Did you ever watch Scooby Doo? Remember Fred Jones? His motto was “the best plan was to have a plan.” Out of all the Mystery Inc. gang, Fred was the one to make most of the plans. He was the strategist of the team. That did not mean the others COULDN’T plan, it was simply Fred’s gift. Fred lived for the next trap idea to catch the bad guy. The others, even though they had different gifts, rarely tried to solve the mystery without a plan. A plan, no matter how haphazard, is still better than no plan at all if you are working to accomplish something like a goal…or solve a mystery. In fact, it’s necessary. The best thing about having a plan – is to have a plan. A plan gives focus and forward movement to accomplishing something. What does that look like and where to start for an EFFECTIVE plan? Start with your VISION of what you are working towards. What will it look like for you in a day if your vision were reality? What do you want? A thriving business? More engaged team members? To dominate with market share? A vacation where you can unplug for real? What does that look and feel like for you? THEN…set the goals that help bring your vision to life. If you’ve never wrote out a plan towards a goal, an easy start is using S.M.A.R.T. methods:
- Be SPECIFIC…not just “I want to lose weight,” but “I will lose 18 pounds.”
- How are you MEASURING the momentum?
- Is it ATTAINABLE? Can you really accomplish getting 18 pounds off?
- What are the RESOURCES you need? We forget to keep track of the stuff involved in working toward a vision. Now, traditional models include the question of “is it REASONABLE?” For me, attainable and reasonable are enough alike that I simply combine the two and focus on the resources I need to make it happen.
- What is the TIMELINE? By what date do you want to have your vision to come to life?
Once you have your S.M.A.R.T. goals set, then develop the plan to accomplish the goal. Being S.M.A.R.T. allows for a focused, efficient plan that doesn’t have to be arduous and complicated. In fact, the simpler the better because there are plenty of unknown variables in life that force us to adjust. A resource you need may not be available in the timeline you desire so you have two choices – find a new resource, or adjust the timeline. The plan can be flexible. The vision stays the same. To bring our vision to life, the best plan is to have a plan.