Eve Stipes on Party Planning
I decided it was time to take a break from me sharing examples of my goals and life stuff and asked my delightful (and outrageously productive) friend Eve Stipes, co-founder of Sherman & Gilbert to share an example of how she plans a project. Eve has been a part of the pace & pattern beta-testing team for the past year and I have been continually inspired by the way she thinks through tackling projects and making them a reality. Enjoy! - Allison Rhea
Project: Party Planning
While I was home at Christmas time my mom and I started talking about throwing a surprise birthday party for my dad in March. He’s turning 60 and we want to celebrate him and this milestone in style. Talking about a party is fun. Actually, planning the party can start to feel overwhelming quickly.
After I came home I started working through the Pace & Pattern Vision and Goal Guide, and knew the project I wanted to tackle for the first quarter was my dad’s birthday party. I’ll share a little bit of my planning process with you, if you promise not to tell my dad. (Don’t worry - I’m fairly certain he’s not reading this blog regularly. Though, obviously, he totally should be.)
As I worked through the planning template, I found one of the best questions to be, “What am I saying ‘no’ to so I can do this?” The first time I read the question, I thought, “That doesn’t really apply to this project.” But, as I continued to sketch out the plan, I realized it was a very applicable question. Not that I need to say “no” to lots of things every day to get this party planned, but I will need to say “no” to a few things at key points in the overall timeline. (Hint: It has to do with complicated dinner recipes.)
I started thinking about all the different pieces my mom and I need to figure out to ensure an awesome party and scratched them down on a scrap piece of paper - guest list, food, location, decor, the surprise plan, a slideshow, etc. Once I had a good list I tried to group them into three big categories, and I came up with:
- Making it special
I assigned each item from my list to a category, and even thought of a few extra items as I started organizing my list.
One of the most freeing parts of the planning sheet was writing down our timeline. After the tasks had been written down and categorized, backwards planning from the party date felt super manageable. I planned a generous timeline, knowing that it may change as we go, but also resting in the reality that I had a plan. An actual plan. With actual time to implement the plan. That is a major win from my perspective!
The last piece of my plan was outlining the accountability for this party project. In this case, it consists of periodic check-ins with my mom–which is probably the most fun accountability I’ve ever anticipated. (Love you, mom!)
So, there you have it - 60th Birthday Party plans, made easy. But shhhh.. don’t tell everyone. Remember– it’s a surprise!