Episode 310: [PLANNING SERIES] The 3 Month Commitment + Why It Matters

Episode 310: [PLANNING SERIES] The 3 Month Commitment + Why It Matters

Power Planning will get you out of your own way in your business and have you doing the deep perfectionism work you need to do – all while you’re doing more of what matters than ever before (in less time and with less overthinking). But it won’t work for you if you give up on it prematurely.

The habit of giving up too soon is one of the main reasons you’re not where you want to be in your business. Most perfectionists want overnight, struggle-free, push-of-a-button success and we quit when we don’t get it. We feel disheartened, discouraged and inadequate – when really, we just hadn’t tried for long enough. 

Making the Three Month Commitment to Power Planning matters. You won’t feel like it’s working after a week or two – and that’s the whole point…

The closer we are to being in the growth mindset, the easier it is to get out of our own way in your business – no hustling, willpower or ‘pushing through’ required. The very act of Power Planning will coax you out of your perfectionism. And the fact that Power Planning won’t ‘work’ instantly is what allows this to happen. 

The Three Month Commitment might just be the missing ingredient in your business. And I share how it works (and what not to do) in today’s episode…

In This Episode You’ll Learn:

  • How I discovered the power of the Three Month Commitment
  • Why the Three Month Commitment makes it easier to get out of your own way
  • What making the Three Month Commitment does NOT mean
  • How not to be all-or-nothing about your Three Month Commitment
  • Signs you’re making progress with Power Planning during the first three months
  • What to expect after three months of Power Planning

Featured In The Episode:

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As part of my series to help you plan properly as a perfectionist I’m talking about what the Three Month Commitment is, how it’ll help you get out of your own way and why you need to make it in order for Power Planning to work.


Hi and welcome to another episode of The Perfectionism Project, a podcast full of perfectionism advice for entrepreneurs. My name is Sam Laura Brown, I help entrepreneurs release their perfectionism handbrake, so they can get out of their own way and build a fulfilling and profitable business. I’m the founder of the perfectionist getting shit done group coaching program, which is otherwise known as PGSD. And for even more perfectionism advice to help you with your business, you can follow me on Instagram @perfectionismproject.

Okay, so this is the fourth episode in the five part series that I’m sharing in this podcast about how to plan properly as a perfectionist. So in the first episode, in this series, we covered procrasti-planning and how that differs from planning properly as a perfectionist. In the second part of this series, I covered the power planning method exactly what that looks like. Then in the third part, Michelle and I talked about how to power plan amidst distractions, uncertainty, disruptions. And then in this one, I’m going to be talking to you about the three month commitment. This is a really important piece of power planning and planning properly as a perfectionist. And the next part, I’m going to be talking to you about the full process for getting out of your own way and how power planning fits into that.

So let’s talk about the three month commitment. This is probably the most important part of this series in a lot of ways, because without this three month commitment, you’re really not going to be able to plan properly as a perfectionist. And trust me, if it could be a one week commitment, or a one month commitment. That would be great. I would definitely be selling you on that. But it needs to be a three month commitment that you make to power planning.

And I’m going to be sharing a lesson that I learned from yoga, this is really how the three month commitment came about. So that you can see how we can make such a difference, where instead of approaching to say like, Okay, I’m gonna stop power planning, and I’m going to give it a try and fingers crossed, I hope it works. And then you start trying it. And so the first week you do power planning just a heads up, you’re going to do it in the way that you would when your perfectionism HandBrake is fully on, you haven’t yet learned how to release that. That’s what power planning teaches you how to do. So you’re going to over plan, you’re going to put a lot in your calendar, you are going to basically be treating yourself as if you’re a robot who doesn’t need to eat or sleep or whatever.

It’s kind of a rite of passage that your first attempt at power planning will look like that. And so you will be probably getting to the Wednesday or Thursday that week. You won’t be following through with your plans, you’ll be thinking, Oh my God, how the fuck is this different to anything else that I’ve ever done, this isn’t working, you’ll be judging, should I keep going? Should I maybe just go back to my to do list method? Even though I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be. That was better than this. And what I want to invite is that you give power planning a three month commitment, so that you are able to stick with it for long enough to actually get a true picture of whether or not it’s going to work for you. Because when we are judging it prematurely, especially when we’re in this mindset of needing instant gratification. And we aren’t able to be with messiness, and we aren’t able to be with learning new things like we want to be advanced from the beginning, instead of just letting ourselves be a beginner. We’re in that mindset, it’s so easy, whether it’s a planning method or anything else, to judge it as not working, to judge it as a waste of effort. When we’re in this fixed mindset that perfectionists have, we see effort as a sign of inadequacy.

