Category Archives for "Planning"

Aug 29

One Thing To Do When You Need A Little Motivation

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps , Planning

Are you feeling a little unmotivated? You know “you should” be doing something, but it is hard to pull the energy together to do it? Feeling unmotivated is draining, but the opposite is true, too. When we have a plan of attack and we are moving forward, it feels great! How then can we boost our motivation? I know one thing that can help.

I recently had the blahs. Along with my blahs, I had unexpected aches and pains, veterinarian appointments for my dog, car repairs and computer issues that popped up. I felt like everything was fighting against me and my motivation. My energy was plummeting. There was one area that I felt like I was on track, and that was my training for an upcoming bike ride. Even though it was hard to keep going, I was able to. I asked myself what it was that was keeping me going, in the hopes that I could do the same in other areas of my life. 

My motivation came from the commitment to a deadline. Eight months ago to the day, I signed up for this bike ride. A few months after that I announced it to friends and family as I start to fundraise. Every time I do not want to go for a ride, I know I have to. I have committed and my deadline is fast approaching.

It is easy for us to think of deadlines when it comes to work, but it is more challenging to think of them when it comes to our personal lives. Setting deadlines is a matter of being intentional about moving forward and setting ourselves up to succeed.

If you need to get moving in an area of your life, here are some baby steps to take and their benefits:

  1. Decide on one area to move forward in. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. We all tend to have multiple areas that we “feel” we need to move forward in. The problem with focusing on all of them is, we can become paralyzed by the sheer volume of the things we need to do. That does not mean you have to ignore all of the other areas of your life. Let’s simply focus on one area of your life today and we can add more in the future when the timing feels right. What is the one thing you want to move forward on today? Write out a simple statement. Some examples may be:

    • I want to sell my house in the next year.

    • I want to start walking every day.

    • I want to go through every closet in my home.

    • I want to quit smoking.

    • I want to lower my blood sugar to ____.

  2. Decide on a realistic date of completion. Setting a deadline is key. If you do not set a deadline, the item goes back into the category of “I should”. Setting a deadline moves it into the category of “I am doing it!”. It is important to push yourselves a little with your deadline. We don’t want much room for procrastination. We don’t want to set an unrealistic goal either. I don’t know about you, but if I get off course, I can tend to give up completely. What is your deadline?

  3. Figure out your first few baby steps, or line out the entire project. Whatever feels right to you. Sometimes it helps to write out your “must dos” and your “wanna dos”. Our “must dos” are the things that are essential for your success. Your “wanna dos” are not essential, but things you would like to do. Putting a list together can direct your baby steps and it can dump everything out of your brain. Sometimes we carry so many things around in our brains, it can be overwhelming. What are your first few baby steps?

  4. Start moving. You have a plan, now it’s time to work your plan. Now it’s time to put one foot in front of the other and start to make things a reality. 

  5. Share your commitment with someone you do not want to let down. Life is so much better when we do it together. Sharing your plan with someone adds a little boost to our motivation. It is also great to have someone you can share your progress with. Someone who will be excited for you and someone who might even join you. I share my plans with a few close friends as well as my counselor. I also love to hear what they are up to so that I can check in on them and cheer them on. Who can you share your plans with? Who can you cheer on today?

We want to live energized life, and there is nothing that zaps our energy more than lack of motivation and lethargy. Today’s the day to add some energy to your life by setting a deadline, committing, taking a step forward and having fun doing it with someone close to you!

Here’s to finding that motivation we need to make things happen and ROCKIN’ OUT some goals!

Aug 08

How To Increase Your Enjoyment And Be Present In All You Do

By Jen Regan | Baby Steps , Keep It Simple , Planning

You are an amazing woman, working hard each day to take care of those you love, give your all to the work you perform and do your best to take care of yourself in the process. Your day is packed to the gills and sometimes as the day comes to a close, you are simply glad the day is over. Your day was not characterized by enjoyment and being present. The questions is, how can you change that in the midst of your already busy life?

I want to live the best possible life I can live. For some reason, I feel that everything in life should go smoothly all of the time. As you may suspect, this belief has caused me a lot of grief, because, that is simply not how life works. There is something deep inside of me that strives for it every single day though. It is a blessing and a curse all at the same time. But because of it, I am always asking myself “what can I do to make my day and life better?”

