Posts Tagged ‘business plan’

Verb-al Planning

In Tips on November 29, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Next year will be here before you know it. The holiday season will soon end. Resolutions will be made. Gyms will be crowded. The “new you” will launch into 2011 with vision and vim to last … oh … at least three weeks. In this time or reflection and renewal for next year, here’s an exercise that might help you distill more meaningful plans and purposes for the “new you”.


Imagine your personal mission statement in terms of verbs.


Start with a list of all of the verbs you can think of that might reasonably relate to your life’s work. Be generous here. Include things like “inspire”, “explore”, “discover”, “feed”, “heal”, “achieve”, “win”, “rescue”, “harvest”, “divine”, “write”, “conquer”, “listen”, “speak”, “lead”, “follow”, “promote”, “love”. Don’t stop until you’ve got at least 200 verbs.


Then narrow your list. Identify 10 verbs that stand out the most to you. Mull them over. Imagine them each as your life work. Imagine people saying, “He builds…”, “She promotes…”, “He teaches…”. Then choose three verbs that resonate most deeply with your talents, desires, personality and vision.


If your plans for the “new you” in 2011 aren’t achieved by those three verbs, rethink your plans.


This exercise could take a while. It might take a week just to dream up 200 verbs. It might take another week to choose your top three. Take your time. It might be a good topic to mull over on that long drive or flight to holiday festivities.


This process of expanding and contracting, brainstorming and then distilling, is similar to the messaging workshop I teach for REACH clients. It’s also the model for successful creative thought according to some neuroscience researchers. It’s a model that can be used over and over again for all kinds of creative endeavors.


And, yes, I believe good planning is a creative work.