So we’re constantly trying to figure out is this a waste of effort? Is this a waste of effort? And of course, when we approach something with that mindset, we end up doing it in a way that makes it a waste of effort, because we don’t go all in and we never really give it a full chance to work.

It’s also very challenging when we’re starting something new, and we are just planning to do it indefinitely. It’s a lot for our brains to handle and to come to terms with. We already don’t like doing new things as humans, like our brain sees that as unsafe. So when we say hey, we’re going to do this new thing indefinitely, and it’s going to impact our lives and make it different forever. Our brains like, “haha no, no, no, that’s not going to happen”.

So we want to have this three month commitment, this container that allows us to go all in, to get out of this mindset of is it working? Should I keep going? Am I good enough at this? And to just let ourselves do the thing and judge it later. So let ourselves have that three month container so we can have that experience of going through the dip, which is going to happen. Happens with every new thing that you do, and things that you’ve done before as well.

So the dip is when your motivation that you had at the beginning is gone, and the results have not yet come. And in that dip, we love to quit. We love to get busy with other things, we’d love to have a great new idea about what we should do instead. So now if we can add this new way of planning, instead, what I want to have you do, what I want to invite you to do is to make this three month commitment to power planning, so that you were able to get through that dip and out to the other side, where you have the results you have the change, you have specifically plans you’re making that are realistic, that you’re able to follow through on, you’re not burning out, you’re able to take clean rest, your business is growing more than it ever was, while you’re working less hours, you’re able to show up more courageously and be more innovative, and resourceful, because you don’t feel like your business is you. And therefore, every time that you post on Instagram, if you get 12 likes will that mean someone likes you, and now you’re not good enough. Like when we are in that perfectionist mindset we make everything that happens in our business, a reflection of us as a person.

And when you’re power planning, it’s the practical tool to help you do the work to untangle your self worth, from your result, which allows you to sharp more fully, which allows you to do new things or to implement the things that you already intellectually know. So when we have that container, we have that three months, it’s so much better for your brain in the sense that you can just calm it down by saying, Hey, we’re just going to do this for three months. We can always go back to how we were doing things before, if we want to.

We can always change again and change our mind. But we’re just going to give it three months. If we say instead, I’m going to do this new thing indefinitely, forever. It’s just so it’s such a big mountain for brain to think about climbing. But if it’s Hey, is this little three month commitment. That doesn’t mean you’re doing things perfectly, by the way, I’m gonna go into that. But a three month commitment to power planning doesn’t mean you sit down, you perfectly plan your plans in that power hour, you don’t have any questions or hesitations or concerns, and then you perfectly follow through you make a little tweaks, you do your weekly review, amazing, everything’s perfect. That’s not what I mean. I mean showing up fully for the process. I’m going to talk about that more in a bit what that practically looks like. But I just want you to know from the outset, I’m not talking about three months of being perfect at power planning. That’s not what we’re talking about. That’s not what consistency is. Consistency doesn’t mean you’re being perfect. You’re doing it right.

Consistency means doing it more often than not, and really trying fully. And at times, that might look differently to others, that you might really feel like your best isn’t anywhere close to where you want it to be. But you’re able to actually try and try again, try more than once. Try more than one approach. Keep going. Do that three months. Doesn’t mean you might not skip a week if something happens, but you really give it your best for that three months. And then at the end of that, you decide whether or not you want to keep going. And that really helps you actually fully integrate that practice. Instead of being like, “Well, should I commit to this for the rest of my life, I’m not sure maybe there’s something better whatever”. It really doesn’t work like that. Anything, anything that we do doesn’t work like that, if we’re like, “I’m kind of half in half out and I’ll go fully in if it actually works”. It’s not going to work unless you’re all in. So we need to create a container, a way for you to think about power planning, so that you give yourself permission to go all in so that you can actually make it work. We love doing things half assed and say, well, I’ll be more in when it works. That’s not going to happen. You have to be all in for it to work.

