There is something fundamentally wrong with planning.
And it's got most of us get sucked into doing something that will never help our businesses.
Yet we continue to do it, without really recognizing that it's a problem
Funny thing is, there is a really old fashioned reason why planning doesn't work and it has something to do with your calendar.
It dates back to Roman Times!
Julius Cesar made January 1 the start of the year and the Gregorian calendar cemented New Years Day as that date way back in the 1500's.
That's why we tend to focus on planning in the New Year, getting ready for the 'year ahead' and mapping out our goals and strategizing our battle plans.
There is a really old fashioned reason why planning doesn't work and it has something to do with your calendar
The Trouble With Yearly Planning
Trouble is, we don't tend to keep New Year's resolutions.
We have lofty plans and dreams, we furiously fill in diaries and doodle all over whiteboards, full of hope and excitement.
But soon the diaries gather dust and the whiteboard gets cleaned off (or turned around) and we settle back into our comfortable ways, making excuses and procrastinating.
Yes we might change a few things, we might even set off with the best intentions, but it's difficult to maintain that focus for the entire year.
It's because the human brain wants to keep us safe. It dislikes being pushed outside the comfort zone.
It is far happier sticking with what it knows, than facing what is new.
The brain wants to keep us safe and is far happier sticking with what it knows, than facing what is new. Here's a test to prove it...
Does Your Brain Know Best?
Here's a test to prove your brain prefers what it knows, to doing something new:
1) Start twirling your right foot around in a clockwise direction.
2) Then, with the index finger of your right hand, draw the number 6 in the air.
Notice what happens to your foot!
You have probably been drawing the number 6 since you were a child at school, but how often do you twirl your foot around?
The brain overpowers new activity with what it knows.
In the same way, planning your entire year in January without a set process to maintain it each month makes it a pointless exercise.
The brain overpowers new activity with what it knows. That's why once a year planning quickly gets overpowered by our comfort zone.
Excitement Turns To Fear...
This once a year planning exercise is new, and it quickly gets overpowered by the comfort zone of what is normal.
In the same way to-do lists never seem to end (in fact they grow faster than you can tick things off), planning becomes a scary behemoth, scowling at you from behind that whiteboard.
Now, instead of being exciting, your planning back in January has become a nagging reminder of your failure to finish what you started.
We find ourselves in the middle of the year with our New year goals half started, uncompleted or not even begun, and less enthusiasm to do anything because we are overwhelmed by daily tasks.
Repeating the same old cycle...
Trouble is, pressure continues to mount as you know you should be ‘getting your brand out there”, scheduling social media content to generate awareness and build your profile, writing blogs, podcasting, going live on Facey….
...but now there seems to be so much to do and so little time.
Most planners end up on the shelf, out of date and mostly unused.
Then December comes around and look, there’s a bright shiny new planner you need for the New Year!
Oh and you buy a fancy pen to motivate yourself, in the false hope that you will keep up with it this time…
And the cycle repeats itself.
This is how planning becomes a scary behemoth, scowling at you from behind that whiteboard...
Here's how to make planning work:
That's why we created the Most Audacious Marketing Action Planner.
Yes it helps you plan your year, but you can start it at any time!
It's not a diary, there are no fixed days of the week. You can't fall behind.
Don't wait till January! Start NOW!
It’s a complete guide and action step management tool that helps you get clear on your brand messaging and your marketing strategy., then helps you implement it each week.
It ensures the content you create is relevant, timely and newsworthy so you can get loads more eyeballs on your sales pages, blogs, websites and social media posts.
It covers branding, marketing and publicity as well as ‘newsjacking’ current affairs and topics to keep you top of mind with your ideal audience.
And each week you get an action plan so you can throw out the to-do lists and beat the overwhelm to get 10X more done.
There are some things you can do so your planning actually works...
Here are some tips to help you with your planning to actually make it work:
1. Before you plan anything, get 100% clear on your BHAG - the Big Hairy Audacious Goal you have for the year.
This will help keep you on track as the year progresses.
2) Have a one-word brand strategy for the foundation of your marketing. This will help you choose themes each month that make sense for your audience and relates all of your marketing content back to your brand so you are consistent but also enables you to be creative.
3) Develop your brand story and bio, so you can easily respond to the opportunities that are unplanned, reducing stress and ensuring you never miss an opportunity to be seen and heard.
4) Use the planner at the start of each month to identify the opportunities to ‘newsjack’ current affairs and at the start of each week to plan ahead for the next 7 days. Then refer to it daily to check your action steps.