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Part 12. Creating a plan and mapping it out

By Pam Garcy

This part will focus upon helping you to create a plan for yourselfWhen you have a master plan, you can then create a "to do" list based upon the mini-steps to get each step accomplished.

The plan for making a plan: Start with healthy goals which are based upon integrity and ethics.

Anti-musturbatory goals with self & social interest
Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) and modern Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), talked about MUSTS. He said that people have a tendency to take what they desire and turn this desire into a demand. We go from, "I want this" to "I must have it." He nicknamed this process "musturbation", so that we could remember it easily.

Ellis said that it is good to strive toward goals that self-interested and socially-interested. In addition, he said that it is a key to achieving your goals in a psychologically healthy fashion is to be non-demanding about reaching them. He called this non-musturbatory or anti-musturbatory goal-setting.

In other words, you can tell yourself that you really want to reach your goals and that it would be good to reach them, but that even if you don't reach the exact point that you want, you can keep working at it. You can remind yourself that it will not be the end of the world if you don't reach them in the exact time-frame or at the exact level that you envisioned. It is good to set a goal and to strive toward reaching it, but there is no law out there that says that you MUST reach the goal (even if you want to reach the goal very much) or that you MUST reach the goal right away (even if you've been taking action--it may take longer than you thought).

Just keep patting yourself on the back for taking action, and take it one step at a time. Keep enjoying yourself along the way. You CAN get too married to your plan and miss out on your life. Basically, be sane about it!

So, the first part of your plan can include a commitment to staying sane and balanced along the way. Do whatever it takes to be good to yourself and others AS you reach your goals.

Paying attention to where you are so far
If you have been keeping up with the past newsletters, you probably have some ideas about the outcomes that you'd like to invite into your life. You may even have a clear and focused image that you are moving toward. Ideally, you are attending to your inner guidance along the way, and you are honoring your inclinations. You understand that things will show up in time, but that consistent action based upon inspired thought is usually the quickest path toward this outcome.

If you have not gotten to this point, it might be helpful to review the newsletters that you've received so far. Many of my readers tell me that they are taking these newsletters to their support groups and that they discuss these with their groups. I'm thrilled to hear that these are useful. If you are doing this, you might consider using the past newsletters to review. See if you're implementing what you've learned so far. If you're not implementing it, seek ideas from your support group--how have they started to do this? How do they watch out for self-criticism, for example? You might find that there is a wealth of information right under your nose!

Writing down your goal
Once you're clear about your goal, write it down. Writing it down helps to activate the part of you that DECIDES to make your goal a reality. It says, "If it is worth writing down, it is worth working on getting there."

You can write an affirmation card using the formula in the last newsletter. But, most importantly, write your goal down.

If you can find a picture or symbol that relates to this goal, make the image available to yourself. I have an image that I use as the wallpaper on my computer. It reminds me about my goal each time I turn on the computer. I also have a few affirmations that run as a marquis screensaver. I change these as needed. You can do the same or you can simply place an image of your goal on a bulletin board or picture frame near your desk. Use your creativity to find various methods of reminding yourself about your goal. One of my ex-students told me that he used to write his goal down every night before bed. Do whatever works, but at least write your goal down once!

Writing down any steps that you can think of taking right now
You don't have to have all the answers, but you probably already have some. Use your inner guidance to identify the "next steps" that you might take. Relax, then calmly ask yourself, "What are some next steps that I can take?" Pay attention to any answers which arise. Record these, even if they don't make immediate sense.

Alternatively, you can work backwards. Think of the end point that you'd like to reach. Then use your inner guidance by relaxing and asking yourself, "What is the step right before?" Write it down. Repeat this until you get to where you are right now--working backwards can help you to open your mind to steps you might not have considered when working forward.

Prioritizing your steps
Once you have a few "next steps", prioritize them. Put them in the order that seems most helpful and efficient. If you're not sure, you can turn toward your inner guidance again, asking, "Which would be best to do first? second? third?"

Writing down the mini-steps
Now you are ready to break your steps into mini-steps. Keep breaking down the mini-steps into manageable chunks until they are small enough to you that they seem easy.

Transferring the steps into your calendar
Write down these steps in your calendar. Give yourself more than enough time to complete each mini-step, so that you can feel successful rather than pressured. If you are feeling too pressured, you are not paying attention to all of the competing contingencies. Taking care of yourself means that you program yourself based upon what you CAN do. So, if it takes you 3 days to complete a mini-step, give yourself 4 days in your calendar (just in case). Give yourself cushion so that you will have plenty of time. Then, your approach will be more relaxed, calm and confident. And, you will probably complete the mini-step easily.

Scheduling in some "positive reinforcement" to keep you going
A lot of you forget this step. It is the fun part--remember it!

After you've achieved a "step", or once weekly, schedule in some positive reinforcement to keep yourself going. It is just like charging the battery on your cell phone. You can't expect it to serve you if you fail to charge it up on a regular basis.

Write down 5 healthy rewards that you can give yourself below:






Read literature of a positive nature to support you on your path
You are already doing this as an Insourcing reader. Obviously, you know that my book The Power of Inner Guidance: Seven Steps to Tune In and Turn On is there to help you too! As an Insourcing subscriber, you will sometimes receive recommendations for books and programs that I think are supportive. I find that reading is a powerful way to expand your mind and keep you motivated.

Check out websites that support you on your journey
One of my favorite sites for goal setting is practices what he preaches & has been a great support to me. I also like Mike Dooley's for daily inspirational messages--he is obviously well tuned into his inner guidance. I recently discovered a site called 43 things which helps people to form online support for their goals. There are groups available on facebook that are designed to support you. is a great site for connecting with experts in the personal development field and is another. Jack Canfield has some excellent tips about using the power of masterminding to reach goals. Stephen Chandler has great tips about staying motivated. Sites which help you to combat fear and take healthy risks in a rational manner are often most helpful--that is what I strive to do for you.

Good luck & please share your success with me! It keeps me going to hear that this is helping you.

Pam Garcy, PhD is a Psychologist and Coach in Dallas, Texas. If you'd like a partner in reaching your goals and overcoming the obstacles that seem to stand in your way, please contact Dr. Pam for coaching at Dr. Garcy offers a special 10% coaching discount to all valued subscribers of Cultivate Life and to customers of Dr. Pam's best-selling books - including the bestsellers The Power of Inner Guidance: Seven Steps to Tune In and Turn On and Wake Up Moments of Inspiration

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