You have been overtaken by the burning desire to accomplish something, now the real fun begins. It is time to start the “journey” and create a plan. It was once said by someone, I don’t know who, ” that a goal without a plan is just a dream.” This is very true but there are haphazard plans that not much thought has been put into (most of mine) and then there are plans that are very precise or strategic ( my wife’s). I have always been the seat of the pants type of person who has a plan in their head but never puts it into writing and then I wonder why everything goes haywire. In time and many hours listening to my wife, I realized that you are only going to get the result based on the effort that is put forth. Bad plan equals bad results.
Before you start to formulate your plan, you need to ask yourself a few simple questions to help steer you in the right direction.
- What is it that you want to do? This is obvious. Remember that burning desire that is keeping you up at night.
- How do you plan to accomplish it? If you want to get promoted, go to night school or work extra hours. If you want to lose weight then quit eating or run a marathon. You get the gist.
- When do you want to start and finish? A time line is important. You have got to have a deadline to complete it and of course you need to start it.
- Who is going to carry out the plan you, someone else, or both? It is always good to have a partner for accountability.
- Where is my plan going to be posted? The plan needs to be put to paper and posted somewhere that you can see it to ensure that you stay focused. Tape it to the cookie jar if you are trying to lose weight.
A few thoughts on the plan itself.
- It must be persuasive. For example if I don’t lose 50 lbs. by June 1, I won’t be able to wear my Speedo at the pool, at least not without someone calling the police.
- The plan must be realistic. I am going to lose 50 lbs. in one month. This is not realistic. One year, maybe but more like two or five.
- It should have a contingency plan. If I don’t lose 50 lbs. by June 1, I will wear a one piece spandex bathing suit to the pool that covers my whole body.
- It should have certain times set aside to evaluate your progress. This is to make sure that you are not eating Krispy Kreme donuts everyday on the way home from work.
In conclusion, a plan is important for many reasons. It provides the discipline and the direction to complete the goal. It gets you in the right frame of mind to start achieving your goal. It provides a time line and a way to be flexible. Lastly it allow for you to bask in the glory of accomplishing your goal. Look out world, I am going to parade around in my Speedo only 49 more lbs. to go!