Five Key Planning Tips

I haven't written in a while and what I want to share today is tips I have on planning. I'm very good in planning and I believe in t...

I haven't written in a while and what I want to share today is tips I have on planning. I'm very good in planning and I believe in the saying of 'if you fail to plan, you plan to fail'.

But why bother?
I come across people with different views of planning. Some people see the diary planner as a guide to life. Some people don't like it - they see it as annoying, too much hard work, why bother etc. My favourite reason why people hate planning is this - it limits my freedom of what I want to do with my time, I want to be spontaneous!

Planning shouldn't be a tool to limit us but for us to have a clear mind on how we can set milestones for ourselves in what we want to achieve. I cannot imagine a president of any country not having a planner of some form in what he wants to achieve for the country.

If you don't have anything you want to achieve, then it's best to look at your bucket list. Is there anything on your bucket list that you want to do and haven't done yet?

If you are now have the slightest interest in planning or just want to improve your organisation in planning, here are my five key planning tips:

1. Work backwards:
Set an achievable timeline to when you want to achieve a particular goal. Is it a few weeks, a few months or a few years? The goal should use the SMART criteria.




Then work backwards to set the milestone you would need to achieve every week or every month. It should look something like this, as an example:

2. Be flexible:
Schedule time in between to take into account travel holidays / social time or family time / work. The plan may also change for unexpected circumstances, for example if you fall sick or a friend unexpectedly comes to visit. The thing to bear in mind is to not try to get the right plan but update it when changes are needed.

3. Have a plan buddy:
I find this works for me when I just really want to procrastinate! (especially when my work exams are around the corner). Work together with someone that can hold you to account weekly, so that you would be motivated to stick to your plan.

4. Remind yourself why this goal is important to you:
It can get quite frustrating when sometimes we just want to kick back and not do a thing (or for myself, just roll up in bed and watch a movie). Why is this goal important to you? Ask yourself this question at least three times and it would lead to the bigger picture that you want to fulfill. For example:


5. Track your progress:
Track your progress every week or every month to discover what you have accomplish and how you are one step closer to the goal. It's also a way to acknowledge yourself that you have made some effort! You can also reward yourself when you have done particularly well.

That's all from me for now! In the future, I would really like to share the different ways of planning and the different planners available in the market. 


Till next time,
Jia

Moments of Life #3 – Dave Rindl, Fundraising Manager for The Hunger Project UK

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?  I was born and brought up in England. I think of myself as a global citizen, partly as I h...



1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

I was born and brought up in England. I think of myself as a global citizen, partly as I have a very mixed heritage background. I have an elder sister, and we had a golden retriever dog growing up – I love dogs!!! I worked as a chef and owned a catering company, and was also a staff member for Landmark, running the Customer Service, or Registration Fulfillment Department. I’m now working as an independent coach, consultant and trainer, and I also work three days per week for The Hunger Project UK. I have been involved in the Hunger Project for 30 years and in the autumn of 2014, I launched a campaign with the intention to raise £1,000,000 and to increase public awareness about world hunger.

One day, the Director of The Hunger Project UK invited me to work with them. I have been brought on board to build connections with companies who want to invest in The Hunger Project to end world hunger and to also engage individuals, both newly and past supporters. In the campaign, people take on doing challenges – athletic and non-athletic - to raise money.

The work of the Hunger Project is about empowering people to end their own hunger. We are engaging people to think about their life, empowering them to transform their life and the way they relate to themselves and each other.

2. What's your passion in life? 

I have a few passions in life. I’m passionate about enabling people to engage in fulfilling their dreams, to cause extraordinary results in the world. At a personal level, amongst other things, I’m passionate about food and cooking. I’m passionate about my relationship with my family and my friends. I’m passionate about being passionate.

3. What would you say was the most memorable and inspiring moment of your life? 

There are quite a few such moments and I know I’ll continue to have more in the future. Two of them are our wedding day and the day I completed the EST training (the course that existed before the Landmark Forum got created).

When I was younger, while I dreamt of getting together with someone and having a life with them, I didn’t think that was possible for me. I got bullied in school, and I didn’t have a great conversation in my head about myself at all. After the EST training, I felt more able to let people know how I feel about them. I just wanted to let someone into my life to love. I’m glad to now have someone in my life with whom I have an extraordinary partnership – and there have been ups and downs.

Another one would be my first marathon. I didn’t think I could complete it when I started, and I took six hours to complete it. My wife rode a bike by my side telling me that she loves me for the whole of the second half.

Interviewer's note: Truly 'no filter'!

Some other inspiring and memorable moments would be when people thanked me that I have made a difference in their life or when we celebrated my sister’s 60th birthday, and I created something special for her. There are quite a few other memorable and inspiring moments. I know I’ll continue to have more in the future.

4. What's the toughest period you had when pursuing your passion? How did you overcome it? What did you learn from it?  

In my teens particularly and as a young man, I found it really tough being me. 