So I want to share a little story about an experience that I had with Bikram yoga, which is when I really understood, like made up this three month commitment to just get myself to do the damn thing. And really saw the power of that. And I’ve been applying it to things ever since and applying it to power planning as well. When I started planning this way, it was so helpful and anything I’m doing that is new, that’s unfamiliar. I’m thinking about it in this kind of mindset, which gets me into the growth mindset that I’m willing to experiment with things. I’m willing for it to be messy. I’m willing to be a beginner, especially when it’s the beginning. We need to be willing to be beginner in the beginning.

So I wanted to do Bikram yoga, hot yoga. I am the kind of person who loves doing a challenging workout. I want to sweat. I want it to be hard. I want to feel exhausted. So when I heard about Bikram yoga, hot yoga, I was like, Okay, that sounds like it’s for me, I want to do that. But I was so all or nothing like this was 2015. And I was really in that all or nothing mindset like this is really… So I started my blog in 2013. And I didn’t even realize I was a perfectionist, I think it was maybe around 2016 that I really started to piece that together. So at this point in time I was getting in my own way, I hadn’t gone all in on my business yet. And in a lot of ways, figuring out the growth mindset stuff with health and fitness really helped me apply that to my business and allowed me to get out of my own way and really put together what is now the PGSD process and power planning and all those different things.

But I was so all or nothing, when it came to my fitness goals, and any kind of health challenge, or routine or habit or anything like that. So I wanted to do yoga consistently. Which for me at the time meant perfectly, I would be motivated every day, I would go to my class, I was trying to do three classes a week. And then that would be that. And I would just continue on with this perfect habit forever. So what I was doing is obviously what happened to most of us, I would go to the three classes the first week, that would be great, I’d be very motivated. I was in that stage of before the dip, where you have motivation, and you don’t yet expect yourself to have results. So you’re not thinking this isn’t working, you’re like, cool, this is great. And I’m going to keep going and you have a lot of hope about the future and I had a lot of hope about how quickly I could improve if I kept going.

And then the next week would come. And I might get two classes, maybe three. And then by the next week, I didn’t go to the Monday class, or any of the classes or multiple ones I could have gone too. I’ll go tomorrow, Tuesday I didn’t go, Wednesday I didn’t go, gets to Friday, I haven’t gone okay, well now, there’s not enough days left to do the habit. So I’m going to wait till next week. And then I just wouldn’t go at all the next week because I felt like I had to make a comeback. And I just kind of kept going through this cycle. And that cycle I’d been in with the gym and with so many different other health things that I had tried or fitness stuff.

And so I was really going to those yoga classes, wanting it to work right away, not wanting to be a beginner not wanting to feel awkward, or uncomfortable, and just wanting to have to get it from day one. And I just couldn’t get myself to go consistently no matter how many times I tried to do that and how many ways I tried to just try to have more motivation and have more willpower. Try to use other people around me to encourage me to go on remind me to go and those kinds of tactics. And it just didn’t work.

I think as well, in the years prior, I had also tried a different times like I joined a few different yoga studios around Brisbane to just try and get myself into this habit that I wanted to be in and it just wasn’t working, and it was so frustrating. Because I was spending so much time going to yoga classes, but doing it so sporadically, that I never actually got to experience the benefit of that. So after a while doing that I was pretty fed up with myself. And I just decided I’m going to do a three month commitment. Because I need to get out of the way I’m currently thinking about things.

So the way I was thinking about it was will I go today, and should I keep going? And those questions are very helpful because our brain is going to want to say, No, you shouldn’t go today. No, you shouldn’t keep going. And it’s fighting for that. It wants us to just stay the same. It’s wired for survival. It doesn’t want us to change even if, say for example, yoga, there’s lots of health benefits to that. Even though it’s beneficial for me to do that, my brain doesn’t want me to it just wants me to say the same. So it’s gonna make a really great argument.

So when I was asking myself, should I go today? Should I keep doing this? It was very challenging. So I recognized I realized that if I just changed the way I was thinking about it, that I would be able to be consistent. And I made a commitment, a three month commitment. So a couple things change. I made a commitment to doing it for three months before judging whether or not it was working for me.

