Each month I create an #intentionplan because I strongly believe the key to creating a life you love is to show up every day and make a deliberate, intentional choice about how you want to live.
Hey beautiful people! November is here and I’m excited to share my Intention Plan for the month (as well as some travel plans – yay!) but first I want to talk about October, managing expectations, and what to do when things don’t go as planned …
RECAP: MY OCTOBER INTENTION PLAN
As I briefly mentioned last month, I’m very proud to be an ambassador for One Girl – an amazing charity on a mission to educate one million girls in Africa by 2020! I’ll be telling you more about them in a few weeks because I’ve got an online fundraiser (with some great prizes!!) planned, but more on that later.
For right now, I want to talk about my experience hosting a fundraiser dinner here in Brisbane and what it has to do with my October Intention Plan, which was to be mindful of self-doubt and fear.
Let’s start at the beginning …
A few months ago, I was brainstorming ideas to raise money and I thought hosting a fundraiser dinner would be easy. Yes … I had no experience … but I figured how hard could it be? (Spoiler alert: hard.) I thought all I had to do was find a restaurant, organise prizes, invite a lot of friends and then boom – watch the money roll in! I set a goal of selling 50 tickets but I was quietly confident I could sell at least 80.
I booked a restaurant and got to work writing to local businesses asking for prizes – and I was pleasantly surprised by the response. The good news is there are still a lot of amazing people in the world and I was blown away by the generous donations I received. Almost everyone I contacted for help said yes!
Things were off to a great start and I was feeling very confident, so I created a Facebook event page, invited a few friends, and sat back – waiting for the tickets to sales to roll in.
After three days I could still count the tickets sold on one hand …
Cue self-doubt and fear.
The voices in my head started whispering …
“Why did I agree to do this?”
“I’m going to have to cancel the event and admit I’m a failure!”
“I’ve let so many people down.”
I’m embarrassed to admit it but despite my best intentions, I didn’t handle things very well. I spent a few days crying, moping around, and generally just feeling bad for myself – until enough was enough.
My wise husband gave me a bit tough love and asked if:
a) was I possibly overreacting, and
b) were my expectations getting the best of me?
Of course, the answer was yes on both counts.
MANAGING EXPECTATIONS + WHEN THINGS DON’T GO AS PLANNED
October ended up being a lesson in managing expectations and letting go when things don’t go as planned. To be honest, I didn’t realise how much I struggled with this until I was faced with obvious evidence to the contrary! It was a tough pill to swallow at first but (hopefully) I’m walking away a better person because of it.
Here’s what I learned:
When I took an honest look at my feelings, I realised my ego was getting in my way. I let perfectionism and fear of not being the ‘best’ overshadow the real reason why I started – to empower girls and help break the cycle of poverty. It wasn’t about being a superstar fundraiser and when I reminded myself to check my ego at the door, it was easier to get back to work.
Next, I realised I could focus on what wasn’t working – or I could redirect my attention and energy. Did I want to feel sorry for myself? Or did I want to do something to improve the situation? I started writing every day to local clubs and organisations – and I ended up getting a few anonymous donations!
Finally, I decided to change the story I was told myself. Ultimately, I didn’t sell the 50 tickets I hoped (not even close!) but I did raise enough money to educate 6 girls for an entire year – so was it a failure? Or was it a success? The truth is it’s up to me to decide.
LOOKING FORWARD TOWARDS NOVEMBER
Looking forward to November, I’ve made some changes to how I’m choosing my Intention Plan.
In the past, I’ve haven’t put much reflection into my intentions; instead, I’ve gone with my gut and chosen whatever I’ve felt drawn to, instinctively. This month, I’ve decided to take a more thoughtful approach. I started by spending 20 minutes in my journal, reflecting on what did (and didn’t) go well in October. Then I used this information to make an intentional decision about what I need most in November.
With this in mind, my November Intention Plan is:
- to listen to my body (and mind!) and recognise when I need self-care.
- to look for adventures every day.
- to take on less than I think I can handle.
- to take notice of my focus and attention.
This month I have big blogging plans, as well as big travel plans (I’m headed back to the States for most of the month for a family visit – yay!!) so I’m going to be putting these intentions to the test. In the past, I’ve definitely struggled with finding balance and this was definitely the case in October, but I’m feeling strangely optimistic that I’m starting a new season of my life – but only time will tell!
How do you deal with expectations? What are your tips for when things don’t go as planned? And are you setting any intentions for November? Let me know in the comments! x
Photo credit: pixabay.com / Used with permission
6 thoughts on “Intention Plan: November 2016”
Hey Jennifer, so behind on your posts! It’s great to see you’re getting back into the blogging groove. 🙂 And it’s hard to face doubts when everything we want to happen seems to be at stake. Good on you for pushing through it! On my end, November has been my month for facing expectations, and I get where you’re coming from with these lessons learned. Hope you’re enjoying your trip!
I had a great trip Daisy! Busy but good 🙂
Love this so much Jen, particularly “to take on less than I think I can handle” haha xx
Haha thanks lovely! That one is definitely a work in progress xxx
I believe that this is my first comment, but I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I always leave feeling refreshed after reading your posts. You write about serious topics and are also quite honest about your past (and current) struggles. But your perspective is always so uplifting and hopeful which I found reassuring and helpful.
I think you sold me on the idea of creating an intention plan. I’m not good at keeping a journal and probably have written less than five entries this year. But when I read past entries, I’m always surprised by how much I’ve changed in a short span of time.
There are also things that I’d like to change, but seem like I’m stuck with them forever.
Maybe a monthly intentional plan can help me be more mindful of these changes and constants, and would help me celebrate the progress while paying more attention to the things I want to improve on?
Anyway, have a good trip!
Hi Yuko! I know exactly what you mean (when you talk about looking over old entries and being surprised by how much things change). I feel that way reading my Intention Plan posts from earlier this year – I started out being intentional about specific goals (like writing or reading on a regular basis) but it has definitely evolved. I try and focus less on the method and more on the end goal now – but I’m still experimenting and trying to figure out what works best for me.
If you decide to start writing an intention plan I’d love to hear how you go! And thank you very much for your kind words about my writing – I really appreciate it.
All the best! x Jen