How prepared were you to start the week today? When I worked at summer camp leading trips into the wilderness for a week at a time I learned the five P’s of being prepared: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Or in the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” And this is a lesson we can use in all areas of our lives.
One of the most common reasons people don’t plan ahead is because things almost never go according to plan which can lead to the false conclusion that planning is a waste of time. We need to learn flexibility, Resilience, and the ability to adapt our plans to changing circumstances. And that starts with having a plan in the first place. “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” -Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Ok, you’re convinced, you need a plan. What now, how should you make a plan? First you will need to spend some time considering what is most important to you. I will have to write another article that goes into further detail on this process, but for now just pick a goal that you think is important. After all, if you haven’t been preparing to accomplish your goals through planning, anything will be better than nothing.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” This applies to planning as well!
Now if you know where you are and where you’re heading, you are better off than most. To take achieving your goals to the next level I will share an incredible tool: micro-goals. Micro-goals are the little steps that combined get you from where you are now to where you want to be. The best part about micro goals is you don’t need to be able to see all the steps at once. You just need to know what the next step is.
What is one thing you can do right now to move closer to your goal? If you want to be a runner, put on your running shoes and step out the door. Don’t think about running a whole marathon; just get out the door one time. If your goal is to become financially independent, focus on paying off one debt (if you’re in debt) or finding one winning trade. Don’t focus on how big the goal is, just the next step.
Once planning and taking action towards a plan becomes a habit, we can work towards making more complex plans, adapting plans to situations that don’t go according to plan, and checking to be sure plans are in alignment with our values. Follow me for future articles on taking planning for success to the next level. But for now, make a simple plan, execute, and celebrate the win! Then repeat and let me know what wins you've earned in the comments. Go get ‘em!