And, I don’t know if I’d ever done that in my life before, especially not with anything health and fitness wise. I was like, well, I’ll give it a try, I’ll see if it works for me might not work for me because I’m different to everyone else. So whatever. So maybe I’ll need to do something else and try another method and everything like that. So I made this three month commitment, was, instead of trying to go three times per week, I committed to going six times per week.

So the classes were at 90 minutes, and there was a 20 minute drive both ways. So it was a big time commitment. And at the time, I was still a uni student. I was working. I was half assing, my blog at that time, hadn’t gone all in on that yet. And so I had a lot on my plate, but I was like, six days doesn’t feel possible. But I know that if I need to get myself best six days per week, it’s going to change the question for me from will I go today, to what time will I go today? And I knew that I could sustain that for three months, not from past experience, because I hadn’t sustained something like that for three months before. But just by thinking of it in this different way. It really created such an opportunity for me to be committed and to think about a differently.

Now you might be thinking, Well, I’ve done like a 12 week fitness challenge. I’m going to talk about this more in a second. So isn’t that a three month commitment, and that didn’t work? It’s only a three month commitment if you were committed. Just because it’s in a 12 week format, doesn’t mean you decided that you were going to make it work. And that’s what commitment is. Deciding to make it work no matter what.

That doesn’t mean that if something comes up with your health, or something comes up with a family member, or whatever that you don’t adjust to that and adapt. And I’ve already talked about in the power planning method episode, how important those little tweaks are and how important it is to understand that you can make a commitment, knowing that you’re going to adjust along the way.

And just as I was saying that to move my hands around, it made me think of when I was traveling in a plane from LA to what am I thinking of what’s the name of it Vegas, when I was going to Vegas for Tony Robbins business mastery event. And we were in a small plane, it wasn’t a private plane, but like one of those we can get in a small plane. And it’s not too much money, it was pretty great. Except it was a lot of turbulence. And I think that’s normal anyway, because of the heat in Vegas. But it makes me think of like the pilots knew exactly where they needed to land. And the plane while we are going down and landing was just like skidding about all over the place. And yet, they knew exactly where they need to go. And they were just kind of course, correcting and holding the vision. And we got there. We landed on the exact, tiny little piece of concrete that we needed to land on which it still blows my mind how planes do that, like you can travel from Brisbane to London and land on a little piece of cement. Like anyway, that’s a side note.

But that means when it makes when it comes to this three month commitment, you really need to think of it like that, that you’re holding the vision, you’re letting the plane but it’s gonna kind of swerve around, there’s gonna be bumps along the way. But you’re going to be able to learn it. And if you can think of that, that can help you adjust as needed. At least that’s what helps me.

So when I had this timeframe, my brain just calms down. It doesn’t have to be forever. And this gave me the space to actually be fully engaged with practicing yoga and showing up. And really being committed to that, for that three month period, without the fear of wasting effort.

It also really helped when it came to getting results experiencing the change, because it actually took me about a month I think for memories around the four or five week mark, that I was familiar enough with the yoga poses that I was able to actually start. Like being present with myself. I was able to look at myself, like more intently in the mirror because in Bikram you just stare at yourself in the mirror. I was able to really just get myself to classes, even if it wasn’t my preferred teacher. So there’s so many different ways like oh, well, I like this teacher more and then I teach on this day and we add all this complication.

So I was just so committed for this three month, knowing that after that, I could decide, hey, this isn’t for me, but I really gave it my best. And we often think, well, I’m going to go to one class or like for power planning, I’ll do it for one week and see if it works. It’s not gonna work, spoiler alert, it’s not gonna work. The same way that you can’t go to gym and lift weights for one day, and then hit your goals. You need to actually put in the work in this three month container, this three month commitment can really help you to do that. So I was able to hit that sweet spot where I was actually feeling like the meditative benefits of yoga that people talk about of it being like a moving meditation. For the first month, it was not, it was not that at all. I was very in my own head. I was just wanting to leave the room, because it was so hard. There was so much drama in my mind about all the things and why are they wearing that and sorry, meant, like anything I could think I was. And then about a month then, I really started to settle in, I was making a lot of progress in terms of flexibility in terms of really knowing, like, where to put my hands and all those different things. And so I was actually feeling that sense of progress. And that sense of accomplishment, which only made me want to go more. But it was only after making that commitment that I was able to experience that.

