Passion Planning Tools, Tips, & Community

A couple weeks ago I wrote about four steps to embracing your passions:

  1. Brainstorm how you want to incorporate each passion into your lifestyle, ie: Passion: Food, eat healthy, learn new cuisine, etc.
  2. Make a plan of the different ways in which you’ll live your passions more fully, ie: Learn new cuisine: subscribe to food blogs that match cuisine, look for a local cooking class, pick a cookbook and try every recipe, etc. 
  3. Set a timeline for when you want to begin living your passionate lifestyle
  4. Work it! Start working on your plans now, learn what works and what needs to be tweaked. Make changes where necessary.

And then I gave everyone an assignment, to sit down and brainstorm their passions and make a plan as to how they want to incorporate their passions into their lifestyle. Did you participate in the assignment? How did you do? If you still have questions you can always send me an email.

Failing to plan, is planning to fail. – Alan Lakein

This morning I realised that telling you guys to ‘make a plan’ may have been too general. While some of you were good to go, others may have thought, ‘And how do I do that?!’. So I’m scaling back and talking a little more in-depth about planning before moving forward.

Giving Planning a KISS

Growing up my Dad would talk about how I should KISS more. Not in the way you’re thinking! KISS is an acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid. It’s a fabulous acronym, well for me at least. I have a tendency to think big. Like really, really big. While that is not an entirely bad thing, it does make it rather difficult to make realistic goals and plans, unless I give those plans a KISS and break them down into simple steps.

Designing a passionate lifestyle is a really big goal. In essence, you are re-shaping your current lifestyle, adding in new components, and giving some love to forgotten ones. While it’s easy to dream about having a passionate lifestyle, if you want to actually obtain that lifestyle you’ll need a plan. And if you want to be successful without going insane first, you’ll need a realistic and manageable plan. You’ll need to give your passions a big KISS!

Simplify Your Planning

Pretend you’re in biology class and you’re being graded on a dissection. In order to achieve a high mark, you need to be precise, concentrated and focused. The same goes for designing a passionate lifestyle. In order to be successful, you need to be precise, concentrated and focused. And the first step to achieving that success is creating a simple and manageable plan.

1. Break everything down into steps

You may end up with two, three, or four tiers, and that is totally okay! Whatever it takes to make your plan manageable and not daunting. If your plans are daunting, you will not be successful!!

Example…

Passion: Food

  • Cook from home
  • Learn a new cuisine
    • French cuisine (contemporary & traditional)
      • Follow 3-5 French Chefs on Twitter, and subscribe to their websites if they have one. (Start NOW)
      • Buy a cookbook by a well-known French or French-Canadian Chef and master every dish inside. Blog about it. Yummy!! (Ahem, Santa!)
      • Look for local French cooking classes to help with my learning.
      • Create a Pinterest board to pin ideas, recipes, chef profiles etc. (Start NOW!)

If you’re a list-lover, draw a checkbox beside each step and make a point of checking your steps off as you complete them to keep yourself motivated.

2. Talk About Your Plan

I know this will sound odd but talk about your plan out loud. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, or when you’re alone in the shower, talk about your plans out loud. Vocalising your plans is another way of committing to them and staying focused. It’s also a way to discover flaws and areas for improvement.  I don’t know about you, but I get some of my best ideas while I’m in the shower, or talking to myself in the car.

3.Review DAILY!

Another key to successfully designing a passionate lifestyle is to review your plan on a daily basis. Every morning pull out your detailed plan and review it. Look for things you can check off, and it you need to add a step or two, do it. At the end of the day review your plan again. Has anything changed? Can you check off some of your steps? Should you add something to make your plan easier?

Online Planning/Productivity Tools

Over the last couple weeks I have been playing around with various online planning tools and I thought I would share three of my favourites with you. While I think everyone needs to write their plan on paper, a digital copy that you can access when you’re on the go is valuable as well.

Trello logo Trello is a super simple planning and productivity tool. Trello has recently re-vamped their design to be more ‘Pinterest-y’ in the sense that you can create boards. Each board you create will have three columns: To Do, Doing, and Done.

Trello is FREE to join and you can add as many team members as you wish. There is also a Trello app so you can have access to your boards whenever you wish.

Evernote logo

Evernote is another very handy tool for planning. Evernote allows you to create notebooks; which is useful for writing out a digital version of your plan. The nice thing with Evernote is that you can also import a photo, video, and audio files. I use Evernote as a collection space for my passionate lifestyle plans. When I’m online and find something that I want to use or remember, I move it into my passionate lifestyle notebook on Evernote.

Evernote is FREE to join and there is also an app!

basecamp logo

Basecamp has been getting a lot of attention as one of the best planning and productivity tools available online. Basecamp makes project planning simple, and yes, designing a passionate lifestyle is definitely a project! This is probably my favourite online tool. Basecamp is FREE to join, but if you want to manage 10 or more projects on Basecamp you’ll need to pay $20/mth. There is also a FREE app that you can download.

Online Community

Collaboration is one of the best ways for us to stay inspired and motivated. There will be challenges and bumps in the road while you design your passionate lifestyle, and even as you start to live that lifestyle. It’s a part of life, a way to overcome a challenge, strengthen one’s character, and grow. Collaboration. That is another key to success.

 

About The Author

I'm a travel writer and photographer who specializes in bespoke travel experiences. I write about boutique, savvy and cultural travel. My writing has been featured in Outpost Magazine, Travel + Escape, and UP! Magazine.

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