The Duchess Digest: Peace through Superior Planning

“At the end of the day, what do you feel you must accomplish to have lived a life of significance?”

Catch the Rays!This question, in its simplicity, can be quite profound. It’s nothing new. It’s no earth shattering concept. It’s totally subjective and yet the answer really and truly holds the key to a happy and meaningful life. Maybe the answer for you is to be an executive of a major corporation. Maybe it’s to join the Peace Corps. Maybe it’s to build a community park, start a band, write a novel, read to children, become a pro skier or rescue llamas. It is totally up to you and your heart’s deepest desire. So I say the sky is the limit, declare the answer(s) and get ‘ye going!

However, what happens if after you discover the answer to the question and shake your groove thing on out into the world, you then lose your momentum? This is where most of us get stuck. So I’m suggesting a simple strategy that has helped me to keep my purpose in focus. Map it out. Literally. With paper and colored pens, glitter, stickers, whatever you want and whatever it takes to get it down on paper. Mapping helps me to break the big idea down into accomplishable and achievable steps (thus preventing feeling overwhelmed at my huge, audacious goal).

I love brainstorming and mapping. Maybe I was De Soto in my past like, or Captain Cook (I like to think I would’ve been one of the first to “discover” Alaska). Start with the big end goal in mind. For example, maybe your dream is to write a novel. So at the top of your paper write this end goal. Then use the power of three to break it down. For this example you’d start from “write a novel,” then you’d draw three branches stemming from it and perhaps label them “choose a topic,” “get computer with which to write novel” and “write daily”. Now break each branch down three more times. Under your “write daily” branch you could break it down into three more branches like “join writing group for motivation,” “write 30 minutes daily during lunch break” and “set aside two hours on weekends.” And so forth and so on until the goal is broken into little daily steps.

Finally I take two other important actions to increase my likelihood of success. The first is to proudly display my beautiful map somewhere visible to remind me daily of the big picture goal. Second is to use Outlook and my cell phone to their utmost and greatest potential. That means setting meeting reminders! You can set meeting reminders on your Outlook at work and/or on your cell phone to pop up daily, hourly, etc. on a reoccurring basis. This reminds you and keeps you on track for your goal. It works like a charm for helping you to remember and to stay consistent. Try these tools and start moving yourself out of a rut and into a life of purpose and meaning!

—Jill Brown

Jill Brown - Duchess GuideJill Brown is a Los Angeles, California based Life Coach and Writer. She earned her Bachelors in Humanities and Sociology from USU and is a member of the National Association for Conflict Resolution and the Ladies Who Launch Network. She is the founder of “The Duchess Guide” a website dedicated to helping women become their most fabulous and unique selves. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, traveler and health nut. When she isn’t writing or working on Duchess, Jill loves spending all her free time with her Labrador – Betty. For more on The Duchess Guide or Jill visit: