Everything starts with an idea. As we are generating ideas, they need to be written down where they can be seen. Each idea can be written on a 3X5 card or a piece of paper cut into smaller pieces or even a post–it note. Do this on a table or poster paper. Generate as many ideas as possible and do not judge them. Even bad ideas are okay.
So what do you brainstorm? First brainstorm what is happening now. Get all the formation out there. Maybe you will want to do this privately if some of the information is sensitive.
Next brainstorm what you would like for your world to look like. Dream some, but be realistic.
In the brainstorming process, you can include the eight categories of life; physical, mental, social, family, financial, spiritual, hobby, and career. Using categories will allow you to cover the whole spectrum and also generate many more ideas.
Thinking means evaluating each of the ideas as to being worthy and appropriate. You actually did a lot of this during the brainstorming, but this now becomes intentional. Think of the intended consequences and unintended consequences that each idea represents. Evaluate costs, and the impact of each idea on your life. It is at this time that you begin to prioritize the items you have written down. This is the reason for using 3X5 cards. If doing this on a tabletop, you can just slide the cards around. If you used the eight categories, prioritize each category first. Then you can easily decide which idea is the most important out of all the categories. So in the end, you will have a categorized list that has been prioritized. This alone will give you a good feeling of being in control of your life.
With the list of priorities, take the top seven or so and create an action plan for each. The easiest way to effectively do this is to use the concept of Start-Stop-Continue. Write the name of each idea or goal at the top of a page. Use a separate page for each goal. If you were to pick your top idea, what would you need to start doing to accomplish this goal? What would you need to Stop doing, and what would you need to continue that will allow you success? This approach is very easy and it allows for adjustments at any time.
We all get results. Some results are just worse than others. But when a plan exists, life gets better. We feel better, we accomplish more, and we get a rhythm in life that takes us beyond where we would normally end up. Remember the saying “Plan your work, work your plan”. Goal Setting really is a great motivator. I have seen people with volumes of notebooks of goals accomplished. It makes you think “what can we not do”?
So give this approach a shot. You might find that you are off like a rocket.