I attended a wedding this weekend and I witnessed one of the most embarrassing occurrences I’ve ever seen in a ceremony. Not only did the pastor forget the brides name, she asked her in front of the entire audience how she pronounced it. When I asked the bridal party what kind of planning was done at the rehearsal the night before, it turns out that she never even asked the bride or groom their names or how to say them!
Here it was, the most important day in this woman’s life and the mere lack of planning and oversight by the pastor led to a highly embarrassing moment for everyone involved. This got me thinking about the importance of planning and how it pertains to everything you do in your life, from weddings to nutrition, working out, your finances and of course your career.
In general for personal planning, there are 5 golden rules that will always keep you on task and on plan. They are as follows:
1. Decide on your goals
You must decide on what you want in the short term (6-12 months) and long term (3-5 years). A good example of a short-term goal might be to double your income. A long-term goal might be to start your own business so someone else isn’t controlling your income.
2. Develop a Strong Why
You must determine a strong reason or reasons why you want to achieve your goals. Creating a list is simply not enough. You must take it to the next level by finding reason that generates a strong emotional connection and determination to achieve them. For instance, if someone in your family became sick and the medicine they needed to get healed cost $5000, I can guarantee you would find it inside yourself to find a way to get that money. A good goal is no different. If your why creates an emotional drive that you MUST achieve the goal to feel successful, then it is a good goal.
3. Create a Plan
It’s now time to create your plan. Think about the things you can do today, this week and this month. And DON”T let money be a reason why you can’t achieve something, that is only an excuse. As you begin to write down tasks you can do, you’re start to see your plan naturally unfold. If you find it challenging to create your plan, the Internet has a multitude of resources to help you. Remember if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
4. Take Daily Action
Many of you have likely seen or heard about the movie, The Secret,” which talks all about the law of attraction. However, the one big missing message from that movie was that in addition to your thoughts, you must take action with those thoughts, or nothing can come of them. Before bed each night, make a list of the tasks you need to accomplish the next day that will bring you one step closer to the fulfillment of your goal(s).
5. Review Your Progress
Imagine that you were a high school student who studied for a final for 2 weeks and then took the test. Upon completion of the test, your teacher gives you back the test with no grade, only a “good job!” at the top of the page. Would this help you know how you did? Maybe in a broad sense, but it wouldn’t help you know what you did well and what you did poorly. Your goals are no different, every few weeks you need to look at your progress and see where you are doing well and where you need improvement. This constant check and balance of your progress will only help you get to your desired outcome quicker.
For some of you these 5 goals might seem like basic fundamentals, but like with any sport, when you get out of tune, you always go back to mastering the fundamentals first before you do anything else. Adding complexity or another degree of difficulty to your plate will only hamper your progress.
Implement these steps into your daily regimen for the next 30 days and I guarantee you’ll see measurable progress towards your goals.