Like many of you, I am a planner and kind of addicted to checking things off my “to do” list. This is great, but it does cause some other issues. When my focus is on the completion of a task, my focus is not on enjoying the process and being present in the moment. Can you relate? So, as I always do, I ask myself if this is something I want to change, and it is. Then I start to figure out how to make it happen. Here is what I have found:

  • Start with a plan. Start your day with a well formed, realistic plan, which includes your “to do” list. This may require some organization and planning ahead of time. At the end of each day, I take a few minutes to plan out my next day. What this plan does is it allows me to “work my plan” the next day.

  • Focus solely on each of your tasks or appointments. While you are doing dishes, train your mind to think only about that. It’s a great time to be grateful for the food you have been blessed with. When you are at an appointment, give the other person all of your attention. Really listen and engage. If you are like me, this takes some training, because my mind likes to wander on to what is next. Keep bringing your mind back to what you are doing right then.

  • Increase enjoyment by recognizing the positive things in each moment and task. We all have a choice whether to focus on the positive things or the negative ones. I understand, there are some days when it feels like EVERYTHING has gone wrong. On most days though, we can find some positive things to focus on. The beautiful sunrise when we are stuck in traffic. Reminding yourself that you are getting stronger when you are sore after a workout. Spending a little extra time at home with your little one when they are not feeling well.

Once you invest in these principles, you can apply them to your every day and every moment. Enjoyment and being present usually doesn’t “just happen”. We can add more into our lives by thinking and planning ahead, working our plan, then enjoying one project at a time.

Here’s to focusing on one thing at a time to increase our enjoyment and presents.

Photo by Jopwell from Pexels
Jul 13

It’s Kept Me On Course Through The Twists And Turns Of Life

By Jen Regan | Accomplishing Goals , Baby Steps , Overcoming Obstacles , Perseverance , Planning , What's Most Important

In the spring of 2011 I decided to change the direction of my career. Since then, life has been anything but a straight line or an easy path. I have had health issues, the decline and passing of my Dad, business starts and stops and a lot of physical pain. Through everything, there has been one thing that has kept me focused on my career goal and prevented me from getting off course. Here’s my story.

It all started when I picked up a book about Life Coaching. I had never heard of such a thing, but it was more common on the East and West Coast. I knew immediately it was what I wanted to do. I love encouraging others to move forward towards whatever life they want to live or goals they want to accomplish. I researched different certifications and quickly had a phone call set up with an organization out of Oregon. I took my first step which was to be coached myself. I could not give what I had not experienced for myself. I loved it and as part of the Life Coaching process, I created a Life Plan. 

My Life Plan forced me to think about the future in detail, which was not something I was used to doing. I had to decide what was most important to me and what I wanted my life to look like many years in the future. This process was very eye opening to me because the current reality of my life was that I was very unhealthy in a lot of ways. If I continued on the road that I was on, my future did not look very rosey. Basically, if I didn’t want that to be my future reality, A LOT WAS GOING TO HAVE TO CHANGE!.

I had back issues, I ate horribly, I did not exercise like I should and my stress management was not that great. At my current rate, I was not going to make it to live a long life, and if I did, I would not be active and vibrant. There was so much I had to change that I quickly felt OVERWHELMED! And I wanted to change careers on top of this?

My Life Coach, Joy, introduced me to the idea of Baby Steps. She taught me that there was ALWAYS something I could do to move forward, even if it was in the smallest of ways. That is what I did, but along with all of these changes, the twists and turns of life made things even more challenging.

Within the next year I changed jobs, lost my job, studied for and finished my Life Coaching Certification, had a major surgery (which appears to have triggered autoimmune issues in my body), started a business with my husband, John, and set out on my goal to become a Life Coach. Through the twists and turns, I kept my Life Plan in front of me and it kept me moving forward.

I spent the next few years coaching a handful of amazing women. It was great to be a part of the changes they experienced in their life. Overall though, most busy women were not interested in having a Life Coach. This made me sad for them and made me question whether this was a viable career. I did not meet a woman who did not love the concept and they all agreed that they could benefit from it, but I ran into two walls. 

The first obstacle was that they were already crazy busy, they simply did not have the time to add in Life Coaching Sessions or the time to make the changes they wanted in their lives. The second obstacle was one of finances. It is my heart to help what I call “us normal women”, but us normal chicks don’t have a lot of extra cash. It was also hard to spend money on something they felt they should be able to do on their own. I Completely understood.

