*Back to School*

plans
I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true. The more you apply structure to your life, the more plans you put in place, the more relaxed you’re going to feel. It’s comforting to sketch out an idea of what’s going to happen, and know what steps to take.
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That’s why this pandemic, in part, has left us feeling so awful. There’s so much uncertainty, and everything keep shifting, so why bother making plans? Sometimes the changes happen so rapidly, we can feel like our head is spinning. We feel out of control. It feels terrible. I get it. I’m with you. It’s hard.
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This is precisely why I’m coaching every single client — not just the ones with kids at home — to make *back to school* plans. Fall is coming, whether we like it or not. No amount of wishing it wasn’t, or waiting for something concrete to fall into place is going to change the fact that time marches on no matter what. Look, I know it’s still August, but don’t tell me your fall dread isn’t beginning to bubble up. Have you ever avoided opening a bill because you were afraid of the contents? I get it if so, but the thing is that the info inside that envelope is the same, whether you open it or not. Better to know what you’re dealing with and make a plan.
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Of course these plans must be flexible. Most good plans are, even when not during a pandemic. Having some idea of where you want to go is a profound anchor. And having even a tiny, yet profound, anchor is major. I cannot underscore how much of a life-line this can be.
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Since we can’t exactly lock in the perfect plan right now, here are some ways to get started. Start high level, and come up with three broad contingency plans. Get out a pen and paper, and just brainstorm. Dump onto the page every idea about how to structure the fall so it’s as much of a winner as possible for you. If you have kids, and don’t yet have clarity on how they will attend school, write down every idea you have had or heard of. How will you manage your work schedule? Start with one idea, and I assure you as you are writing, more will come. Write them all down before you judge them (Brainstorming 101!). Just get all the ideas for what’s possible out and on the page. It’s calming to get all that chatter out of your brain. (If you’re struggling to get started with this, download my worksheet HERE.)
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In addition to what you hope for and want, be sure to also reflect on what didn’t work in the spring. Did all structure and routine go out the window? Did you have a lot of conflict in the house? Were you able to take care of yourself? Set Boundaries? Get listened to? And if you have kids, were you able to find age-appropriate ways for them to be independent, to help around the house, to give you a bit of room to work or even just to think? If not, write down what you would like to be different in the fall. (We all agree that the pandemic ending is one of them  :)).
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I will be going deeper on this on my blog and over on social, but starting big like this, getting an idea of what will and won’t work means you can begin to frame out possibilities and PLANS. Try it. Let me know if you don’t find it even a teensy bit freeing.
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