Hear me out. I didn’t always feel this way. I used to think of a resolution and write it down (who even remembers where I wrote it), then feel guilty for not following through. My resolution was always either too vague (relax more) or too difficult (lose 25 pounds in 8 weeks – without a plan to accomplish it).
But now, I don’t believe in resolutions, I believe in a method much more powerful than that. When I experienced some difficult times years ago, I learned I needed a plan and not just a flimsy idea.
I struggled with anxiety and depression in my early twenties, and postpartum in my early thirties after my second child was born 12 years ago. In the process of healing myself, finding happiness and learning to handle the anxiety, I learned to use and understand gratitude and apply it daily. Combining that (not to mention counselling and medication) with learning how to create something called a Master Plan (instead of a resolution) has changed my life. Creating and using a Master Plan each year for the last five years has been part of my healing, driving me to focus on my successes and passions and thinking well outside the box. My Master Plan fires me up every single day. It’s the reason I jump out of bed in the morning. Have you ever said that about your resolution?
My Master Plan includes achievable, attainable goals that set me up for success for the next 12 months (not just until they fizzle out by mid February!). In fact, it was my 2021 Master Plan that led me to my role at Brookline PR.
Be honest, did you sit back this past December and think, “I’m so glad I followed through on my resolutions from last January”? If you did, then kudos to you. I’d love to chat and learn about how you accomplished that!
But if you didn’t cross every resolution off your list, consider this: instead of coming up with one or two resolutions, think of eight to 10 goals for your Master Plan. What if I promised you that each of those goals are very likely to be accomplished? And that those eight to 10 goals would propel you into the life you have dreamed of? That your Master Plan will drive you toward the fence of your comfort zone, help you smash through that fence and propel you up into the life you imagined?
A resolution is defined as, “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” But a Master Plan is a solid, defined outline with three different categories that you create as a daily reminder to show you exactly where you want to go.
Here’s an example:
Resolution: Work out four times a week
Master Plan: 16 workouts a month. 8 of those will be a 30-minute yoga video done in the mornings at 7 a.m.; the other 8 workouts a month will be weights or cardio, via YouTube, 2 nights a week for 30-minutes, done between 7-9 p.m. Weekends off.
Powerful stuff, isn’t it? If you’re serious about making that career move, doing that 10K hike, running your first 5K, making new friends, connecting more with your partner, spending more time with your kids or parents, and so on, a Master Plan can get you there.
How to create your Master Plan
Your Master Plan should be a reflection of the most important things that you want to work toward/try/accomplish this year. So, “2022 Master Plan: The Most Important Things This Year” goes at the top of your page.
Then break it into three categories: My Work, My Self, My Life. Write three to five things under each category.
Under My Work in 2021, I wrote, “To have a fulfilling and joyful career working for a company I believe in, that values me.” (Hello, Brookline PR!)
Under Self in 2021, I wrote, “Meditate five minutes every morning between 5:30-7 a.m. Weekends off.”
Under Life in 2021, I wrote, “Connect with my mom every single day, either through text or phone call.”
Once you’ve written all your sections, here’s the best part! The piece that makes it all come together. Take your page, print it off, place it in a photo frame and put that photo frame in your office, your bathroom, next to your bed, in your kitchen. Wherever you know you will see it several times a day and look at it as often as possible. It’s an amazing feeling to visually see things changing; that you read those books, paid off that bill or took that course.
Following these steps helped me accomplish my 2021 Master Plan and I can’t wait for what 2022 has in store. I already believe in you, so now it’s time for you to believe in yourself. Ditch your resolution and create your own Master Plan. Go believe in yourself. Happy 2022!
Gemma is an Account Coordinator at Brookline Public Relations. She is passionate about communications and uses gratitude as a daily tool in approaching her work and supporting clients.