The question for me was, what do I do next? I still had a heart to help women focus on what is most important in their lives and not get pulled off course with the busyness of life. I decided to take my obstacles head on. I decided to write a book because I figured everyone could afford a book. HeeHee, this makes me laugh! I have never been good at proper english, grammar or spelling. I had NO EXPERIENCE with writing anything much less a book. What was I thinking? 

Baby Steps were my answer. I had to take one Baby Step at a time to move forward. It suddenly became clear that this is how all of us, with busy lives and overwhelming tasks, need to move forward. Baby Steps was the answer to the second obstacle.

Let’s fast forward A FEW YEARS! Yes, A few years and more of life’s twists and turns. I was not making the money I needed to with Life Coaching and it was time for me to go back to work full time as a bookkeeper. My dreams and my book were put on hold for one full year. At my year mark, I decided I was going to get back to working on my book, but life’s twists and turns decided differently. Finally I started getting up crazy early every Sunday morning to take baby steps towards writing my book. It was still my heart’s passion to help very busy women live the best life they can, focused on the best things. 

In November of last year (2018) I talked to my husband about taking a year off of work to concentrate on my book and that is what I did, but the twists and turns of life continue. This year I have been diagnosed with another autoimmune condition. My body decided it did not like food so I had to go on an elimination diet. At one point I could eat 15 things total. To put that in perspective, if you go out to eat, had a hamburger with everything on it, french fries and an unsweet iced tea, that totals about 15 things. My body decided to have reactions to food, one that caused severe back pain for almost 3 months. 

Why am I sharing all of this? It is because through the past 8 years my Life Plan has kept me on track. Today, I am still moving toward the future that I defined 8 years ago. I am still focused on what I have defined as most important to me. I am still learning, growing and taking baby steps toward my goal every single day. I have a picture of my future that I want to make a reality. That picture is my Life Plan.

This is why I have created my Life Planning Class that I am now making an Online Course. 

  • I know one of the obstacles that you face is time. With this in mind, I am giving participants access for 4 months so that you can work through the 4 lessons at your own pace.

  • I also know that money is tight, but I felt $69.00 per participant was doable and a great investment in your future. 

It is my heart’s desire that you know what you want your future to look like and that you keep moving towards that future no matter what life throws your way!

Registration is only open for one week - So Mark Your Calendars!

(Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - Tuesday, July 30, 2019)

A Work At Your Own Pace Online Course: How To Achieve Your Ideal Life!

This online course will:

  • Provide direction and more focus in the areas of life that are most important to you.

  • Help you define what you want your future to look like, not allowing others to define it for you.

  • Create a plan that will get you from here to there, even when the twists and turns of life try to get you off course.

  • Establish Small Action Steps that will fit into your busy day and keep you moving in the right direction.

The Details:

  • This online course contains 4 time released Lessons, one published each Thursday, on the first four Thursday of August 2019. (1st, 8th, 15th & 22nd)

  • Each Lesson will contain a quick Video Lesson with Action Step Instructions and Worksheets for you to work on before you move on to the next lesson.

  • You will have access to the course for 4 MONTHS which will allow you to work at your own pace! I believe in a NO STRESS ZONE! (Access from August 1, 2019 - November 30, 2019)

Work Towards Your Ideal Life for $69.00 per participant!

  • Registration is only open for one week! Wednesday July 24, 2019 - Tuesday, July 30, 2019 so mark your calendar!

  • There are only 25 "Seats" Available for the course. First come first serve!

  • Please note that this course is non-refundable.

August is a great time to pull out the school supplies and invest in an amazing future! Register at JenRegan.info starting July 24, 2019!

May 02

What’s Your Plan?

By Jen Regan | Planning

Having a well thought out plan to execute feels great! The challenge, so many times, is we have so much going on that it is hard to find the time to create a plan. I wish I had calculations to tell you how much time a plan will save you in the long run, but I do not have that. All I know is that taking the time, even if it is 15 minutes, to lay out a plan bring many benefits.

I am a planner. When I have a trip coming up, I will start to write down and plan out what I want to bring, what I want to wear, and what I may need to purchase about a month before my trip. To me, creating a plan is almost a hobby. It feels so good to know what I need to do, when I need to do it and have it organized in one of my favorite notepads (using one of my favorite pens, HeeHee). Many of you who don’t like to plan like this will think I’m a nut, and I’m good with that, but let me share with you the amazing benefits of taking time to create a plan.

