The Power of Prepping and Planning

Sweta Vikram

My entire life I have enjoyed wearing multiple hats.

I do not remember a time in my adult life when I was not in school (even if it was a short course in digital marketing), working, cooking, writing, participating in some sport/new workout/supporting a yoga studio and then some. I love keeping different sides to my personality and brain healthily busy and inspired.

Prepping and planning have been the foundation of my personal and professional life to stay relevant, successful, healthy, and happy. It has been the single most important ingredient in staying grounded in relationships and my career.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” No matter what you do, you can benefit from prepping and planning. Be it showing up to work, running a company, juggling chores at home, managing family, carving out time for your self-care, preparing and planning ahead can be a game-changer.

I interviewed two successful and inspiring women from New York City to get their advice on the power of prepping and planning. Meet Paula Rizzo, author of Listful Living & Listful Thinking (I highly recommend reading her book and attending one of her talks), and a speaker, and media strategist; and Malla Haridat, an award-winning entrepreneur (one of the most effective business coaches I have studied with!) and mom.

Paula Rizzo
Paula Rizzo

Here is what Paula Rizzo’s had to say: “Prep before any event, project or trip will make all the difference for your enjoyment and stress levels. As a television producer for nearly 20 years I was keenly aware of planning for every second of a newscast. That kind of focus has helped in my personal and professional life again and again. I encourage people to think through how they want an event or trip to go and then doing whatever possible ahead of time to make that happen. Even with list making, it is possible to think in advance.”

I have clients who feel stressed because they have not been able to organize themselves. This particular piece of advice from Rizzo resonated deeply with me, and I hope we can all learn from.

“Before I leave my desk every night, I make a list of every single thing I need to do the following day,” she says. “I’m very specific and when I get to my desk the next day, I can hit the ground running. That list acts as my rundown for the day and reminds me what my intentions are for the day.”

Malla Haridat
Malla Haridat


Malla Haridat doesn’t mince words.

“Prioritize the golf balls and let the sand and marbles fall where they may in the proverbial ‘mayonnaise’ jar,” she says. “That analogy rules my life. God, my family, and my business are my golf balls. Spending 10 hours a day slaving in the kitchen to cook is the sand. LOL. I have no problems clicking Instacart and whipping out the Instapot for dinner. I’m not trying to have a picture-perfect world [or] that I can do it all. I’d rather spend my time with the things that matter.”

Haridat also tells us that her business CEO time is nonnegotiable.

“A few years ago, I switched over to being intentional about taking time out to plan and strategize the growth,” she says.

What also resonated with me was the self-care that Haridat emphasizes.

“I normally start with 20 min in the am praying and meditating,” she says. “It sets the day and the tone. You start to realize what is really important and how you can best spend your time.”

The holidays are upon us. Before we know it, the New Year (and hopefully some better news) will be staring us in the face. We can either continue with our old habits and feel stressed. Or, we can take a page from Rizzo and Haridat’s life lessons and improve the quality of our lives.

How will you prep and plan for 2021?