By Rebecca Cummings, Lawyer and Strategic Planning Coach
How do you decide what to do first when you get up in the morning? How does a task make it to the top of your list at work? Are you giving your time, energy and attention to the items that are screaming with urgency and are priorities for other people around you, or are you devoting yourself to the items that you have decided are most important in helping you achieve your dreams?
Many busy professionals wake up to an alarm, roll over and pick up the phone, and start reading email. The most disciplined among us may fit in a workout or a healthy breakfast before beginning to return phone calls and deal with the onslaught of opportunities to put out fires and keep a zillion balls in the air for another day. Our to-do list – if we have time to write one – begins with items that are urgent because someone else is counting on us to make the next move. There is little time for reflection and no opportunity to think beyond the immediate and near.
At the end of the year, we may find that we have not made any significant progress towards our dreams. We may even find that we put our dreams in a box, and the box is hidden behind other boxes in the corner of our office, and we only even see our dreams once a year when we are looking through boxes for our holiday decorations.
How do we stop working on what is urgent to other people, and begin to work on what is important to us? By creating a Personal Strategic Plan. Creating a written document gives power and commitment to your plan. Creating a strategic plan means that you start with your dreams and work backwards to write your own mission, goals and measurable objectives all with your dreams in mind. Your to-do list will suddenly reflect your values and priorities, and your first action in the morning might be something other than looking at email that arrived over night.
CREW Leadership classes spend about seven hours creating their written Personal Strategic Plan. With one-on-one guidance, it can be done in about half that time. Working with women in commercial real estate, I have seen many tears of joy from new husbands and new commitments to current relationships, new jobs, new travel and intentional time for spiritual growth and physical health.
Give yourself the gift of time to dream, and plan to make those dreams your reality.
Rebecca Cummings is an expert in wills, trusts and estates, as well as a dynamic speaker, facilitator, and business development coach. Rebecca spent a decade as an entrepreneur and founder of a small law firm before becoming a partner in one of the most respected estate planning groups in Atlanta. In 2015 she established her own firm, RGC LLC to make expert legal advice more affordable for middle class people, and in 2016 she began offering professional fiduciary services for Georgia estates and trusts. She is past president of the Georgia Association for Women Lawyers, and she has given hundreds of workshops, presentations and keynote speeches to companies and organizations such as Coca Cola, the CDC, Emory, the Fiduciary Law Section of the State Bar of Georgia and CREW, on topics as diverse as Georgia’s trust code, running effective meetings, and successful negotiation strategies. Rebecca returns year after year to facilitate strategic planning retreats for organizations that value her ability to create fun and productive multi-day planning sessions for their employees and volunteers. She is affiliated with Novateur Partners, an Atlanta-based consulting, training and coaching company.
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