  • Planning frees your mind. Many times we know we have a bunch of things we need to get done in our day. We carry those things around with us in our mind and they continue to pop up and nag us throughout the day. Simply writing those things down in a safe place will get them off your mind and free up space. You might even feel a short period of peace when your mind no longer needs to juggle those things.
  • Planning allows us to flow through our day.  We have enough “to-dos” to fill each and every day. When our day is not planned out, it can feel like we are living in a pinball machine. Have you had a day like that recently? Bouncing all over the place, allowing life and others to dictate your time. When we think through a plan, we place items in the order that makes sense and flows. I don’t know about you, but the idea if living in a pinball machine gives me a headache!
  • Planning helps us make better decisions. Inevitably, something will pop into your life that was not on your plan. Last night before I went to bed our kitchen sink decided not to drain. Dealing with that was not on my husband’s or my plan. Because we do have a plan for the day, we were able to ask ourselves how urgent the matter was and make a decision as to where to fit it in. If I had not had a plan for the day, I would have allowed this inconvenience to derail my day.
  • Planning allows you to know you are on track. Whenever we have a big project that we are working on, it can be challenging to track our progress. The biggest project we all work on is our life as a whole. Take a deep breath and don’t let the idea of that overwhelm you. The entire point of a plan is to remove that overwhelming feeling. In my early thirties I came across the idea of Life Planning. I took my time to work through it and when I was done it brought all of the above mentioned benefits to reality. Most importantly, as life brought obstacles and detours, I had a plan to reference back to, insuring that I stayed on track. I LOVE MY LIFE PLAN! It gives me confidence everyday that I am on the RIGHT track for me!

I have found so much joy in my life plan that I use to teach a class on it at our local community college. As we speak, I am working on converting that class over to a four session online workshop with four month online access (allowing you all the time you need to create your plan knowing how busy you are). If you want to have confidence that you are on the right track in life, keep an eye out for more information in the next few months. I am so excited about sharing it with you and allowing you to find the peace of mind that I have found.

In the meantime, remember all of the benefits to taking a few minutes each day to get organized and write out a plan.

Here’s to living the best life we can filled with peace, joy and contentment!

Do you know a fellow planner or someone who would benefit from becoming a good planner? If you do, forward this post their way. We can be planning gurus together!

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Apr 04

Utilize This Everyday Tool To Free Up Time!

By Jen Regan | Keep It Simple , Planning

We could all use a little bit of free time! You may ask “what is this mysterious thing you call free time, Jen?” I know right? Free time can be rare in our lives and feel impossible to achieve at times. Recently, I needed to make some changes to my schedule because it was simply not working well. I employed one tool, that we already use every day, to freshen up my schedule and do some much needed Spring Cleaning.

I never understood the big deal about Spring Cleaning. Yes, the weather is warmer, it’s great to open up the windows and get some fresh air, but why do we need to go ALL OUT when it comes to cleaning each spring? The answer was revealed to me one day in February when the sun popped out after it had not shown for days. Up until that point, I thought my house was plenty clean, but the sun revealed an entirely different picture when it streamed through my windows onto my dusty floors. Holy Cow! Where did all of that dust come from? It sure did accumulate fast and was in desperate need of some sprucing up!

The same accumulation can be true for our calendars. Slowly, we feel busier and busier and find that we have less and less free time. Today is the day to open the curtains and shed some light on how we spend our time. If you are like me, you get into routines that sometimes turn into ruts. I have found one simple, but very effective, tool to make space on my busy calendar. It’s called batching!

Batching is lumping appointments and tasks together on your calendar to then free up time somewhere else for the areas that are most important to you. The goal of batching is not to do more, it’s to have time to do more of the right stuff!

As busy women, I can guarantee that you already do some batching. You run by the pharmacy on your way to pick up the kids. You put in a load of laundry, get dinner going, open the mail and write out your grocery list before the garage door closed on your way in after work. But I want you to consider looking at your everyday schedule through the lenses of batching. Batching with intentionality can make a huge difference!

