If you haven't already, it's time to plan for your success in 2011. I find most entrepreneurs fall into one of two categories when it comes to planning. See which one resonates with you.

You resist planning, thinking that it will restrict your freedom and creativity. This means that you just let your business flow in any direction. The result is that you probably are frustrated that you don't get any truly big success or momentum.

Or you love planning so much that you never seem to get to the manifesting part of your plans. You stay in ideation. Falling in love with writing and talking about your plans, but you never seem to be able to get them off the ground.

Either way leaves you disappointed and frustrated... and NOT achieving the success you are truly capable of!

Let me share with you my three-step process which will make all the difference between your plan just staying a plan and never meeting with success. I call this my Living Business Plan.

In my corporate career I literally created or reviewed over 1000 business plans. I can tell you for a fact--the year never goes as planned; all sorts of unimaginable things happen to throw your plans off track. But when you have a plan, you have a focus. You have intentional energy. That gives you momentum to attract opportunities to you and then you can co-create with the universe.

You'll want to break your creative planning process into three different stages.

Step #1 in successful creative planning is Dreaming. Before you jump in with your plans and to-do lists, you need time to just dream and brainstorm the possibilities. What are your "what if's" for the new year? What if this is the year you finish that book, write that screenplay, record that song? What if this is the year that you create the mediation CD or launch your first information product?

I know you have lots of creative projects, marketing ideas -it's an everlasting list of possibilities. I believe this: You can do anything. Truly anything is possible. But first, you need some time to just dream and put those possibilities out on the table. See where your ideas lead you. Allow them to get bigger. Let them evolve into an even bigger idea that could impact more people than you first imagined.

Keep asking, and be curious. "What if...?" Let yourself dream first before anything else.

Step #2 in successful creative planning is Organizing. Now it's time to take those ideas and projects and put them in some order, and, yes, this means editing down your ideas. You have lots of great ideas, but you can't do them all in the first quarter. For some of you, you can't do all your creative ideas in one year! So a big part of planning is prioritizing your ideas. Listen to your joy-o-meter, follow your energy, listen to your heart--let it tell you which projects are ripe and ready for now.

Then, put those projects on your calendar. Chunk your projects down into manageable pieces and actually get out your calendar and plan them. WHEN do you want to launch your info product? Reverse engineer your way through the steps from launch back to creation - go backward from launch date to the first steps. You'll figure out what resources you need (time, money, support), and you're more likely to get it done.

Step #3 in successful creative planning is Taking ACTION. First you dream the plans. Then, you organize and schedule the plans. And then you take action on your plans. This is where many plans fall apart. The secret is you need to schedule time to take the actions. Schedule time to write the book, record the audio, research, write the blog posts, hire a team member. Put your action time into your calendar. It won't get done if it just stays a plan. You have to schedule WHEN you going to write it, create it, research it, hire. And then follow through on that commitment.

Once you start taking action, pay attention. Keep following your energy. This is what makes it a Living Business Plan. And then say YES to opportunities that are in alignment with your vision. Remember that the universe works with you by presenting you with opportunities. Most importantly, trust the process.

I wish you a magical year full of prosperity in every area of your life and business!

Author's Bio: 

About the Expert:
Laura West is a certified professional coach, writer, speaker and the President of The Center for Joyful Business.  She is the author of the upcoming book, Awaken Your Inner Business Goddess, as well as, the Business Goddess’s Guide to Creating Powerful Sales Pages and The Joyful Business Guide™.  Laura publishes an award winning blog, http://www.JoyfulBusinessBlog.com Laura helps women solo-entrepreneurs step into being a Go-To-Goddess in their specialty niche. She brings together spiritual business in a powerful and prosperous way for women entrepreneurs. Visit our resource-rich website for your free inspirational affirmation: Business Goddess Manifesto at http://www.Joyfulbusiness.com