Before I made that commitment when I was just trying to, you know, see if it works for me, and then I’ll go all in, I wasn’t able to actually see it working. So it was such an incredible experience. Remember, by the time I got to about 9 or 10 weeks, I was like, Well, it’s obvious, I’m going to keep going because I’m really enjoying this, but it was because I let myself be a beginner. I showed up fully. I wasn’t constantly asking myself, is this worth continuing? Am I good enough at this? Is this a waste of effort? Should I go today? It was when will I go today and going, which meant even if I didn’t feel like it, which meant even if I didn’t think I was gonna have a good class. And I only knew this so much with things of like even we’re recording this podcast episode. Like, is it going to be good episode? Should I do it today? Like my brain still wants to go there. Like, I’m doing it today. And I know that by starting the episode, I’m gonna get in the mood to do the episode. And I can always redo it later, if I really hate it. But I know my brain well enough to know, it’s gonna want to not have me do this.

As much like a 300 episodes plus, my brain still is like, Hey, that’s a little bit scary. That’s not safe. There’s so many people that listen. What if you say the wrong thing? What if they laugh at you all these different things, my brain still says that. You’re too boring. It’s still chatters away. And so this three month container can really help you be aware of just how much that chatter is going on. And give yourself an opportunity not to listen to it.

When we lack self trust, we think that everything we think is true, which sounds kind of counterintuitive, because if we lacked self trust, wouldn’t we disbelieve our thoughts, it’d probably be better if it did happen that way. But when we lack self trust, it means we place extra trust in the doubts that we have. So we might make a decision. And then we second guess that decision. We want to check it with our friends and with our coach and with everyone else to see if it’s the right one. And maybe it is and then should I make it again, and all that different stuff goes on. But when we can really trust ourselves, we can trust that we can have thoughts that we don’t need to actually act on. And that just because my brain said don’t record this today, doesn’t mean that’s a sign from the universe that I shouldn’t record today. That means my brain is a human brain that doesn’t want to do anything uncomfortable. It just wants to zone out, go through the motions, and do what it’s always done.

And even though with a podcast that is like that, in a lot of ways, to me, it’s a lot less scary than it was initially. But my brain still doesn’t want to do it. And the same with yoga. The same with power planning. I’ve been power planning now for years, and I still go to sit down to do my power hour and my brains like, hey, let’s do anything else like absolutely anything else. And recognizing that that resistance doesn’t have to mean anything. And it also doesn’t have to be a problem. I think when we’re not in this three month commitment, which is really just a way to help you get into the growth mindset. We place so much emphasis on that. And we’re really thinking that it’s true, that we should not do the thing, and that we have to listen to that voice.

So having that three month commitment to yoga really just taught me that you have to go all in before you can see if it’s working. And it’s easiest to go all in when there’s a timeframe for that. So before this, I had tried doing Kayla Itsines, who’s I think most people know, at this point has a sweat app. And she’s an Australian personal trainer. And she has a 12 week program still, and this is years ago, now that I was doing the bikini body guide program, that’s 12 weeks. And this is an example of doing a 12 week program without making a three month commitment. And I was just in this cycle, again, of trying for I do about four weeks, and do the first four weeks, and then I would fall off the wagon at week five.

Something will always come up I’d get sick or I’d forget to go or something would happen that would mean I wouldn’t go to the fifth, start the fifth week, then I miss a week and then I wasn’t doing it perfectly. So go back to week one. And really what was going on was I was judging whether or not I was going to have a good workout.

And I was only wanting to do the 12 weeks perfectly like week one perfectly do all the three workouts, week two, week three and run. And at the five week mark, I was subconsciously expecting results. I’d seen on Instagram, then posting about people who’d started to see changes after four weeks or whatever. And I was subconsciously thinking I should have results by now. So this is when I was in the dip. Motivation was gone, results had not yet come.

So cool, I start over again. Because then I get to believe well, I shouldn’t have results yet. And I get to be back in that motivated state. And it was only when I was able to make the three month commitment to that 12 week program that I was able to do it all. And that involved skipping some of the workouts and not involved not doing it perfectly. But I got such better results from doing 12 weeks imperfectly than from doing 4 perfect weeks, than, you know, falling off the wagon, not doing it for a month, then trying to get motivated again, doing the four weeks, falling off the wagon, like all that effort and struggle and frustration with no result instead of what I ended up doing was really making a three month commitment. And just keeping on going. Even if I skipped a week, even if I skipped a workout, I was just going to keep going as if I hadn’t. That is such such a game changer, it makes such a difference when you are able to keep going as if you hadn’t fallen off the wagon.