  • The key to batching successfully is to place items on your calendars at times that work best for you. That sounds obvious, but how many times do we “make a time work” even when it puts strain on our schedule. I know that I used to do it all the time. When you call to set up an appointment, take a minute or two to think about how you can batch it together with something else. Don’t accept the first appointment time they offer if it really does not work well for you. Think intentionally about how you can batch it with something else. You will be able to effectively batch items together when you work hard at accepting appointments at times that work best for you.
  • Batching also requires plan ahead. If we are living in “emergency mode” which is dealing with everything at the last minute when we “just gotta get it done”, it is very hard to batch intentionally. When we are in “emergency mode” we are willing to make appointments whenever THEY can fit us in. Appointments that are spread out all over your schedule can be a HUGE waste of time.
  • Batching helps with focus! Before I intentionally batched my schedule, I felt scattered. I was constantly having to start and stop what I was doing. Once I started batching items on my schedule I had time to focus on the task at hand. When the time would come for my batched appointments, I was off and running to get those all done one after another. I felt so much more clear minded!
  • We can find the same benefits in batching tasks at home and at work. Find the groove that works for you, but taking control of your time and schedule is key. If someone calls or walks into your office and wants something that is not essential at that moment, it is within your control to tell them that “I’m in the middle of something right now, can we talk in 30 minutes?” Constant interruptions take away our focus. Let’s take the control back! It’s also a good reminder that we do not have to drop everything when our kids or significant other asks something of us during the day. We love to help and serve others, but setting boundaries will help us to stay focused.

Batching is not an new concept in your life, but it is great habit worth revisiting. Always look at your calendar through the lenses of batching. Small changes in your calendar can make a big difference! Remember the  goal with batching is to free up time so that you can spend that time on what is most important to you. The goal is not to just fit more “stuff” in. We want to add more of what we love and remove the unnecessary clutter.

Make It Happen Action Step: Sometime this weekend, sit down with your calendar for the month of April and start to think about it in terms of batching. Place a post-it-note on your calendar as a reminder to batch, until it becomes a habit. Next time you set up an appointment, agree to a time that works best for YOU. At work, put a post-it-note somewhere to remind yourself to start to set boundaries with the people who “pop” into your office and want your immediate time and focus.

Here’s to making small changes in our calendars that will free up time for the things we LOVE!

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Apr 05

10 Simple Step Towards Amazing Free Time!

By Jen Regan | Planning

Many of you work hard outside of your home forty plus hours a week, giving your heart and soul to the work you do. As much as you try to leave it behind, it finds its way into your free time. Is it possible to leave work behind, enjoy your time off and jump right back in with energy when you return?

It is if you prioritize one essential habit at the end of every work week. Weekly planning! Here are 10 steps that are sure to transform both your work and your free time!

  1. Prioritize 30 minutes of uninterrupted time at the end of your work week.
  2. Use whatever system you prefer to organize your “to do” list and calendar.
  3. Dump your brain. Write down everything that needs to be added to your “to do” list and your schedule. There is a chance a few personal “to dos” will flow out with your work stuff. Make a note of it and keep dumping.
  4. Decide what tasks are most important to get done when you return to work. Use some system to prioritize them. I start with “must dos” and “wanna dos” or “must get dones” and “wanna get dones”.
  5. Look at your calendar for the next week and your current appointments. Make sure everything is documented in your system. The benefit of planning is to get everything out of your mind so you can free your mind during your time off.
  6. Block out time during your week to get the most important tasks done, your “must get dones”, giving yourself ample time to do your task and meet your deadlines.
  7. Realistically plan out your first day back to work, and have tentative plans for the rest of your week.
  8. Walk out the door at the end of your week with a plan. As work tries to intrude into your time off, remember you have a well thought out plan waiting for you at work. If other items pop into your mind that you had forgotten about, write them down immediately to release them from your brain. Bring them into work when you return.
  9. Walk back in the door of work having a plan and feeling empowered.
  10. As your work week evolves, adjust your plan daily. Try not to let others pull you too far off course. You know what you “must get done”, and it is up to you to defend the time you have set aside for them. Leave each night with a plan for the next day. Enjoy all of your time off!

REPEAT!

The goal of weekly planning is to free your mind from work “stuff” enabling you to focus on what is most important to you personally during your time off.

Having a plan for work turns your free time into:

  • Time to focus on your health and well-being!
  • Time to focus on those you care about the most!
  • Time for rest and better sleep!
  • More fun and less worry!
  • Feeling more clear minded and less scatterbrained!
  • Time to work towards your dreams!
  • So much more!

Don’t wait another week! Start weekly planning this week! It is a difference maker!

Here’s to a great plan for work and much needed down time just for you!