You know the old saying “Proper planning prevents piss poor performance”. Looking at the new year, we all want to see great successes. How can we succeed? Proper planning…
Proper Planning System
New year resolutions (yeah the term I don’ like) are made by many. How many are truly successful? Why not? If you remember I went through this in my previous blog post “In order to move forward we need to look back“.
To achieve success, complete a challenge, finish a goal, we need to have a plan. This plan can be in our minds, written down, anything really. If you REALLY want to reach that goal, and guarantee success, then you need to cover the three key areas where people fail: Planning, Focus and Support.
A goal is a dream with a deadline.
Goal Setting 101
Let’s cover the 3 areas where people fail. Planning, focus and support.
(My next blog post will be a deeper dive into SMART goals.)
Make sure your goal is logical and attainable. Saying I want to be an astronaut, for me, isn’t being realistic. It may be a dream to go into outer space, at this time it is not prudent or reasonable.
People will make long term goals (5 years) short term goals (1 year) and then look at creating milestones (weekly, monthly, quarterly) that will provide the stepping stones towards their goal. This is a great way to succeed in many areas of your life: health, relationships, financial – name it – you can achieve it!
- List your goal
- Break it down into smaller manageable chunks
- Schedule time to work on the milestones
Here is where I need the most work. The fact that I realize this, and discuss it with others, will give me a better opportunity to succeed in this area. One of the key items is keeping the number of things I am working on down to a manageable amount. You know, juggling too many balls means a few are going to drop. This can be OK if the ones that get dropped are not the important ones. If there are a few balls you are juggling that are not that important than why juggle all of them?
Being able to say “no” or even “not now” is a plus. Limiting the amount of items you focus on will allow you the opportunity to give the proper time to the ones that really do matter.
Many times you hear people say “I didn’t have time” – to me, this is a cop out and one I need to be careful of. We all have 24 hours a day. What we choose to do with those hours will determine what gets done and what doesn’t. Instead of saying “I didn’t have time for that” replace it with “I didn’t make it a priority” or “I didn’t make time for that”. This will bring to light the areas you have “let slip” in your life. These are the balls that dropped.
We now need to look at the goals we have, look at the breakdown to manageable chunks and milestones, and see if we really have the proper time to commit to them? If we do, then we need to commit to it and go for it! If we don’t, that is where we need to prioritize and focus.
Being able to focus is a real weak point for me which also a good segue into our next topic – Support!
Getting others involved. This is key. This can be as simple as sharing with a friend up to and including hiring a coach.
I have been working the past two summers on getting healthier and then participating in triathlons. I do OK, which means I finish what I start, yet I was getting stagnant and not making any serious gains with regards to speed.
I am a participant in an online forum for triathlons that offers mentoring. This past season I opened up more, asked more questions and did well. I did a lot of my training on my own, doing my own research and designing my own plan. My progression was good for endurance, not so good for speed.
I worked with a mentor to design a running plan hoping to beat my previous years time at the local Thanksgiving race. He developed a plan which was more challenging and included speed work using multiple types of drills. Using his plan and providing feedback we nailed down a plan for the race. I ran my best race ever and hit 7 PR’s (personal records) which included finishing at a much faster speed than I ran most of the race.
Since I really recognize the benefit of a coach, I have contracted with 2 coaches for my triathlon training. One is a world record swimmer and swim coach, Jeff Stuart, and the other a well known triathlon coach Coach Kurt. I have also signed up for a week long triathlon camp in July that will give me exposure to other coaches and athletes on the Iron Man Lake Placid course in NY. Really excited about this one!
I also joined a local triathlon club called HEAT. This has given me the opportunity to meet many great people that share common goals. The club has social activities as well where we can get together and mingle, share war stories and just have fun.
Support also means holding yourself accountable. How can we do this? Write the goal down, post it in conspicuous areas and share it with [supportive] friends. Once you “put it out there” you are on the hook to deliver. I mean you don’t want to be that person… always says they are going to do stuff but never deliver.
Supportive friends are those that hear your goals and say “WOW!” “That’s Great!” “What can I do to help!” These are the people that continually hit their goals and are always excited to see other people succeed. They are exact opposites of the ones that say “You’ll never do it” “Oh you are trying again?” “Why would anyone want to do that?”
Another part of support is helping others. We learn when we teach.
I have started mentoring others to the best of my ability and sharing my knowledge. This is a constant evolution of knowledge. Gaining knowledge from those that have gone before us, and sharing the knowledge with those coming up behind us. The best part of this? I am older than some of my mentors and younger than some of the people I am mentoring. Age has nothing to do with it. Don’t know why just thought that was pretty cool.
Getting more specific
Next blog post we will look at taking a goal and making it a SMART goal. I will use a couple of my current items and “put it out there” for all to see. A few I am still looking at breaking down into more specific chunks. Hey, there is no rush.. it’s life! Not only am I looking forward to achieving many of my goals, I am also looking forward to the journey of getting there…
Life’s a journey – we may as well enjoy the ride!
Peace and Love,