManiFiction = Manifestation + Fiction.
Now, while my mom could tell you about one of my earliest works of ManiFiction from my 6th-grade journal that featured me and a cute boy whose name I can't even remember – that little story got me grounded for MONTHS! – ManiFiction in my adult life served a purpose other than just entertaining me.
ManiFiction for me started as a way to feel better, to cope with difficult situations, and to heal myself, but it morphed into a really beautiful system I use often to set goals that feel good.
Once I realized the power of this craft, I started calling it ManiPlanning, because it's a beautiful combination of manifestation and planning. I loved it so much that I made it a Hey Awesome Girl value.
As Hey Awesome Girl celebrates the 4 year anniversary of its inception – the idea for Hey Awesome Girl came to me on October 16, 2016 – we're hosting a ManiPlanning Workshop in our free Hey Awesome Girl Community. We'll discuss details on how to ManiPlan and support each other in the process. Join if you want to participate in real-time and enjoy the outline of our process below.
How to Set Goals You Actually Want to Achieve! AKA How to ManiPlan with Hey Awesome Girl
Why ManiPlanning: At HAG, we believe that planning should be beautiful, emotional, inspiring, and infused with the power of storytelling and manifestation.
This is the best way to create goals and plans you actually want to execute!
How many times have you made plans for yourself that sit on metaphorical shelves, collecting digital dust because you aren't actually motivated enough to achieve them?
🙋🏾♀️ I KNOW I'm not the only person who has plans - on plans - on plans, but sometimes looks at them like "Ugh! I don't actually want to do this!"
How ManiPlanning is different: ManiPlanning, at its simplest level is 3 easy steps, based on a VISION that you have for your life. It's the vision that is key to the likelihood of you executing the plan.
Your vision has to be strong, pure, and infused with a ton of emotion in order for your ManiPlan to be successful.
Here's how to create your ManiPlan:
Step 1: Set a timer and write your vision for 6 months from now
Look at the calendar and pick a date 6 months from now. Now open up your favorite writing software or journal and put that date at the top of the page.
Now set a timer for 30 minutes (you can write longer if you need to, but start with 30 minutes) and write a story, from the first-person point of view (as if you were writing in your journal) about where you are, what you have and what you're doing.
Step 2: Write out the emotions that you want to feel in your future
Infuse your story with a ton of emotion. Within your story, write about how you feel at this point in the future. How happy are you and why? If you can't authentically write from a place of pure joy, your vision might not be something you actually want to achieve. Consider starting over.
Step 3: Write out how you accomplished it.
Now look over your vision and your emotions, look at the date you put at the top of your assignment, then outline how you achieved these results.
While you're basking in your feelings of accomplishment, outline how you got there. What did you do to achieve these big goals in the next 6 months? Use the positive emotions you feel to joyfully write out your plan with as much actionable detail as possible.
Writing about the steps you took to achieve your goals in the past tense will help you feel the feeling of success and you'll be more confident when you undertake the journey to accomplish your vision.
Is your vision logical, ambitious, crazy, inspiring? It's great to have a big beautiful vision, but the vision needs to be executable in order to put the PLAN in ManiPlan.
Got it? That's it, that's the basics of ManiPlanning.
Try it a few times to get the hang of it.
Remember: Your emotions are your only judge for this assignment and you only get a pass/fail grade. If your vision and plan make you feel good and inspired, it's a pass. Otherwise, it's a fail and you should start over until you get a pass.
If you want to get more ManiPlanning guidance as well as some inspiration to help you finish this year strong, join our "Finish 2020 Strong" ManiPlanning Challenge by joining the Hey Awesome Girl Community on Facebook.
Here's to you manifesting your biggest, most-beautiful dreams! 🥂