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By Diana T. Torres

Most people shudder at the thought of writing a business plan. They feel the process is boring, complicated and time-consuming, like that high school term paper or thesis for college. But with structure, a set schedule and a lighthearted attitude, a business plan can be completed in portions.

Before sitting down to tackle the business plan, schedule time to sit and write your ideas regarding your dreams and vision, goals and plan; break goals and benchmarks into weekly or monthly accomplishments.

Listing visions and dreams:How do you see your business and life?  Write down all business related priorities; include marketing, presentations, prospecting, social media and anything else that falls under your business. Now look at your personal life. How do you want to live? What do you see as far as relationships, family, health, leisure, finances or other personal dreams?

What are your plans and goals:What do you hope to achieve within each business category? What do you want to provide, sell and earn? What do you want to accomplish in your personal life?

Developing weekly and monthly goals and benchmarks: What is your target selling and listing for each month?  What are your benchmark accomplishments for each month? What progress will be made each month in your personal life? Creating monthly goals and benchmarks will create a clearer vision of what you want to accomplish. As you hit those targets and check them off your list, your goals will not appear as daunting.

Put plans and routine into action:By taking plans and scheduling actions for the same time each week (maybe the same day), you will create a routine that will become second nature. Use a calendar like Outlook (the pop-up reminders are extremely useful) to schedule an hour of prospecting one day, and an hour for social media on another day, and so on. Before you know it, you’ll be taking on each task without a reminder.

Start Small to Ensure Success: By beginning in small increments, maybe 30 to 45 minutes per session, you will be able to keep things going. Don’t worry about being perfect.  Don’t be afraid to color outside the lines. Get it started. You can make adjustments and improvements as you move along. Turn off your inner critic and forge ahead.

Follow the steps you have carved out for yourself to create ideas. Do not move on to another phase without completing each step. Create a time frame and dates for each step and phase, and stick to them.

Take the time to sit and review your plans once a week for clarity. Put worries or negative thoughts aside and concentrate on your plans and goals. If you feel overwhelmed, step away and go for a walk or find something else you can do to clear your mind. When you return you’ll be refreshed and better able to continue.

Once the process becomes a habit, you will be able to continue the routine throughout the year. You’ll find fresh ideas will arrive almost on command and you’ll achieve all that you wanted in both your business and personal life.