Planning – move your life forward

By Dr Daleen Smal | Mindset

Oct 20

You can become unstuck by putting it on your agenda. This is exactly what successful people do.

If you think you don’t deserve wealth, put it on your agenda to question those beliefs.

If you think you don’t have enough resources, put it on your agenda to find ways to be more resourceful.

If you think you don’t know something, put it on your agenda to find out how to do it.

If you use blaming, put it on your agenda to find one thing that you can do differently to change your results.

Just go and DO these things to move your life forward.

You will hear it multiple times from many different people – it is who you become that will bring you success.

Everybody has 24 hours in a day. There is no one on earth who has more than 24 hours in a day. There is no favouritism in terms of time allocation and therefore time is the scarcest of all things on earth. What people do during those 24 hours is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful – are you simply keeping yourself busy or are you busy creating your exceptional life?

Today, I would like to broadly cover how to plan. Imagine your dream or big goal being a Lego house or car.

When you plan, you are plotting out, step by step, which block must be put where in order to build the end product.

You will break your big goal (the Lego house or car) down into smaller goals and figure out who is going to do what and when.

In order to do this step you need to have clearly defined your end point. You have to know exactly where you are so that you can reverse engineer the process, taking into account all the obstacles and solutions you might encounter.

You may have really long-term goals like 10 or 20 years from now. Break them down into a 5-year time frame, and then break it down further into a 1-year plan. Next you break the 1-year plan down into quarterly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals and finally daily tasks.

At this point you may be saying: “Daleen, this is too overwhelming.”

Think of breaking the big goal down into smaller goals as something similar to arranging check points along a map.

When you go on holiday, you first determine your destination and then work back to where you are. You plan to drive to Point A and have tea, then continue to Point B and have lunch, then to point C where you will sleep over, and so forth until you reach your destination.

What you are effectively doing is reverse-engineering from endpoint to start, setting and meeting smaller and more immediate goals. Reaching these smaller checkpoints builds on your efforts to reach your final destination.

Breaking big goals into smaller ones brings a far-out goal closer to your comfort zone and you take baby-steps all the time towards your big goal.

Setting and meeting small goals is a way in which you measure your progress, showing you if your plan is working.

You divide the achievement of your main goal into bite-sized pieces, accomplish one piece, check your direction, and adjust. You finish another piece, check your direction, and adjust; much in the same way a pilot steers an aeroplane to its final destination. The pilot may encounter headwinds or crosswinds that blow the plane slightly off course; the pilot makes a change to get back on target, and in this way continues the whole flight until landing at the planned destination.

Use the same principle in goal setting and planning.

Does this make sense? Yes, or no?

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In essence, you have to create a map that is personalised according to what you want to achieve. You have to reverse-engineer it and break it down from long-term, to medium-term and then short-term goals.

Be as specific as possible and allow yourself to adjust your plans.

It is important that your goals are measurable. By breaking your goal up into smaller pieces, you will get small and frequent successes, which will give you confidence and momentum.

It goes without saying that your goal must be relevant to what you want.

A timeline is critical. If you do not give yourself a time limit, your activities lack urgency and it may take forever to take action.

Many people say you should have a dream book with pictures of what you want. You sit there and look at pictures of your fancy red Ferrari and 10-bedroom house at the beach.

In principle, I have no problem with this idea, but my only concern is that it is easy to sit there and stare at the end result but you cannot will them into reality. You have to take action towards your vision otherwise it just stays a photo in a dream book.

If it helps you to stay focused on your goals, by all means create your dream book, but make sure you take your daily actions towards achieving those goals. It’s all about action, action, action.

Benjamin Franklin said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”