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How to Plan Now For Your Best Year Ever

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 2

Do You Have Everything You Want In Life?

Could you achieve more?

Whatever your answer, know this:

You have more potential than you could use in one hundred lifetimes.

The human spirit is encoded with an immense ability to do more and more and more...  Like the lens of a camera, it just needs focusing.  The art of performance management and goal setting isn't an easy one to master, but you can achieve success, even if late in life.

Sharpen your skills with the following tips for achieving maximum productivity.  Before you continue, understand that 'maximum productivity' doesn't mean: doing more, multi-tasking, or working longer hours while ignoring your family.  In fact, it means just the opposite.

These four tips will get you started.

Where Are You Going?

Stephen Covey says that in order to achieve success you must "Begin with the end in mind."  By setting a destination, you program your mind for reaching that destination, no matter how far away.  You can't just simply wander off and expect to find it when you get there.  By deciding beforehand where you want to go, you'll avoid wasting hundreds or thousands of hours flitting about, going nowhere in particular.

Here's a method that has proven beneficial to me and many thousands of others:

Begin every day with 30 minutes of exercise.  Follow that up with 30 minutes of reading or listening to inspirational material.  Then set down and write out 10 things you want to do, be, or have in your life.  

Plan for Achievement(118194)
Every day, turn over a blank page in a notebook (I love Field Notes) and write your goals as you see them today.  Do this for 30 days, each day with a new sheet of paper and without looking at yesterday's dreams, and you'll immediately begin to see a radical difference in your life. 

Almost automatically you will begin to experience opportunities and changes in your life that you never thought possible.  The simple act of writing your goals sets your mind in motion looking for ways to make things happen.  

I recently bought a new car.  It's not actually new as we're working on becoming debt-free (thanks Dave Ramsey!) but I wanted something different, that nobody else was driving.  The minute I drove the car home, I began seeing this car everywhere; it was like "everybody else just bought this car, too!"  But that wasn't it.  The act of owning the vehicle opened up my mind to seeing things I hadn't seen before, even though they were all around me.  Surely the same thing has happened to you.

It's the same with your goals.  When you write them down, your mind begins to notice things around you that will move you toward your goals unerringly, like a homing pigeon.  It's amazing how many people don't have clear written goals, given their power to help us define what success looks like.

Make A Plan to Achieve Your Goals

If your goal is to lose twenty pounds you have to consume less calories, drink more water, and exercise more frequently.  These are the first steps you would write down.  Likely, the greater details of your plans for weight-loss success would include which foods to eat more of and which foods to consume less of, if at all.  By making plans to achieve your goals you create a step-by-step formula for success, no matter what goal you're trying to achieve.  Success guru Brian Tracy reminds us that a goal without a plan is merely a wish.

Plan for Achievement(118193)
Before setting out on your cross-country drive, you need to know how you're going to get there.  Will you walk, drive, or fly?  Will you take a train half way, then bike the rest?  How fast will you travel?  How much will it cost?  When will you begin?  How long do you plan on it taking to complete your trip?  Asking questions like these before setting out will help you plan your roadmap to success and save you hours and hours of aimless wandering.

Work on Your Plans Every Single Day 

It's a fact that an airplane is off-course more than 90% of the time during flight.  The pilot knows this, and he accounts for it in his flight plan.  He knows he will be making many course corrections along the way, always re-positioning the nose of the plane back towards its destination.  

This is the way it is in life, too, and if you persist the longest then you will ultimately win in your quest for higher sales, faster weight loss, or whatever your goals are in life.  The tortoise always wins over the hare.  There's simply no substitute for persistence.  If the pilot of the plane gave up trying after the first crosswind pushed them off course, the plane would end up hundreds of miles from its destination, and possibly crash by running out of fuel while trying to figure out why they're nowhere near their destination.  Obviously this is unacceptable, and so the pilot persists.  In much the same way, you must persist in the face of adversity if you are to achieve your goals.

Always Be Learning

Successful Learning
By committing yourself to always learning new things, you keep yourself moving on the path to success.  The average person spends over an hour in the car every day.  Imagine if that hour was spent listening to audiobooks or language learning courses
.  That would add up to over 365 hours worth of learning every year, the equivalent of more than 10 additional college courses' worth of material learned every single year.

Quick question: who is more competitive in the marketplace-  the retailer with the sharp mind that's filled with the latest data on his customer's pain points; or the guy who spends half his day playing politician on Facebook when he could instead be sharply focused on making his widget a more marketable product to his prospects?  

I'm not suggesting Facebook is a complete waste of time (though many use it incorrectly, costing them incredible amounts of time), but rather pointing out the differences in approach between the businessman who is intently focused on solving more problems for his customers (and succeeding) and the business owner who doesn't have a clear plan and finds himself sucked into every political or religious argument imaginable. 

To boil it all down, in order to achieve the success you want (especially in today's always-on, hyper connected world) you must 1) have clearly defined goals, 2) make plans to achieve them, and 3) work on your plans every single day.  The tip about constant learning is a bonus one, but one that should not be overlooked.  If you're going to achieve anything worthwhile, it won't be by accident.  A reminder for all you hard-driving type-A personalities, as Jim Rohn said, "Be careful what you give up in pursuit of what you want."

 

From the publisher of 'Success' Magazine

The Compound Effect Audio Program
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Comments

Apr 10, 2013 11:19am
dlpoisson
Great article! I already break down my goals and I am always learning and trying to quit spending so much time on Facebook. However, I will start your suggestion of writing down goals each day in a notebook.
Apr 10, 2013 12:01pm
psidwell
dlpoisson- No doubt this one simple act changed my life. best of success to you, my friend!
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