So that’s the same with Power Planning. I really want you to be thinking about making a three month commitment. And if there’s something you don’t follow through on within the plans you make and also within the power planning process itself. So if there’s a week, where you skip the weekly review, keep going as if you’ve done it. It’s so important to do that. So the three month commitment helps you to get into a growth mindset. Power planning is a new skill. It’s different to how you’ve been planning before, even if you’ve planned from a calendar before, it’s different to that. It’s going to have you planning properly as perfectionist, and in the beginning you’re going to be a beginner at it. And that’s not a problem. That is not a problem.

Being a beginner, is not a problem. I know especially when we’ve been praised for being smart and doing super well. And having a lot of potential we want to skip being a beginner. But no one gets to skip that. We all have to be willing to be beginners.

So as well with that growth mindset, it really helps us been in this mentality that it needs to work right away. Because when we want it to work right away, it doesn’t end up working at all. Because we quit before it has the chance to work. But when we’re okay with it not working right away, we take responsibility for it working and do the practice we need to to make it work. So going back to that yoga example, that when I wanted to be good at yoga, from my first session, I kept quitting. So it didn’t work at all. I never ended up being good at it. But then once I made the three month commitment, and I was okay with not being good at it right away. I was okay with being a beginner. I was okay with falling over and doing all these different things. And I was taking responsibility for my experience. Instead of saying, well, it’s up to yoga to prove to me that I should spend the time on it. No, it’s up to me to take responsibility. And then I was able to do the practice needed to make it work.

So we want to be getting in that growth mindset. The three month commitment really helps with that. And ultimately we want to be in this mindset of constant improvement. And there’s always a new layer of mastery. And with power planning, I’m still learning it and practicing it and getting better at it. And sometimes we can think we are in that mindset, when actually we’re just shaming ourselves for not being good enough yet. And all these different things that we think, Well, yes, is constant improvement. But I should be further along by now and all these different things. But we want to put that aside and have you in the mindset ultimately, that there’s always a new layer of mastery. And the best way to really approach this is to have a three month container, again, and again and again, to just repeat that. And that’s what we do with the impossible goal, and with our quarterly milestones.

So we have the impossible goal for 12 months. We set that inside PGSD. We review it for you to make sure that it’s set at the right level. And then we reverse engineer quarterly milestones that increase incrementally. And that’s your three month commitment each time. But then within that we want to have you making especially at the beginning that three month commitment to power planning.

The messiness that might come the ups and downs. Learning something new means learning something new. Of course, you don’t know how to do it yet. You haven’t done it before. So letting yourself be that beginner. So what does a three month commitment look like in practice? It doesn’t need to be perfect. It won’t be perfect, we don’t want it to be perfect. So it just means you are giving it a go. And trusting the process.

So you are attempting the Power Hour, the little tweaks and the weekly review. It’s okay, if the power hour takes a little longer than the 60 minutes. It’s okay, if you forget to do a few little tweaks. It’s okay if you forget your weekly review. We don’t want to be in this mindset of well, okay, if I don’t do it, it doesn’t really matter, so I’m not going to do it and then in this nothing inside of the all or nothing mindset. We really want to be in, it matters. And if I don’t work for some reason, I’m just gonna keep acting as if I did. And that’s a subtle distinction. Because, okay, Sam’s tell me like, it doesn’t really matter if I skip it. So I don’t really feel like it’s I’m just gonna skip it.

I’m saying there are some times that the best you can do that week is the power hour and a few little tweaks and not doing your weekly review. And that’s all you’ll be able to give it for whatever reason. There might be something going on in your life in another area.

I’m not saying that, it doesn’t matter. It does matter. You matter. Your business matters. It matters. But the best way you can be kind to yourself is to just show up and give it your best. Again, this three month commitment gives a great container for that. And then if you don’t do it, just act as if you didn’t keep going. That is the secret to consistency. Act as if you were doing it.

