Momentum Podcast: 655
Plan for Momentum
by Alex Charfen
If you are anything like me, then you've probably tried more than one (way more than one) planners or organizing systems. My experience most of the planners I tried to use have been so complicated they took more time than what I was getting back from planning. Either that or others that I have tried to use just became a to-do list and had little to do with strategically moving me forward.
I felt like I had tried everything and it just wasn't working so I decided to create a solution myself. I spent about five years researching and studying how humans plan and achieve.
What question should we ask ourselves?
How should we create a plan to actually be successful?
What is missing from most people's planning and execution efforts that hold them back?
As I researched, I got better at planning myself, and as I pulled more information together, a clear strategy started to emerge. I started to see how as entrepreneurs the planning that we are doing is holding us back, it's actually taking away our momentum. With some simple adjustments, the planning we are doing will not only create momentum for us, but it will keep us there.
Full Audio Transcript
This is the Momentum Podcast.
If you're an entrepreneur, you've probably tried way more than one planner, or organizational systems. And typically, they're so complicated, they take more time than you get back from the planning, either that, or some of them that are trying to become a to-do list, that had little to do with strategically moving you forward.
In this episode of the Momentum Podcast, Alex is going to talk about the concept of planning for momentum, and the questions that you should ask yourself to set yourself up each day to experience the most momentum and forward progress possible. With simple adjustments, the planning you're already doing will not only create momentum, but it'll keep you there.
I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast, made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum, so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution.
Sure we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop, and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few, who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution, and we always will be. I wanted to jump in here and talk about planning, planning for entrepreneurs, how we plan. If you're anything like me, you've probably tried multiple planning systems or multiple planners themselves. And here's what I've found in my life. I've tried a ton. I went out and I've tried the Day-Timer and the Franklin and the RPM System, and so many planners and journals and different ways of sitting down and putting together your day. And here's what I've found over and over again. With most of the systems that I tried to use, they were so complicated and so frustrating that I had a hard time using the system, because it was taking more time than it would save me or give me back in planning. And what I also found, and this is something that I think a lot of entrepreneurs need to be aware of, is that a lot of planning systems get us into tight execution cycles, where we're not really creating forward momentum and creating progress. This is what I've found over and over again when I reviewed what I had been doing. And so for years, really for about five years, I researched and studied and started really trying to understand how, as entrepreneurs, how can we use our natural tendencies to create momentum? What is the absolute best way for us to be planning? How can we plan in a way that will actually create success and move us forward like crazy? And it was pretty intense. Through that research period, as I looked at how we should be planning, I started changing some of my habits, some of my routines, and almost immediately I saw this massive effect. Let me share with you just one change I made. See what happened was, eventually I created this system called the Momentum Planner, and it's the system I use every morning. It's the system that my wife uses, my daughters use, my entire team uses every day. And here's one change that I made, and one strategy that's in this Momentum Planner, that I think might help you like crazy. And then I want to share with you an opportunity for me to share a lot more about this with you. But first, let me share this. So here's what I've found, especially when I was using some of the planning systems that I mentioned before, was that I got into this habit of creating to-do lists, and then trying to check off the to-do list, and creating the to-do list, and checking off the to-do list. And what really happened was, I got into this tactical execution loop, where I was making a to-do list, making and getting things done, making a to-do list and getting things done, but I wasn't really getting everything done. And it was really more of a focus on creating the list every day. And after a while, I started calling my to-do list, my to-die list. And if you've ever used one of these systems, and you know what I mean by the to-do list, being the to-die list. In fact, let me help you, let me explain it to you. Here's why I'd call it that. See, when I was using those systems, there were things on my to-do list that I carried forward so many days that they were going to be there when I died. Have you ever used a planning system like that? Do you know what I'm talking about? It was because I was in this loop of categorizing all the tactical things that I needed to do, and then trying to get them done all the time, with very little analysis or prioritization of what those things meant and why they mattered. And here's the major change that I made in the Momentum Planning System. But you can start this right now with the planning system you have. You don't have to get one of these planners. You don't have to change anything in your day, except for how you look at what you're going to get done. Let me explain what I mean. Each morning I get up. I write out my schedule, so I understand all the meetings I'm going to have that day. Then I write out the to-dos that I know that I have, and what I want to make sure that I tactically accomplish that day. And then, I take a major step, one that I don't think is included in any planning system out there. I write my intention for the day. And here's what I mean by that. I review my schedule, and I review my to-do list, and I invoke a Rockefeller habit. James D. Rockefeller used to sit down every day and look at his schedule, and then predict what was going to happen. And he would predict the success he was going to create with each meeting and each interaction he had, and each thing he was getting done. He called it a prediction. I call it an intention. I sit down every morning and I write out what intention I have for the day. So today at 10:00 AM, my team and I got together for our quarterly planning to plan all of next quarter. I'm incredibly excited about it. We crushed it. And this morning when I woke up, part of my intention that I