Hi y’all, did ya miss me?
If you read my last post, you know that run kicked my behind. You know, this one. It tossed me right off the horse. And, while I have still be running since, it took a long time to recover from that day – over a month to get back in the writing saddle.
BUT if you know 1 thing about me – besides that I dislike being cold – it’s that I like to plan.
So in those weeks, days, hours since “the cold one”, I planned. I used that time while in recovery mode to research, google, prioritize and get back to my blog game.
I found friends from across the world who share great ideas about things I love and want to do – fitness, nutrition, writing, photography, and, of course, traveling.
I found tips and tricks to help me along the way.
I found a way to make time and integrate writing into my normal week.
I found my secret for tracking expenses and sticking to budget. (Yay for travel savings!)
So what’s the point. Why would you care?
Because you have goals, too. Whatever they are, they are yours and you want to achieve them. But you don’t stumble into that.
Take the time to build your plan.
Visualize it. See yourself taking the steps to getting what you want.
It’s a lot easier than actually DOING the steps but think of it as the stretch and warm up before the workout. It’s essential to making it worth your time and effort.
You’ve heard it a million times. You’re hearing it now because it works. So…
5 Steps to Creating a Plan
1. Put it in writing.
Taking a hint from one of my favorite entrepreneurial pros, Passion Planner dedicates the first few pages to this.
It becomes real when you write it down. Even if you aren’t sure where to start, just start writing and it will come to you.
Then put it up. On your wall, your phone screen, at your desk, anywhere you can see it regularly and keep it top of mind. Don’t let it fall into a memory.
2. Be specific.
Here’s where you can add muscle to your idea skeleton.
Write out the specific goal and steps to getting there. It helps you visualize going from Point A to Point Z. You are less likely to get derailed when you’ve already considered what L, M, N, O, and P could be.
And a bonus? It helps you think concretely while sparking more ideas or creative solutions.
3. Get S.M.A.R.T.
Remember this from your Intro to Business class? Yep, tuition well spent (or saved!). This one’s important.
Make sure your goals are:
- Specific – Answer the who’s, what’s, where’s, why’s, and which’s related to your goal.
- Measurable – How are you going to know when you’re successful? Or even on the right track? Establish concrete criteria for indicating when you’ve hit your mark. Even better, set up benchmarks to celebrate and guide you on the way.
- Attainable – Here’s where your steps come in to place. Determine your resources in your pocket and still left to get or develop. Do you have what you need to attain your goal? Education, personality traits, habits, everything factors in.
- Realistic – Is your objective something toward which you are willing and able to work?
- Timely – Keep your goal grounded in a time frame. “Eventually” doesn’t work. You need a sense of urgency to get yourself moving.
4. Make an action plan.
One of my favorite quotes is “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.”
BUT taking the time to make a plan is the best way to turn your abstract idea into something you can attain. It’s your training schedule to get you to where you want to be.
Sure, you can expect changes, that’s life. But strive for progress instead of waiting for perfection. The perfect moment doesn’t exist and time is our most precious commodity. Don’t waste it waiting around.
5. Check in often.
Take 5 minutes each day to check in with yourself to see how you’re doing on your way. Is it where you wanted to be at that very moment?
If it is, awesome! You’re doing it!
If it’s not, be real with yourself about why.
Sometimes it is just that there are only so many hours in a day. And it’s a really, really long, hard day and you’re tired. Those days exist, as we all know.
But more often than not, there’s something that could have been done to better set yourself up for success.
I could have run in the morning since I knew work might keep me late.. I could have eaten better during breakfast and lunch to have energy at the end of the day..
Cut the crap and don’t cheat yourself. Be honest and get to the real reasons so you can fix them. You’ll be better for it.
Overall, if you don’t plan, you plan to fail. That’s why, when I was hit with a hard punch of Jack Frost from Chicago’s East Side, I couldn’t bounce back as quickly as I wanted. I had to stop, regroup, and reboot.
Don’t skip the warm up.
Don’t forget to plan.
I hope this helps you avoid some of life’s punches.