So when it comes to power planning as well, I just want to talk about how to know you’re making progress with power planning over those first three months. So we’re going to want to see like, a lot of times, like, Okay, how I know what’s working, is that I’m making plans, and I’m following them perfectly. And I’m never feeling overwhelmed. And you’re gonna get to the place where you’re able to make plans, follow almost all of them, you’re going to be out of overwhelm, you’re not going to be burning out, you’re not going to be procrastinating. When you do procrastinate, you’re going to notice it pretty quickly and be able to change it. But in those first three months, it’s really just about these are the signs that you are making progress with it, you’re giving it a go and trusting the process like that is literally a sign that you are making progress with it, that you are giving it a go. You’re attempting it, you’re letting yourself be a beginner.

Like for the yoga example, how I knew I was making progress was just me going to class and trusting that if I was putting in an effort, I was going to be getting better. Though definitely like yoga is such a great example, that there was so many classes where I felt like I hadn’t ever been before. And I was like six weeks in. I just wasn’t able to balance. I was really in my head. I was thinking about other stuff. I just felt like I was a complete beginner.

There are times you’re going to feel like one step forward, 10 steps back. And having that three month commitment helps you to be with that without having to then make a decision to quit. And just recognizing that that’s a normal part of the process. So I just trusted that I was improving just by going even if it didn’t feel like I was. Like this whole idea of just because you can’t feel the transformation doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

That’s what’s going on with power planning. It’s gonna be messy, there’s gonna be ups and downs, there’s gonna be weeks, where you just feel like you haven’t made any progress at all. But just by showing up, thinking of it, like going to a yoga class, if you really think about it in the growth minded way, that any skill can be developed with effort and practice, the bi-power planning every week, even if you have to change all your plans, and the weekly review, you aren’t able to do that fully, or you have to do it like three days late. It is adding up. It is making a difference. And you’re not going to feel that for a little while. So you have to trust that you will, and be committed to that three month.

So if your brain starts questioning whether this planning method will work for you, you’re reminded that your view that at the three month mark, and this was, again, the most beautiful thing with doing this with yoga, there were definitely times with this three month commitment that I was like, “should I keep going?”, like, especially after a class where I just felt like I did a shit job. I was like, Why should I bother? Like, it’s so much effort, I’m just too tired, I’ve got so much else going on, there’s so many reasons why I shouldn’t bother. And I was like, I’m gonna look at this three months in and decide, like, I’ve already got my decision date ahead of me. I’m just gonna get there and decide then. And it helped me get out of the drama that we spend so much time indulging in and staying busy with.

So if your brain is questioning that, and then you remind yourself that you review it at the three month mark, then that is a sign that you’re making progress with it. That is part of it. That is part of trusting the process. That is part of showing up for yourself, that is part of being there for yourself with yourself through the ups and downs.

Also, another sign of making progress is that you’re getting coach, you’re asking questions. So in PGSD, we have the PGSD coaching calls, so you can get coached, and also our most successful PGSDers, get so much value from watching other PGSDers get coached, they listen on the PGSD private podcast, and it’s so easy to see what needs to be done when it’s not you that has to apply it. And so getting coach ourselves is so beneficial. But watching others get coached and really seen this situation so clearly and the coaching so clearly can make it so easy to then just turn around to yourself and go hey, where am I doing this in my life?

And taking that coaching and being able to have really create change in your life just from hearing someone else get coached and something especially when you didn’t even know that was something you needed help with. It’s so beneficial. So get coach, you can learn so much from watching others get coached in PGSD. With PGSDers, who have a business that we have PGSDers who are artists, who are photographers, who are coaches, who are graphic designers, who are Etsy sellers, ecommerce store owners, illustrators, what else do we have writers just about everything, but they are setting their impossible goal. And using power planning to help them make plans they can follow through on and show up for themselves fully get out of their own way and do their perfectionism work.

And so knowing that the others in PGSD are working on the same kinds of goal as you, the same struggles you are, the same perfectionist stuff that you are. They are using the same planning method. It makes all the coaching relevant and applicable. So you can just listen on the PGSD private podcast. And you can and by the way, when you sign up, you get access to everything on demand, including all the past episodes on that podcast with all the coaching that’s available to you right away.

