Every success story comes from perfect planning. It is harder to achieve success from simply going at it and hoping for the best. This is because you might encounter snags along the way and don’t have any ways to overcome it.
It is baffling why some succeed and some fail. Sometimes it may even seem unfair. You may know friends and family who are fantastic people, act appropriately, have good education, have good jobs, lead good families and generally possess the good things in life. But somehow they still wallow in desperation and difficulty.
Then there are those who always achieve so much success and yet do not have high merits. They have no education, poor attitude about themselves and other people, often dishonest and unethical, and even involved in a cycle of breakups and new partners. In these cases, the actual defining factor is the strength of one’s desire to get ahead. Despite their lack of virtues, knowledge and appreciation, these people often got ahead in the success race.
This is also why many times you see drug dealers and gang members driving Lamborghinis, while many good and honest people you know are struggling to pay their bills. If the desire is strong enough to achieve the goals, why still many do not?
The sad answer is there is only desire, but no work. Oftentimes many dream big but do not hustle and put in the work. They do not stay up late at night developing new solutions to their problems. They do not work 16 hours a day closing a sale. They do not struggle to ensure the prospects they approach turn into qualified clients. They do. They do not learn all that they possibly can about our industry and our markets. They do not work to get around the right sources of influence, or to associate with those people who can help them to achieve their goals. While you are sitting there dreaming, some are getting of their seats and working.
So, what are the steps to develop a plan that will work amazingly and take you to the finish line strongly? Here are the five major points to keep in mind:
Step 1: Develop The Right Plan For You.
Some people are very detail-oriented and are able to closely follow an intricate plan to the letter. Others are more effective when they see the bigger picture first and then frame out the small steps that lead to the final goal.
Each of us is unique and motivated by different factors and you’ve got to develop a plan that is right for you and fits you. Some plans will not be as intricate as others, but we all must have a plan, along with goals in that plan, to move us along. If you are a free spirit, don’t tell yourself you are going to spend two hours a day with a book and a journal. It probably won’t happen and you will just get discouraged. Whatever your personality, your strengths and your weaknesses, develop the plan around them. This is not a one-plan-fits-all proposition.
If you’re detail-oriented, it’s best to map out the small steps in your plan with utmost focus. This means being very clear on what you want to achieve daily, weekly or monthly. For example, the first small step to achieving your ideal weight is to cut out 1 serving of sweetened drinks by the end of Week 1.
For those who like to see the bigger picture first, it helps if you imagine how it will be if you’re, say, 20 pounds lighter. You may be able to get out of bed easier, your energy level will rise, and you will fit into those apparels that you yearn to wear. Then, map out what you need to do in order to achieve that.
Step2: Allocate The Time For It.
This is crucial in your planning, because you’ll be clearer on when you should commit on achieving your goals. In this case, let’s use back the weight-loss goal.
It might be alternating aerobics and weight training every other weekend. It might be running 30 minutes each morning or swimming after work. It might be in the car listening to weight loss motivational podcasts on your way to work, or it might even be meeting your coach once a week to set your workout plan and to check on your progress.
Whatever it is, be specific on the where, when and how to do it, and actually do it. In your step-by-step plan, put down points that represents small achievable goals that you can accomplish in a short time. They should be specific because if you straightaway put down a major goal, you may think it’s too big to achieve.
The next crucial element in achieving your goals to success is not starting to work on it, but to keep going at it. Discipline comes into important play here. Take those steps every day, which will close the gap to your goals.
Step 3: Keep A Journal
Two words that will help you a lot: Take Notes. In all seriousness, your memory should not be trusted. It’s much better and workable when you write it down, and write it in a single place so it’s easier for you to remind yourself where you’re heading to and what success have you achieved. You will find that this step will help you tremendously in the long run.
Record everything! Be it the ideas and inspiration or reminders and failures that you have gone through. This massively helps carry you from where you are to where you want to be. Write down the ideas that you get from outside sources that impact you most. Complement them with your own ideas that further suit your style. Do a brainstorm session with yourself on what you want and how you want to do it. And finally, record all your dreams and ambitions, and put it where you’ll read them first so you stay reminded and motivated.
Your journals are a gathering place for all the valuable information that you will find. If you come across something that you think will hugely help you achieve, for example, wealth, power, sophistication, health, influence, culture or uniqueness, do not delay. Write it down. Strengthen your reflection and motivation by using the information you gather and put it where it will be recorded permanently.
Step 4: Reflect on Where You Are and Where You Want To Be
Next step is to make the time for reflection. This is where you spend some time to go back over, to study again the things you’ve learned and the things you’ve done each day. This can also be called ‘running the tapes again’ so the day locks firmly in your memory and serves as a tool for motivation and keeps you going.
As you go through it, spend time reflecting on its significance to you. What you can do is take a few minutes at the end of each day before you go to sleep, and go back over what happened and you have achieved during the day: pay extra attention to who you talked to, who you saw, what they said, what happened and how you felt.
Another way is to take a longer time at the end of the week to reflect on the week’s activities and achievements. It also pays to periodically stop, step back and look at what you’re doing and see if it serves to push you to your goal or otherwise. Then tweak it a bit so you are kept on track. Take a half day at the end of the month and a weekend at the end of the year so that you’ve got it, so that it never disappears, to ensure that the past is even more valuable and will serve your future well.
Step 5: Set Clear and Achievable Goals
Remember that your plan is the roadmap that shows the way to your goals, which means it is always an essential tool that helps you to succeed. Setting goals is also an invaluable skill to learn because it can change your life for the better, and does it in the fastest way. Mastering this unique process can have a powerful effect on your life, too. If you have a set of clearly defined goals, it can surprisingly be a powerful indication of telling if you have only hundreds of dollars or millions in the bank! If you don’t have them yet, better to frame them out immediately so you have a lucid view of your future and dreams. Set your own goals clearly as soon as possible because it is the greatest influence on your future and the greatest force that will pull you in the direction that they want to go. It all boils down to this: If you plan and design your goals well, your future will be very bright.
Step 6: Act on It!
So what still holds you back from your success? You have a very strong desire to do it already, and you have already created a plan that will take you there.
The next step?
Take action! Here’s the thing: successful people aren’t necessarily smarter than others; they just work the plan to the letter, they follow through on the plan and ensure the plan serves them to reach greater heights.
The best time to act on your plan is when your emotions are strong. There’s a little thing called The Law of Diminishing Intent. This essentially means your desires diminish over time, and if you don’t act immediately after having the desire, your goals are harder to achieve. Act when the idea strikes you, when the emotion is high, but if we delay and we don’t translate that into action fairly soon, the intention starts to diminish, diminish and a month from now its cold and a year from now it can’t be found. This is where discipline comes to play – work the plan when the idea is strong, clear and powerful. You must capture the emotion and put it into disciplined activities and translate it into strong unrelenting action.