I admit it, I love planning and I love to plan my work and my practice!
I have a bullet journal for notes and planning that I use most days. I set it up each month so I have a sense of what my goals are.
This system helps me keep on top of my work-life balance generally, as well as keep my practice moving forward.
I think better with a pen in my hand, and when I make written notes, I am more likely to remember them.
When I was at CHE I had a Practice Planning notebook, a simple A5 notebook from Muji. I carried it around with me so I could capture any ideas for how to grow my practice.
I remember getting to the end and starting a new one by copying out the best ideas from the first notebook.
Here’s a quote I wrote inside the cover. It’s one that still resonates with me.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.Calvin Coolidge
Planning and persistence
My first career was in primary teaching and my first classroom had a blackboard and chalk.
By the time I left teaching I was using an Interactive Whiteboard for all my lessons!
As an Assistant Head Teacher, I was part of a leadership team that had to plan and implement change and innovation at a whole school level.
Planning and persistence were the foundation of my work as a teacher and it’s helped me so much in my work as a homeopath too.
I have a ‘word’ to guide me each year, and I write it at the front of each journal.
One journal lasts me around 4 months, and I start new ones in January, May, and September each year.
Quarterly (or termly) goals are built on a simple pen-and-paper exercie. You could call it a Practice Audit.
This is partly looking at data, and partly developing strategy.
I start with a review of my client list and think about what types of cases I’ve seen, and how they are going.
I total my numbers, my income, my outgoings, and my overall ‘wins’.
I ask myself what I can learn from my review.
I look for patterns beyond the obvious.
I consider what I need to stop doing, start doing, and where I need to adjust.
I make a note of any insights in my journal so I can refer back to it when I plan for the coming months.
This is how bullet journaling helps me stay on track with my goals.
I make time for a weekly review which helps me be organised as well as strategic.
7 tips to help you plan your practice
Here’s what I’ve learned from 15 years of practice planning.
- Plan each day the evening before. If you know what you are doing, you’re less likely to get ‘derailed’ by other people’s demands and priorities. Block out time for different types of work.
- Start a bullet journal. Use it for all plans, notes, and reflections. You can do this very simply. No special tools or drawing skills are needed! See the end of this post for my favourite resources.
- Make time for a weekly review. Even half an hour is valuable. Sit with your journal, and your calendar and think back a couple of weeks, look forward a couple of weeks. Sift through your commitments and get organised! Recognise your accomplishments, no matter how small. Notice where you got stuck, and think about what you would do differently next time.
- Don’t spread yourself too thin! Focus on one or two goals per quarter, break them down into smaller actionable steps, and block out some time to do them each month. Big goals take a while, so give yourself some smaller, more achievable ones too.
- Don’t compare yourself to other people. This can be really demoralising. Focus on your own path, and celebrate your own wins.
- Find someone you trust to be your cheerleader. This could be a colleague, your supervisor, another friend in business, or a coach or mentor. The Radiant Business courses I offer always have the loveliest people join. (Just saying…)
- Try free-writing. I highly recommend morning pages at least a few days per week, and maybe even work through The Artist’s Way or The Artist’s Way at Work to help with confidence and self-growth.
Best bullet journal resources
I’m always being asked for Bullet Journal Resources, so here they are all in one place!
Minimalist journal layouts are a great intro on the Little Ray of Sunshine blog
I hope this article has given you some ideas and inspiration for how to plan your practice.