It’s like I can’t deliver that. This podcast, there’s so many benefits to hearing others get coached to hearing these principles applied specifically to so many different situations that you really have a 360 degree view of how to do power planning. What that looks like in practice? How you might be getting stuck, where you need to, you know, notice over planning or under planning and procrastination, how that might show up practically in all these different things. And we also have the PGSD forum, where you can ask questions and get answers so that as well is a sign that you are making progress with power planning. It’s a sign that you’re in the growth mindset. You’re not expecting it to work right away without having to try it on and tweak it and really be met with how your perfectionism handbrake is currently on, so that you can release it like that’s part of it that you’re going to, first of all, notice how you been in your own way, so that you can get out of it, a lot of us want to get out of our own way without having to notice how we’ve been in it. But when you are power planning and the doing the impossible goal, all those thoughts that are making you get in your own way, are there already. And those tools, bring them to the surface, so you can do the work you need to do on them.

So initially, it’ll feel like two steps back. But if you trust the process, and have this three month commitment, then you’re really able to do that work, get out of your own way. And that pays off for years and years and years and years to come. So you won’t be perfect at power planning by the end of the three months.

So I want you to not be expecting that every single plan you make, you’ll follow through with it at exactly the time you plan to make it, that you will never not feel like doing things, I don’t want you to expect that the plans you put in your calendar will mean you’ll always be successful at what you do. So for example, you might have a launch and you plan all the tasks for your launch. And you follow through with those plans, I’m not going to say that they’re going to end up in the results you want. But I am guaranteeing that you are going to be in such a better position to create the launch you want. Having shown up for yourself in that way. And actually having a way for you to work on your perfectionism in a practical sense on just intellectual knowledge, and also have a clearer way to review it and to see what to do differently, you’re going to be in such a better position. But part of planning properly. And being consistent means that sometimes you’re going to do things that don’t work. Sometimes you’re going to do things that mean you end up not hitting your goal, your milestone, your whatever it is you’re trying to do.

That is part of business. We all know the saying, that success is built on a pile of failures. And yet, we’re all trying to like make the right plan so we never have to fail. That’s not what power planning is. We’re going to really give you the best shot at doing that. But it is not a tool to avoid failure. It is not a tool to avoid any negative feelings. But it is a tool to develop your relationship with yourself to show up fully in your business and be out of your own way and actually be feeling like you were doing the things you know you need to do. I know for me, that was such a big frustration that I knew what to do. I take in marketing courses, I’ve learned so much free stuff from podcasts and whatever. And I just wasn’t doing the things. And this was a missing piece. I wasn’t planning properly as a perfectionist. And within that I wasn’t having a three month commitment when I was doing things that allow me to get into that growth mindset.

So I really hope this has sold you on being in that three month commitment. And actually being committed. Not I’ll try for three months, I hope I can do it for three months. But really being committed to I’m going to show up fully for this. And when I don’t, I’m just going to pretend I did and keep going. So the doors for PGSD are opening at 6am, New York time on the 10th of Jan, and they’re closing at 11:59pm, New York time on the 16th. And you can find out more at Samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. You can if it’s open right now, when you’re listening to this, join the program. If you’re listening to this in real time, it won’t be open yet but you can join the waitlist if you’re listening to this in the years to come.

And I really hope this has helped you to see where you might have been falling down when it comes to planning properly that if you are just fingers crossed, trying to see if this might work for you how that isn’t actually going to work you need to go all in in order to see if it will work for you, not the other way around.

So in the next episode, the final one in this five part Planning series, I’m going to be talking about the full process to get out of your own way. So planning is just the first step of really solving your planning problems, productivity problems and persistence problems. Those are the three problems that may perfectionist get in their own way in their business.

In this series, we’ve just talked about planning, which is 1/3 of the planning problems like really doing that work. So that’s the impossible goal, that’s clean rest, and tying them all together. So in the next episode, I’m going to be giving you really a bird’s eye view of the PGSD process, how that works, how it’s going to help you get out of your own way, and why planning properly as a perfectionist is where you need to start. So if you enjoyed this episode, please take a screenshot and tag me on Instagram. I’m at perfectionism project. I hope you’re having a beautiful day and I will talk to you in the next episode.

If you’re ready to start planning properly as a perfectionist, then I invite you to join us inside perfectionist getting ready done so you can find out more about the program at Samlaurabrown.com/pgsd. That’s also where you can sign up. The doors will be open from the 10th of Jan to the 16th of Jan 2022.

Author: Sam Brown