Five Reasons Why Planning Is Important and Critical For Your Mental Health and Well-Being: Lesson 47



Welcome to the Lessons Learned Podcast! I’m very excited this week because I am finally back home in Carp and have returned to my usual schedule. After two long months where I have been back in Grand Prairie visiting family and sharing with you all of my #LessonsInResilience interviews, I am finally back in person this week to share with you a solo show.  

This week’s episode is a big one for me. One that involves catching up on what I have been up to for the past few months such as being back in Grand Prairie living with family for the past few months, getting into a completely different routine after graduating cohort one of “The Next Right Step” program, and beginning my positive psychology program at University of Pennsylvania. 

What I Have Learned The Past Few Weeks… [ 0:00 - 13:48 ]

#LessonsInResilience - Listening back to my #LessonsInResilience Interviews as we re-shared them with you over the past few weeks has been extremely inspiring. It reminded me that there are so many commonalities when it comes to how we flex our resilience as human beings and when it comes to how we support our mindsets. It reminded me that we can lean on the stories of others and vicariously gain strength from them in order to move through the hard seasons that we're in.

Preparing For Winter….  I have been trying to embrace the fact that winter is rapidly approaching and have been trying to make adjustments to my schedule in order to better transition into the winter season. Some of the things I have incorporated into my routine: 

  • Subscribing to a calendar on my Google Cal to show me when the sun rises and sets every day so that I can plan to go for a walk during daylight hours
  • Getting a new winter jacket and getting out my winter wardrobe
  • Picking out movies for the holiday season
  • Getting out my ski-gear and winter shoes 

Download this week's journal prompts about planning for winter by clicking the button below...

Reflecting on delivering “The Next Right Step”... 

I’ve been reading all of the incredible feedback that cohort one left for our team after the wrap of TNRS now that I am back home and into a routine. It was a dream to deliver this program, and to be able to officially now call myself an educator.  To be so proud of the curriculum I created, and to have learned so much in the process about myself and about our team. To have had 40 to 45 incredible humans go through this experience and then to provide the type of feedback and testimonials that they did. It is one of those moments in my life where I can sit back and say I am in my calling. I am in that which I am here to do, which is to help a generation of BIPOC women really tap into and fully express their potential.

What I Have Been Up To … [ 13:48 - 21:30 ]

As I share on the episode, following the wrap of The Next Right Step Program, a family member passed away unexpectedly.  Mitch and I had to change our flight in order to travel to my home in Alberta to be with family for the funeral and to be together with my family. 

While I cherish this time I spent at home deeply, the change in plans and environment caused many unexpected changes in the plans that I had previously made for myself following the wrap of the program, and many of my daily routines, plans, and monthly goals changed. The time that I had planned to have ‘strictly off work’ didn't end up happening, and I was left feeling extremely burnt out as a result. 

This experience reinforced the importance of planning in my life for me and gave me the push I needed to plan and find clarity in my life again. When I don’t plan how I will achieve my goals, I don’t. When I don’t plan when I will be taking time off, I don’t. When I don’t plan when I will be caring for myself, I can easily forget. That is why I began developing alongside my team a weekend retreat called ‘Your Best Year’, where I will be teaching my yearly planning system in depth. 

Why Planning Is Good For Our Mental Health [21:30 - 36:17] 

Here are the 5 reasons why planning is good for our mental health and well-being: 

1. Achievement is a key part of what enables humans to flourish and is a key aspect to human well-being. 

What is achievement? It is us setting goals, committing to those goals, achieving those goals. It is us creating meaning, which is also one of the parts of perma and allowing those goals to be a part of us achieving and moving towards that meaning.”

2. Motivation and Momentum. Having a goal pulls us forward, and enables us to find that North Star that's going to guide us towards where we want to go. It also gives us agency as human beings to know that we get to choose what we want to do next.

“Planning is one of the most important ways for us to get there, whether it's a job hunt, whether it is meal planning and prep and figuring out how we want to nourish ourselves, whether it is our mental health strategies, how are we going to consistently see our therapists? Planning is a key to motivation and momentum, and I just don't know where I would be in my life without having created a planning strategy for myself that I come back to over and over again when I need to pivot, change things and find out what my next right step is.”

3. Preventing and Recovering From Burnout - Planning can actually help us prevent burnout and recover from burnout when we set recovery as a goal for ourselves as it can help us create positive momentum.

4. Self-Care Doesn't Happen Without Planning: Again, if we don't plan it, our self care and how we take care of our well-being doesn't happen.

My mental health was impacted because I wasn't planning my self care. And so if you have self care and wellness goals, this is your sanity check. Reality check that without a goal, without a strategy in place, without a plan in place, it is going to make it very unlikely that you're going to successfully achieve that goal. So take some pen to paper, take some time to brain dump and figure out the right strategy for you to make that thing that you really want to make happen. Happen because you deserve to be well, you deserve to feel good. And there's no better way than planning it out than to do that.” - Komal (29:24 - 30:00)

5. Task based planning helps build our self-efficacy: When we make lists, when we take time to plan, it helps us reinforce our own sense of competence in our capabilities to make it through a day, to do small and large things, to move through hard things. And that, in turn builds our self efficacy, which is our belief in ourselves that we can work through problems.

And those are the five reasons why planning is good for your mental health and well-being! I know it can feel overwhelming to think about 2021, and that it can be really overwhelming to think about planning getting organized because it feels like everything is just chaos. 

That is why we plan when things are chaotic. 

If anything, this is the most critical time where we should be planning and can plan, because when we are in chaos. It gives us an opportunity to get really clear on what we actually can control in our lives and what actually matters most to us in our lives. And that's a deep sense of clarity that I'm feeling right now, and I hope you can too. 

If you want to learn more in depth about my planning process before the launch of “Your Best Year”, head to to listen to last week’s episode where I talk about my 5 step process in detail, and also provide you with a blog and free pdf worksheet on the subject. 

Download this week's quote art by clicking the button below...

Until next time!

Love, Komal