Goals: Do You Have Plans That Will Make Your Way? (Part Five)

Do You Have Plans That Will Make Your Way? [Marcin Rzucidlo / Life Puzzle Coach]

This is the fourth and final post of the goals related series. The previous ones are:

“If you talk about it, it’s a dream, if you envision it, it’s possible, but if you schedule it, it’s real.”

Tony Robbins

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Many say, many do. And it seems obvious. But many things that seem and are obvious are the things that people neglect.

Is there anything obviously good for your health, relations or development that you know you should do, but you don’t? Well…

And most probably the reason for failure here is that those things are not planned. They do not hit your agenda.

And that is why your natural selection of things to do will drift towards items that are not best in general, but are best adapted to survive in your busyness jungle.

So, now, that you have your goals, motivation, identity and strategies, let’s make them real.

Your plans: the when?

Your plan is a set of actionable items that you will actually do in order to get results that you want.

Each action item consists of two elements:

  1. What exactly you will do
  2. In which time frame it will happen

1. What exactly you will do

What is the action(s) you must take to move things forward? Forward means towards your goals.

Let’s say you want to learn a new skill, like, for example, better self-management. This is your ‘what‘.

You want to learn it so that you can get better results and have more free time. This is your ‘why‘.

You know that to manage yourself better, you will need become a person with new, productive habits. This is your ‘who‘.

The strategy you chose is to have an on-line course on the topic. This is your ‘how‘.

Many people stop here being complacent with the amount of thinking they did. Great. But, unless they act upon it, they have just wasted their time.

So, what is the action(s) you must take to have an on-line course on the topic?

Well, you must:

  • browse available courses
  • make a decision
  • buy the course
  • take (!) the course, and
  • apply the learning of new, productive self-management habits

The number of actions you must take to achieve a certain result may vary, but you get the idea.

Without action(s) no goal will be achieved.

So, whatever goal you want to accomplish, brainstorm it down to simple actionable steps you will need to take.

2. In which time frame it will happen

When you know what exactly to do, you are half way there. Next thing is to know when you will do it. That’s the scheduling part.

One thing I mentioned before about your goals is that they must be anchored in time. They must have their date of completion. The deadline (although, for reasons that I will explain in another post, I prefer the term live-line).

That means that all the actions necessary to accomplish this goal must be performed before. You just need to plan it.

The approach that is handy here is called retro-planning.

Retro-planning is actually planning backwards. Your start with your end result (goal) and move backwards asking yourself the questions of “What must I do to achieve that?” and “When will I do it?”

So, our example with learning self-management skills could look like this:

Goal: I manage myself well. That means I am effective in getting the results I want, I have more free time and I am efficient in the way I organize myself. I want to do it by the end of quarter one this year.

  • “What must I do to achieve that?”: I must develop new, productive self-management habits. “When will I do it?” By the end of Q1 this year.
  • “What must I do to achieve that?”: I must take an on-line course. “When will I do it?” By the end of February.
  • “What must I do to achieve that?”: I must buy the course. “When will I do it?” By the end January.
  • “What must I do to achieve that?”: I must make a decision on which course to buy. “When will I do it?” By the end of January.
  • “What must I do to achieve that?”: I must browse and select three on-line course options. “When will I do it?” By the end of second week of January.

This is only an illustration. And as your read it it shows much more complicated than it is in reality. Actually, it reflects your natural way of thinking. Provided you consciously do such planning.

It shows an example of how retro-planning could work. Your time frame can be any time on your calendar. A month, a week, a day, an hour.

Once you define each action put the item on your to-do list or your calendar.

2a. In which repetitive time frame it will happen

Another thing I must mention is that in some cases, your action plan will consist of repeated actions.

For example, one of my goals is to keep my weight under 80kg. And my action plan for that is a set of repeated activities related to diet and exercise that I do every day.

Actually, each of them is scheduled in a particular time of the day (morning, mid-day or evening).

Whichever planning method you will use, make sure that for each of your goals you end up with:

  1. What exactly you will do
  2. In which time frame it will happen

And you will write it down on your to-do list or your calendar.

Remember to act upon it

I always say that a plan is as good as its execution.

A plan is as good as its execution. Click To Tweet

Therefore, once you have your plan, remember to act upon it.

Dreams, goals and actions do not happen. You make them happen by acting on them. Keep your schedule. Check action items off your list.

If you miss, don’t worry. Replan.

Make a planned, fabulous day 🙂

– Marcin

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