I’m always preaching about the importance of planning. “Without a plan, you plan to fail” as the old saying goes. However, I think some people have a jaded view as to what planning “means” and how you can use them most effectively.
Because of people’s stereotypical views of plans, they tend to only stick to them for a short-lived period of time. I mean come on, how many of you have created new years resolutions and had them flop in a matter of weeks, or at best a couple of months?
Now I’m not saying I’m superman, that I make plans and stick to them every time. However, I’ve developed a “planning system” that makes STICKING to a plan much easier.
Plans start out as fun stepping stones to success for our ambitions. However, over time, they can start to look outdated, old, boring, bland and not very enticing. Even if the overall goal is something we’re very interested in achieving.
Why do plans lose their meaning of importance or engagement with us so fast?
I believe that it’s something to do with the “solidity” of a plan. For me, I have the most success with planning when I turn them a “living entity”.
What do I mean by that?
I mean the plan is alive, and what is the natural process of being alive?
Everything that is living is in a constant phase of change, therefore, those are the characteristics I give to my plans. They’re adaptable and versatile, which means that when my real life circumstances change, or events occur that alter my goals, my plans change with them.
For example, let’s say you run a business, and you have a plan for that business. The plan is to do with marketing, and it’s completely “set in stone”. It never changes, never gets altered and stays 100% “as is”.
If any of you run or own businesses, you’ll know that markets are always changing and fluctuating, which calls for creative marketing. BUT, if your marketing plan never changes, how effective do you think it’s going to be in an ever transforming marketplace? Not very…
How many businesses have gone “out of business” due to an owner or manager who was “stuck in their ways”? Look at Blockbusters…
If you’re to be successful with your plans, make them come to life, and allow yourself to edit them, change them and alter them to reflect what’s actually occurring in your real life.
This leads me onto the other process that helps me stick to a plan…
Regardless of how active you are and how quickly you make measurable progress with your goals, you HAVE to review how things are going on a frequent basis.
Have weekly or monthly reviews of your plans, to see if they reflect the changes in your life. If they don’t, the likelihood of you sticking to that particular plan is minimal. BUT, if it was altered to incorporate the new events in your life then it would make sense again, and be “actionable”!
For plans to be exciting and effective, they must be relevant to your current “real life” situation AND be adaptable…
Let’s take the business example again, as it’s very easy to understand with these concepts.
There’s huge value for businesses in reviewing specific parts of their processes with plans that are “alive” and changeable. Through conducting monthly or weekly meetings, looking at stats, figures, performance and changes will help businesses to gauge how to make effective alterations in their plans. Without doing this, a business is likely sticking its head in the sand, and will be lucky to last in the long run.
Businesses should review their environment, market, assumptions, resources, and team to remain in a state of constant growth. That’s what it all comes down to, learning from your surroundings and results to see how you can adapt your plans for success.
These ideas can be related to any example or ambition you may have. The process remains the same, be willing to change plans, and ensure that you’re reviewing your progress, to see that your plans reflect your real life conditions.
If a plan doesn’t reflect real life conditions, then it’s been created in a fantasy world. How can you act on a plan that’s only functional in an imaginary land?
Make your plans vivid, specific and descriptive. The more you can “see” yourself in them, and see how you could take action on them in your current environment, the more effective they’ll be.
Take a look at any current or previous plans you have. These could be for personal goals, business goals or anything else. Do they incorporate the ideas I’ve spoken about today?
If not, alter them so that you can start taking educated and specific action on them. Plans are designed with one clear purpose for us, to make life easier!
Once we’ve made a plan, we simply follow it and alter it as we go. It acts as a manual for success. BUT, without reviewing and altering them, it’s very hard to stick to them.
Wrapping things up…
Overall, I firmly believe that if you make your plans “come to life” and review them often, you’ll have a far better chance of sticking to them. I’ve found that every plan I create in this way keeps my attention, focus and enthusiasm, which helps me reach success.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog post, please like, share and comment below!