This is a really common question, especially amongst mid-level professionals. You have done ok up until now without a plan. Things have been going well and you have been progressing as quickly as you wanted and in the right direction. But the question usually comes up as people start telling…
Are your rocks in order?
I am in Byron Bay at the moment. It’s one of my happy places and it’s been made all the better by having one of my best friends Michelle McQuaid up here with me for a few days. We are busy planning some amazing new things that I cannot wait to share with you (hint: they are going to totally rock).
While we are here chilling, dreaming and scheming, we have come up with some pretty huge ideas – things that can really be life changing and world changing. Plans that will fulfill our need to give back to the world, make a difference for the women in it, and also fuel the dreams we have for our own work. It is incredibly exciting to be able to dream and plan on this scale, and to know that we can actually make these things happen.
While it is such fun and so invigorating to visualise at this level, at some point, much as I hate to say it, you have to come back to reality, and look at not just what you want to do, but how you will actually do it. If you don’t, you run the risk of staying up in the lofty heights, and losing the grounding you need to actually make things happen.
I thought of this when I got up yesterday, after going to bed filled with big dreams and along with them, a lingering sense of overwhelm. With this in mind, when I was on my morning walk, I picked up two sets of black rocks from the collection that are always scattered along the shore line on main beach.
The first rock is a tiny little one. It represents the immediate program we are building, and it is the first step in our grand plan. It is totally cool and we are beyond excited about it.
The second rock is medium sized, and represents what the program will look like as it grows into all it can be.
The third rock is a large one, representing the bigger initiative we are dreaming about that will evolve as our program evolves and we can expand into the broader dream we have.
And lastly, I picked up two huge big rocks (think paper weight size). These represent for us the world changing, epic adventure we are on and just how big we can grow our idea and how many lives we can impact as we do.
When I got back to the apartment I laid them out on the table and called Michelle in. As I pointed to each rock I told her what I thought they represented. As she nodded, looking excited, she pointed at the first one and said, that is year one. She then said that the medium rock is year 3, the large rock is years 4-5 and the massive rock years 7-10. I looked at them and this felt right – the right timing to get done what we want to do now and to grow into what is to come.
As this all sunk in the feeling of overwhelm I had had the night before, when we went from the program to the world changing idea in one giant leap, without stopping to see just how to get our arms or heads around it, dissolved. We have a place to start, and a direction to grow. We know what the next year looks like, and we know the ultimate vision. And we know enough about ourselves and each other to allow the path to be organic, because we know that planning it out too rigorously will only squash whatever plan the universe could have in store for us.
And most importantly, it feels right.
So I ask you today as you look at what you have on your plate right now, and what you may be dreaming about for the future, to think about this;
How many rocks do you have?
What sizes are they?
What do they represent?
What is the timing for your rocks?
How does this feel?
Getting clear on this is really important when you look at your goals and your dreams. Chunking things down so that they are bite size not only means you can achieve them, but it also leaves space for other things to grow and bloom. And it means you stay out of that debilitating feeling of overwhelm that can stop you in your tracks before you even begin.
We are both going to put our rocks on our desks back home, so we have a daily reminder of where we are, where are headed, and the size of the impact along the way.
What will you do to keep yourself on track? Think about that and make a plan for your dreams today.
Do you know someone who could use some help with their dreams and plans? Do a random act of kindness and share this post.