wrote was, "Have a focused and productive quarterly meeting. Set up the quarter for success. Support the team, and make sure I'm present and aware and holding space so that we can move forward." See, by writing that in the morning, I don't just write down a to-do list. I write down the effect I want that to-do to have in my life. I actually write down my intention behind what I'm doing, and write down my intention behind how I'm going to move forward. This has been life-changing. And here's what's interesting. Now for the last year or two, we've been sending these Momentum Planners to our members. We haven't sold them yet. That's coming soon. We haven't sold them yet, but we've been sending them to our members. And here's the feedback that I constantly get from our members, is things like, "You know, Alex. I didn't really understand the intention thing at first, so I just started writing down what I wanted. And it seems like whatever you write there just kind of happens." And I had another member tell me, "You know, I focus more on the intention part of the planner now than anything else, because I feel like I'm just writing things down, and it's appearing in my life." In the world today, there's this term, manifestation, that we can manifest what we want in our lives. Well, I've done a tremendous amount of research around the power of intention, like Wayne Dyer spoke about manifestation, how do we attract what we want in our lives? How do we create the energetic condition in ourselves so we become magnetic to what we want to attract into our lives, so that we create the success we want, we create the momentum we want. We create the life we actually want. And one of the things that over and over again you see, is that manifestation can create those things. But in order to manifest, we have to get really clear about what we want. In order to draw things into our lives, to create the energetic quality, where we're attracting those things into our lives, we need to create clarity, and be really clear about our intention, why we want these things, and how we want these things. And the vast majority of entrepreneurs that I know today, who don't use a system like this, are sitting down in the morning and just making a list of the tactical things they need to get done. You know what that's manifesting in your life? More tactical activity. If all you're doing is sitting down and making a list of all the things you have to check off, I applaud you for the organization, but the challenge is if you're not creating intention around it, if there's no intentionality, if there's not meaning behind it, you're training yourself to tactically execute, not to strategically magnetically bring what you want into your life. So here's the shift you can make. Tomorrow morning, when you sit down to do your planning, when you make your to-do list, ask yourself, or when you look at your calendar or your to-do list, ask yourself, what do you want from each item in your calendar? What do you want from each thing you're going to accomplish on your to-do list? Write out, and I mean write out. Don't just think about it. Don't type it, write it with a pen, because this is how it really has an effect on us. In fact, I actually believe that manifestation while we are writing, the intention while we are writing, predicting our future while we are writing, has some cosmic alignment where energetic power that brings what we want into our lives. It's why so many incredibly successful people throughout history talk about journaling and intention. In fact, it's why the Franklin Day Planner is named after Benjamin Franklin. He used to carry a similar book, but he didn't use it like the Franklin. He actually wrote down his observations, his inspirations and his intentions. And so by doing this, you actually create in advance, not just the success you want, but the vision for those outcomes. And it will start changing your life the first day you do it. Here's my challenge to you. Try it out tomorrow, and then come back and let me know how it works. And if you like to know more about the Momentum Planner and the other strategies that are in here that will help you align your day, offload where you're uncomfortable, bring more of what you want into your life, and turn you into a magnet for everything that you actually would like to attract, I've got an exciting opportunity for you. October 6th, 7th, and 8th, I am recording what we're calling Momentum Masterclass absolutely free online. Now here's how it works. I'm actually recording content for our platform, for our memberships, with the members that we have around the world. And normally I sit here at my desk, and I record the content and I upload it to my team and they put it into our platform, but it's not very dynamic. And honestly, as a speaker, it's not very exciting for me to sit here by myself. So October 6th, 7th, and 8th, we have an amazing opportunity. You can be a member of the audience as I record this content. It's going to end up behind our paywall. And there's going to be six different sessions with me that will help you understand where you are as an entrepreneur, get into momentum, not just understanding momentum in general, but understanding how you create momentum. I'm going to go extensively through the strategies in our Momentum Planner, and help you understand how to create a plan for exactly what you want in your life. So join me October 6th, 7th, and 8th, live, two sessions a day, go to MomentumMasterclass.com and register, and my team will send you reminders so that we can spend some time together. Now I want you to make sure you block off your calendar, because in order for us to be integral with the people who are in our paid memberships, there will be no replay. There is no way to see it unless you're there live. So go to MomentumMasterclass.com, block off October 6th, 7th, and 8th on your calendar, register for the event, and I will see you there. And want you to know something. If you come, and you spend time with me, and you help me record amazing content, I'm going to stay there and answer all the questions anybody has, and I'm excited to do it. So go to MomentumMasterclass.com, register for the event. I will see you there. And tomorrow morning, as you set out for your day, take a look at your calendar and your to-do list, and do one thing. Pick up a pen and spend three or four minutes writing the intention you have for each item. What do you really want? And here's what you'll find. That intentionality in the beginning of the day actually sets up the rest of your day for success. It actually pre-programs you to attract what you want, to get what you want out of each interaction and each to-do that you have. And as you get those things done, you're going to see an amplified effect throughout your day. And again, like I said earlier, if you try this, come back and let me know how it worked. I can't wait to see you on October 6th, 7th, and 8th. Block your calendar now, and register for a Momentum Masterclass. I'll see you there.