People responded me in a certain way, and I experienced their response as tough to handle. I don’t think it’s very different from a lot of teenagers when we try to find our place in life or finding our feet. I was desperately unhappy for quite a lot of the time as a teenager.

There are also the tough times where I have to give everything to accomplish something. There was one time when I was working in the Customer Service Department in Landmark Worldwide; we had people coming from Netherlands, and they wanted to quit the course before coming to London. I gave everything I had on the calls and each of them got something in their life and came.

5. What's a personal breakthrough you had in a relationship, eg. with a family member or friend or other half? What did you discover about the relationship or yourself that was the turning point for the breakthrough to happen?

A personal breakthrough I had was being straightforward with telling people what I want, including with my other half. 

My automatic inclination is to be nice with people and not upset them. I would adjust what I want to make it okay with someone. I still do occasionally!

6. What's next for you? 

Expanding the Hunger Project in the UK and exceeding our targets. Our target is to have a big team of people participating in and supporting our work on the ground in our programme countries. I’m also relaunching my business as an independent coach to bring in personal clients. I want to work with people who are up for extraordinary results and want coaching to accomplish something beyond what they see is possible. I also have some personal challenges in restoring my health so that I can start doing the triathlons.

If you want to find out more about Dave, you can check him out here: his LinkedIn profile 

Photo credits: First photo - Nick Elvery, Second photo - Dave Rindl

Moments of Life #2 – Tanausu Herrera, Independent Consultant in Health and Well-being

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? I was born in The Canary Islands. I moved to London at the age of 19, attracted by its mu...





1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in The Canary Islands. I moved to London at the age of 19, attracted by its multicultural society and creative scene. I studied photography, which led me to assist various fashion photographers around the world. These trips allowed me to meet people from all walks of life from poor villagers in rural India, rich businessmen in luxurious Dubai, to burnt out barmen in the Miami club scene. These encounters expanded my child-like curiosity in observing human behaviour and developed my desire to make a difference to people.

2. What's your passion in life?

I love photography that can reveal emotional embodiment of people beyond what's visible. This exploration of personal identities transcends age, social status and gender. It highlights the importance of embracing and sharing all that we truly are with the rest of the world. By doing so, we are able to serve the world in ways that we never knew were possible. (Instagram)



At the core within me, there is a driving force to help others to achieve their goals, to flourish and be happy. I have a business in health and well-being to help others in achieving their dreams and making healthier choices. If you look closer at the average person today, he is likely to be living a life he is not truly happy and excited about. After subtracting out the time for our daily tasks, almost all of us don't have more than one or two hours each day to do what we love to do. And if we had the time, would we have the money to do it? I discovered a simple way for people to learn how to own their life by building home-based businesses. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing people thrive and transform their lives.

3. What would you say was the most memorable and inspiring moment of your life? 

On 29th January 2012, I had a spiritual awakening that completely altered my entire existence. It was the single most profound and amazing experience I have ever had. Although it is hard to explain with words what happened, I really got connected with the nature of being through silent contemplation in a park behind where I lived, in south-east London.



I got a huge sense of expansion - there was no end to where I started and ended or what the world was. There was no separation, a moment of unity with everything, which gives me a massive shift in consciousness. 
 It lasted for about 3 minutes I think or maybe an hour. I lost sense of time. My mind was totally still and tears of joy rolled down my cheeks. There was incredible love all around. It was magical. It felt more real than anything I felt before. It felt like I was home. I was in a state of joy and bliss for over a month after that experience.

During this time, I ate very little. I was not hungry. I was just full of life and love. It's weird how nourished I felt without actually eating.  I remember looking at a chicken breast that I had in my fridge and my whole body rejected it. I looked at it and cried a lot. There it was, the flesh of a sentient being just like me that was born in this miracle called life, a fellow earthling that had every right to live a free life and ended up as food for me? It was in absolute disparity with the immense love and connection I just experienced. There and then, I turned Vegan. I moved to the countryside to be in contact with nature. A friend invited me to go to a big agricultural show in the countryside and for the first time ever, I could feel what the animals were going through - their resignation, boredom and exhaustion. That awakening at the beginning of 2012 was the most amazing moment in my life and at times when I get present to the beauty around me and the miracle of life, I get a rush of joy and wonder that electrify my whole body.



4. What's the toughest period you had when pursuing your passion? How did you overcome it? What did you learn from it? 

As an artist in London, the toughest period was when the money didn't come and I had to adapt to whatever the circumstances were and kept on going. I have been made homeless on a few occasions, lived with friends while unable to contribute to their costs, battled with addictions, anorexia and bulimia, survived being hungry.  

The trick is to never give up, to still persevere and be focused on exactly what is my passion, to not lose sparkle and become bitter or angry with the world. After all, the mere fact of being alive is a privilege and a miracle and that needs to be realised on a daily basis.  

I believe if you truly help others, you will always be in harmony with happiness. If you spend your life focused on yourself only, you may have set yourself for a miserable life. Living like that is living from a place of scarcity, not in alignment with abundance of love, joy and happiness.  

