“Where to?” said the taxi driver as Phil got into the car.
“Yeah, well I don’t know. Just drive and I’ll work it out as we go” Phil replied.
“How will you know that we’ve arrived? Asked the driver
“I’ll know when I get there. It’ll just feel right”, said Phil as the car pulled away from the curb
That sounds like the start of a thriller novel where Phil ends up slashing the throat of the taxi driver.
Maybe it’s more like one of the “Choose your Own Adventure” books I used to read as a kid. Great stories that were full of twists, turns, backward steps where you never really arrived at your destination by design. It was more by luck.
It seemed like I always fell down a well to my death.
Whether you’re running a business or running your life, if you don't take the time to stop and create a plan and the strategy for getting to your destination you may as well be hailing a taxi with no idea of where you want to go.
A plan helps you to find the right path and stay on the path.
A plan helps you to make the decisions that move you toward your goal.
A plan helps you know what you need, who you can ask for help and uncover your blindspots in skill or resources.
A plan helps you work out the next steps and the steps to avoid.
And if you’re prone to distraction or have ‘shiny thing attraction syndrome’, a plan will help you stay focussed on WHY you started in the first place.
People say to me, “But won’t a plan stop me from being open to new opportunities?”
No! Having a clear plan and direction helps you to see the new opportunities that are right for you. A plan gives you the ability to critically assess the new opportunity and chuck out those that won’t get you to where you want to go.
Why would you take surfing lessons if your goal was to become a master chess player?
Step 1: Find a goal and love it.
Your goal could be big or small. What’s important is that you love that goal like it was your child. You need to ache for it. Work out why it matters, why it’s important to you. Be able to see what it will give you to achieve that goal, what it means to you.
Will it give you more time, build wealth, fulfilment, a purpose, love or will it improve your health?
I reckon step 1 is the most important step because if you don’t love your goal and if you can’t see clearly what it means to you to achieve it, really ache for the result then, frankly, you won’t give it the time, the focus and the effort needed to achieve it.
“If it’s important you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find excuses”
Step 2: Create the plan
Before you sow seeds in the garden, you need to prepare the soil. tWithout good quality soil he seeds will grow mould and die.
Your goal plan is no different. Without a little bit of preparation, life will get in the way and your goals will get pushed to the side.
The best plans are the ones that are detailed and set out exactly how you're going to get where you want to go. Don't wing it! Map out all the steps and potential challenges you'll meet along the way.
By scoping the challenges, there'll be no nasty surprises.
Set daily, weekly, monthly and even quarterly goals that move you along your path.
Here are some great planning questions to ask yourself:
1. How will I know when I’ve achieved the goal?
You'll need touchpoints, benchmarks or some sort of way to measure your progress. Otherwise, how will you know you’re there?
2. What are your beliefs?
What do you believe to be true about your goal and your ability to achieve it?
Do you believe it's going to be hard or easy? Do you believe that it’s going to take lots of time and effort? Do you believe you're too old or too young to go for this goal?
Will you need a 'belief adjustment' in order to get to your goal?
3. What standards or rituals do you need to implement and uphold?
Do you need some new rituals to create momentum?
Maybe you need to get up 30 mins earlier? Do you need to ask your partner or boss for help to free up time? Do you need to schedule an action into your diary til it becomes second nature?
Bonus step (for the bold!). Everything is a Strategy
Here’s an advanced step for you, if you’re brave and bold…..
When smart and successful people have a goal, they find someone who’s done it before or who has the attitude or skill they need to be able to get to their goal. They find that person and they study them. They model what that person does to the tiniest detail and they replicate it until they get the same result.
If you had a goal of learning to surf you’d find a surfing teacher, someone who was good at surfing. He or she would have you follow them through the actions and positions involved in standing up on the board. You’d copy what they did, repeating it until the teacher said you’ve got it. You modelled what they do til you could do it.
Step 4: Take the most action, even if it’s tiny action.
You know how much I love a tiny action. Every tiny action gets you closer. A tiny action takes little to no effort or pain. What’s important is to take action.
Anything that moves you forward, on track to that goal that is burning a hole in your heart you want it so much.
Step 5: Celebrate all the little wins.
Almost as important as loving your goal, is to celebrate the small wins you have along the way.
When you register your new business ABN or business name, it’s time to celebrate!
When you can run 2km without stopping, celebrate!
Celebrate every 5kg lost on your journey to losing 30kg.
Then when you get to your goal, when you cross the finish line and you’ve achieved what you set out to do….IT’S PARTY TIME!!
Pleeease don’t just shelve it and move on, really celebrate it. Bask in your own glory, you made it!
Whatever your goal is, you’ve got this.
Just start planning.
And if you don’t think you can go it alone, let's do it together! The next Goal Setting Mastermind starts 17 June. A whole 6 weeks of support to set you up to achieve your 2021 goals.
I’d love to have you join me and let’s kick the second half of 2021 in the butt!
Emma Taberner is a qualified Leadership and Executive Coach, Speaker, Facilitator, author and self-confessed Human Behaviour nerd. With over 20 years Supply Chain industry experience and 10 years coaching and mentoring frontline leaders, she is passionate about helping small business owners and their teams to understand how their behaviours determine their leadership and effectiveness in business, relationships and in life. Emma works One to One, with groups, both face 2 face and online.
When she’s not building future leaders you can find her flying small planes, being in the outdoors, growing her own food and hanging out with her husband of over 20 years.
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