Let’s create a plan for success.
In my last post, I encouraged you to say goodbye to new year’s resolutions. Savvy people don’t make resolutions. Frankly, they don’t work. And most people who made resolutions at the start of the year have already abandoned them.
But there is a better approach. That is to have a vision for what you want to achieve and set growth goals to help you get there. Your goals should inspire and stretch you without being unrealistic. Goalsetting is good. Writing your goals down is better. And the best is devising a plan for how you’ll achieve them.
“Failing to plan means planning to fail. What are your goals?” ─ Brian Tracy
Plan for Success
Like resolutions, many people fail to achieve goals too. However, you can boost your odds of success by 90% if you break your goals into specific actions and commitments. The savviest amongst us plan for success, and so can you.
First, decide what goals you want to achieve. Then create a SMART success plan by asking yourself these questions:
- Specific ─ What steps will I take to accomplish my goals?
- Measurable ─ How will I measure the effectiveness of my actions?
- Achievable ─ Are the steps I’ve committed to doable? How likely is it that I’ll be consistent in taking them?
- Relevant ─ What relevance do the actions have to my desired outcome?
- Time-bound ─ When, specifically, will I take each step?
Repeat this process for each of your goals.
When you’ve finished documenting your plan, don’t tuck it away. Instead, put it where you will see it every day.
To ensure success, take one final step: anticipate obstacles.
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” ─ Michael Jordan
Prepare for Obstacles
Wouldn’t it be nice if everything went exactly according to your plan? Of course, but the reality is it won’t. Something is likely to occur that will throw you off your game plan, so be prepared.
Decide how you will handle the inevitable obstacles. In rowing, oars propel a boat. And you can use ‘OARS’ to ask questions that will help you push past the challenges you’ll encounter on your success path. Here’s how.
Step 1: Review your success plan.
Step 2: Ask yourself, what challenges am I likely to face as I execute this plan? Use your answers to create a list.
Step 3: Rank each item on the list high, medium, or low based on the likelihood that the challenge will occur.
Step 4: Make OARS for each obstacle you believe has a high probability of preventing you from reaching your goal. As yourself:
- Options ─ Since failure is not an option, what options do I have to overcome the obstacles and continue progressing toward my goals?
- Actions ─ Which option(s) will I choose, and what action(s) will I take if the challenge occurs?
- Resources ─ What resources do I have or need to help me move forward?
- Support ─ Who can best support me and hold me accountable for the results I want to achieve?
Now that you’ve planned for success and prepared for obstacles, the only thing left to do is GO.
Take action. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in planning mode or succumb to the perfection pitfall. Let it be good enough, then get going. As Cheryl Richardson said, “Set a goal, write it down, and release the outcome. Small steps make a big difference.”
Ready. Set. Get Going!