How writing a Pain List unblocks you

This story is one of several about the reasons I came to create Life’s Battle Plan. The Pain List is one of the lessons — Day 7, to be exact — in the workbook. This is a practical stage you must pass through successfully: after defining your dreams, before you’re on your way to making them real. 

– also published on Medium

Until I started taking my Pain List items seriously, until I started putting some of this stuff to bed, nothing new was coming into my life. My life didn’t feel like it was going in the direction I wanted it to go. It didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. In fact, if it was moving at all, it moved to a wasteful end. 

What was underneath that was I had a history of learned helplessness in the face of obstruction. “If I try, it’ll only end up in disappointment, so I prefer to dream.”

Life is full of obstructions that loom larger than they actually are. Dysfunctional people resist our unclear or maladroit attempts to remove obstructions to make our situations and relationships better. (When we get really clear, it’s hard for them to thwart our changes.) They typically respond in a way that shuts us down. In the face of getting shut down, some people get clearer and go for it another way. Other people, however, give up more easily. They should not!

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Why I created Life’s Battle Plan and the Tactical Chronograph — besides to help you

printed version of the series

I’ve just spent a full year turning my life-planning, self-management “systems” into a product, email course, and digital downloads. Or in short, creating a life planner, a course to evaluate your life, and a novel set of paper agendas.

This was an exercise in learning everything I could about product design, creation, marketing, feedback, and how to put stuff together to benefit someone else. I could have learned these things working on someone else’s product, but I felt compelled to build, and I reached for what as at hand. What I built was Life’s Battle Plan and the Tactical Chronograph.

See, when I created these products, they were a single package together. I’d hoped to turn them into a premium Kickstarter by now: a creamy paper version of a life planner where people could think with their pencils to make an annual plan. They’d then have a book of accompanying agendas, usable on a monthly basis to keep their scope narrow. Yet the slim agendas still had the space to gather all the thoughts that don’t get entered into their phones. I believe in paper agendas and it’s not a rocket science product to reinvent, but I did my own little twist.

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Your monthly pocket agenda, downloaded.

Here’s the agenda that captures everything you need, but only what you need in the timeframe you’re looking at. Now.

That is, the month at hand. This week.  Or the next three days. You prefer scribbling everything by hand, on the fly, and looking at it with a bird’s-eye view when you’re putting your days and weeks together.  You find notes help you keep track of your days.

“But I already put things into my phone,” you say.

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