5. What's a personal breakthrough you had in a relationship, eg. with a family member or friend or other half? What did you discover about the relationship or yourself that was the turning point for the breakthrough to happen?

The biggest breakthrough may have been with my father. I didn't speak to him for over 15 years after a massive argument. After I did the Landmark forum, I got the courage to call him and thank him for all the things that he taught me as a child. He opened my eyes to always question everything in life and not accept the status quo. A few days later, he had a heart attack and died, which to me was a way that he was finally at peace and could let go. I was sad when I heard the news of his passing but deep in my heart, I heard him say, 'Thank you. I love you. As long as you keep me in your heart, I will always be alive in you.' At times, I cry remembering all the lovely people that I have lost in my life. I stay still and hold them in my heart in the space of love where I feel warmth surrounding me. I find that very healing and comforting.

6. What's next for you? 

I'm expanding my businesses, developing myself and creating art. I'm looking forward to meeting more people, to help them be in contact with their true self and discover what stops them to live a life they truly love. I want to continue supporting people in growing their business to have more time, more money and life skills.  

I want to encourage them to walk out of the door with confidence because they feel beautiful to live their best life.  After all, we only have this life to live. We must live it to our fullest potential in harmony by seizing opportunities and turning our can'ts into cans and our dreams into plans.  


If you want to find out more about Tanausu, you can check him out here: Arbonne Independent Consultant and his Instagram

Photo credits: First photo - Nick Elvery, Other photos - Tanausu Herrera 

Review #1 - Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown

Brene Brown is a research professor who has spent more than 10 years researching on a range of topics, including vulnerability, courage, w...



Brene Brown is a research professor who has spent more than 10 years researching on a range of topics, including vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.

Summary of the Video:

People often think that being vulnerable is a sign of weakness, which results in shame in ourselves. Brene Brown explained that we are ashamed because we think we are not worthy of connection if someone finds out about our weaknesses. What's underlying this feeling is our belief that 'I am not good enough'.

"Being authentic is when we let go of who we thought we should be and be who we truly are."
How we often deal with vulnerability is we numb vulnerability. The bad news is we can't selectively numb our emotions. We can't numb vulnerability, fear, sadness and other negative emotions while still experiencing joy and happiness. There are a few ways we numb our emotions:

- We are addicted in drinking, eating, shopping and so on.
- We make the uncertain CERTAIN. We conclude on topics and don't encourage further discussion. We blame people. For example, we decide our judgement on people around us.
- We train our children to be hardwired for struggle. We teach them how to 'win' in life but we don't teach them how to enjoy life.
- We pretend. We pretend what we do does not have an effect on others. We pretend that when we lie, no one would find out.

Ironically, to be vulnerable also means being alive, being able to feel the emotions, the good and the bad. So, allow ourselves to be seen for who we truly are, love with our whole heart even when we may get rejected and lastly, believe that we are enough.


Review:


Brene Brown mentioned two phrases that got my interest to look up the Oxford Dictionary. (definition chosen in the context of this video)

1. Vulnerable - Being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or heard emotionally.
2. Whole-hearted - Showing or characterized by complete sincerity and commitment.

As human beings, we are not hardwired to be vulnerable, we are not taught at a young age that connection is important to us. In ancient times, we used to be hunters staying in the caves where survival is essential. Even as of now, while we no longer stay in caves or fight for our survival, our autopilot mode teaches us to survive. We have automatic reflex system to get us out of danger. However, living life as a robot no longer give us our life purpose.

"Life purpose is important to give us meaning to our life, to bring us the joy and fulfillment we want."

When she said that we numb our emotions by perfecting ourselves, I could relate to that. I'm a perfectionist and I hate seeing any flaws in the work I do or in myself. I have low tolerance of myself making mistakes. What's underlying all that is that I don't think I'm good enough YET, at least not to the level that I want to in my head. There's always somewhere to get to, some milestones to achieve.

"Being enough is also being ourselves, giving permission to ourselves to be perfect and imperfect at the same time. "

Being true to ourselves gives us so much freedom in life. It's the expectations that we have for ourselves or expectations that we think others have of us that burden us. It gradually gets more and more tiring as we accumulate these expectations.

However, being true to ourselves also takes courage. Are we not afraid of being judged? Yes, we do! And that's when vulnerability comes in. When we are vulnerable, we may not get it right, we may look really really bad. Yet, we get to fully express ourselves, we get to experience life in so many different dimensions.



Here's an extra thought. Though this video gathered more than 20 million views, in her next video "Listening to Shame", she talks about how she thought the first video was a bad idea. That's when I got that no matter how brilliantly we do, we are always going to diminish the value of our own accomplishments!

Moments of Life #1 – Lucy Williams, photographer, starter of the Bags of Kindness

1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? I'm Lucy. I'm 43. I’m originally from South Wales. I grew up in a small village ...


1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm Lucy. I'm 43. I’m originally from South Wales. I grew up in a small village and I now live in North London. I’m a full time photographer.



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