Are you a planner? You spend hours thinking, planning, organizing and can’t wait to begin. Plans in place, you sprint forward, then BAM-life interruptions hit like a ton of bricks. Or maybe things go well for a while but little by little, things change, and the original plan slips away. Either way, it feels like failure.
Maybe you’re not a planner like me and simply go with the flow. “Life is meant to be lived, not planned” you think and jump into goals without a plan. Then one day you wonder why you never did x, y, or z. You’ve always dreamed of doing that one thing but got sidetracked and now wish you would’ve remembered it.
Whether you’re a natural planner or not, a good plan is worth having. It’s wise to have a plan even if you change course at some point. If nothing else, a plan provides framework, a road map from which to begin. Of course, life will interfere and when this happens, it’s not failure. It’s just time for a reevaluation and change of course. So how can planners or non-planners alike come up with a marvelous framework from which to begin? With a plan of course!
We’ve already discussed making SMART goals and the ART of doing this first. Now, let’s move onto the plan. Achieving our goals begins with a plan for the four components to succeed (or at least get off the ground). Sure, we can achieve goals without all of them, but if we have all of them, our success rate improves. Let’s plan for our goals by consistently addressing these parts:
- Being Organized
- Finding the Time
- Putting in the Effort
- Keeping a Positive Attitude
Let’s begin with organization. To achieve our goals, organization is crucial. Continuing our example from the last few weeks, if we want to have a better memory by remembering new people’s names, we must have the proper tools. Being organized saves us moments of regret. Think of how frustrated we’ll feel when meeting someone new without being able to write down their name! Having a notebook and pen allows us to record those new names. Keeping every new name in one place rather than on random sticky notes will help. Organizing with a small notebook to take along daily and review each night provides a simple tool to work toward the goal. Apply organization to goals and be better prepared to achieve them.
Second, every goal takes time to achieve. For each goal, find time to execute on it each day. This may mean giving up or letting go of something else, even for a season of life until the goal is completed. Look at each day and figure out when and how you’ll work toward your goals. In our example with names, consistently repeating names as we learn them and writing them down takes time. Reviewing them each night are moments we invest in our goal that matters. Finding time to consistently work on our goals will truly help us achieve them.
Next up in planning is effort. So often we start off well with resolutions or new goals. We work hard and can’t wait to see results. But when those results don’t come quickly or easily, we’re tempted to minimize our effort. Especially in these moments, we need to double down on effort. Really pushing forward, particularly when we don’t feel like it creates the difference between achieving our goals or not. Goals can only be achieved with consistent effort, don’t skimp here.
Last, but most importantly is attitude. None of the plans we make or goals we have will ever come to fruition if our attitude isn’t positive. A negative attitude dooms any new goal before a plan ever takes shape. Or maybe the plan is there, but as interruptions comes, our attitude dips. When the negative creeps in, fight it! A productive mindset sees the interruptions and even allows them a moment of annoyance. But we don’t allow things to derail the goal or overall plan. Instead, we choose flexibility and climb right back on that horse toward achieving our goals!
A plan is a strong pillar in achieving goals. It’s valuable, even if it needs to adjust along the way. Not having a plan often means never reaching our goals. It doesn’t matter if you love or hate planning, plans help with goals. Pay attention to these four components and create a plan to achieve!