Have a plan!
Have a plan!!
Have a plan!!!
If I had a dollar for every time I told someone that the key to succeeding in your life, or reaching your goals, or not making the same mistakes over and over is having a plan, I could retire. One of the things I preach over and over with clients is the importance of creating a plan and then following the plan. You wouldn’t go into battle without a plan, you would be angry with a professor who didn’t give you a syllabus and you wouldn’t be happy if your financial planner told you that they were making up as they go along how to grow your retirement money. So why then is it that so many of us don’t take the time to create a plan for the important things in our life?
Today I want to talk about what goes into making a good plan. My hopes that be giving these tools you will be able to create a workable plan in most areas of your life.
- Have a starting point and a final goal – Take some time and take a long, hard, realistic look at where you currently are and where you hope to get to. Most people fail in their plan because they haven’t taken the time to understand the realities of their current situation or being realistic of the final goal.
- Work backwards from the goal – Think of this as sort of reverse engineering. The tendency is to start at the beginning an work forward. I suggest that you do the opposite and start from your goal and work your way backwards through all the steps to the beginning. This helps make the goal seem more attainable and it will help you see the possible bumps along the way that you may encounter.
- Be detailed oriented – The old statement “The devil is in the details” is most certainly true. When I say be detailed oriented I mean very, very detailed oriented. For instance: saying I will get a job is not good enough. You need to decide what job, how much you will need to make, what kind of hours you can work, when you can work, what industries you are willing or not willing to work in. By going through the details now it will be easier to make decisions as you are working your plan
- Leave space for things you missed – I always tell clients to leave actual spaces on their plan (gaps if you will) for things that you just missed along the way. It is not unusual to get far into a plan and either realize that you forgot an important step or you didn’t plan for something. By leaving space you will be able to go into the plan and easily add things without feeling you messed the whole thing up.
- Be open to adjustments – It is not unusual to be working your plan and you find a door that is closed or something unexpected requires a small detour. Plans need to be followed but we all know that nothing is ever perfect. The plan is a detailed guide but you WILL have to adjust on occasion.
- Be prepared for mini-plans – You are going along and following your plan and all of a sudden the car dies a painful death. Instead of throwing up your hands in defeat you can create a mini-plan on how you can work around this hiccup.
- Enjoy the journey/Celebrate the victories – This is an important part of living out a successful plan. Each day of the plan is an important part of the journey. Try to enjoy the ride…even the tough days. And then celebrate the victories and milestones along the way. This will help you move forward, even on days that are tough.
By taking the time to create a well crafted plan, you are three steps ahead of most people who are going through life. If you are having a problem creating a plan or even getting started, I can help. Helping people create plans is what I do. Do not hesitate to reach out and we can discuss how I can help you create a plan for your life. Have a great day and don’t forget: “Life is a journey, not a destination!”
Stephen Halpin is a certified Life Coach with over 15 years of experience in helping people discover their fullest potential. Stephen has helped his clients chart a path for success in their careers, understand their talents and develop a plan of action to move forward in their lives. Stephen is a proud member of the International Association of Professional Life Coaches and the North American Life Coach Association.