Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Purpose of a Plan, No-one Else's Plan, YOUR Plan!


Now, if someone pointed out that the purpose of a plan was to make something a reality, you'd probably laugh at them for being so obvious. In fact, it sounds silly doesn't it. Yet how many of us have mistaken planning for the actual 'work?' I know I have.

I can recall personal development seminars and trainings where delegates were often asked to write things down they wanted to achieve, together with all the steps and processes involved to make whatever a reality. We all went away feeling we'd partly achieved our objectives. And then... nothing. Nada. Zip.

I even recall spending hours, days, even weeks of precious time (ask my wife!) working on all sorts of strategies to achieve a particular goal, filling note pads with scribble, completing endless research, then doing nothing with the results! Big oops! 

So, of course this got me thinking (these sorts of things usually do!) Then it struck me. There was never any real emphasis placed on the action steps beyond the planning process. How to bring the goal to life. And often times my notes and plans were so complex I was never likely to take action from them, because the whole project looked like a cross-section of an Encyclopedia Britannica - and I knew it! Hands up those who have done the same!

Another 'a-ha' moment followed shortly after: unless the goal you set as part of your planning is achievable AND inspirational, you won't take action to achieve it. And there you have it. Lots of plans, but not a single 'workable' one to begin the process with the likelihood of success. And because of this rather large factor ie. success not much of a probability, the project was shelved and yet more research sought. Don't make the same mistake!

I find it much simpler now to have one big plan, but to be working on much smaller, more achievable steps or goals which make up the whole. Again, sounds obvious (and I'm sure many people have encouraged this approach) but I'm sure it wasn't the folks from the seminars and trainings!

So, as we're all on our own personal journeys of discovery ie. finding out what works for us as individuals, I thought I'd share this with you so it might save you some time. It has worked for me (and continues to do so). Perhaps you'd like to share what has worked for you?