There are 5 broad activities that lead to a great life. Dreaming big and dreaming clearly is inspiring and focusing. It also informs the next step, which is goal setting. Having goals is critical, as it provides you a destination that guides you in the next step, which is the creation of a plan. The plan is the treasure map that leads you to your dream. Developing 90 day plans that take you to your dream is the ideal time frame. It is short enough to keep you focused and long enough to allow you to see the results of the plan. If you have set your goals for the coming year, and you have completed your 90 day plan, Congratulations! Now there are 2 remaining pieces.
The first is to actually work your plan. In other words: Take Action! Your 90 day plan is not a goal sheet. It is a gift you have given yourself. Keep the plan on your desk. Put time lines on the tasks. Review the plan at least weekly to ensure you are on track. It is only human to step back into our old habits and routines. By engaging in weekly review, you are able to determine if this is happening. Then… an accountability partner. This could be a family member or friend that you communicate with every week, even if only for 10 minutes, to share whether you have done the things you have committed to for that week. Knowing that this person will be asking you about your commitments will encourage you to take the actions you know are in your own best interest.
The last step is to evaluate the results. As any military commander, sports coach or political strategist will tell you, the steps planned don’t always work as intended. This is not a reason to avoid planning. In fact, it heightens its importance. If intelligently, strategically crafted plans don’t always work precisely as anticipated, how successful are random acts likely to be? The step of evaluation, rather than lamenting or criticizing, allows you to make adjustments and refinements to your ongoing plans. One of your objectives is to consistently avoid the pitfall of continuing actions that are not generating the results you seek. By evaluating the results of your plans, you can engage in what the Japanese call Kaizen or constant and never-ending improvement. So let’s review…
The 5 activities that lead to a great life are:
- Set Goal(s)
- Create a Plan
- Take Action
- Evaluate the results regularly (adjust if necessary)
As we like to say at ActionCOACH… “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” So keep dreaming, keep taking actions planned to bring you to your dreams, and diligently analyze the results to keep you moving forward.