As I said in my last post on goal setting, if you don’t have a plan, then you should plan on failing. Once you have set the goal, then you must decide how to get there. This is the key to proper planning.
Recently, I was catching up on my favorite shows and saw an Episode of either “The Flash” or “Legends of Tomorrow.” (Both are available on the CW.)
Captain cold was known to say, “Make the plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go off the rails. Throw away the plan.”
In an alternate Universe Captain Cold is given the same quote and he responds, “That is terrible advice. Why would I ever say that? I plan every detail so nothing can go wrong…”
These are the two extremes of proper planning and the truth probably lies somewhere in between.
How Much to Plan?
As mentioned above you can plan nothing and wing it or you can plan every minute detail. If you over-plan you will likely spend too much time on the pan and not enough time acting it out. If you under-plan then you may not have enough time or energy invested to take action.
It will be a personal decision how much to plan. I know that doesn’t help and I apologize for that. Eventually you have to decide how much of a plan you need to actually take action and move toward your goal.
I would not go without a plan at all. And I would not plan in such detail that it becomes cumbersome and makes it to complicated to put into action. Aim for somewhere in the middle.
Be flexible if things don’t go according to plan.
Results determine if your plan is working. If you are trying to lose weight, the scale says if the plan is working or not. If you are working on financial goals, your bank account determines the effectiveness of your plan.
The amount of planning involves your goal, how you plan to get there and how detailed you normally are.
Make a Plan
Earlier I was reading the thought of the day from Napoleon Hill. It read, “A little job well done is the first step toward a bigger one.”
Basically, if you are new to planning, make a small one that you can easily achieve and grow from there. This is also true of goal setting. Set small steps along the way that you can easily achieve.
For example: if you are new to going to the gym start small. Consult a medical doctor before beginning and let them help you make a plan. You may want to start with a few minutes a day and add minutes as you get to feeling the normal is routine.
Imagine how easy it would be to work out for 5 minutes. There is little commitment and you will likely achieve your goal. After a while you will think about how you spend more time changing clothes and such than actually working out. You will naturally increase to 10 minutes, 30 minutes and maybe even an hour.
These baby steps will keep you from failing. If you went in on that first day and tried every machine, you might spend 2 or 3 hours. You would then be sore and angry. You would curse the gym and never go back.
Baby steps are how we learned to walk. These are natural ways to learn and practice anything new. Plan with this in mind.
Adjust the Plan
Is it working? Keep doing that.
What if it is not working? And what if the money is not being saved or the weight is not coming off? What do you do?
Some people quit. This will never be a path to success.
Instead it is time to evaluate. What was working? What was not working? Why was it not working. Proper planning requires evaluating these questions.
Address why the “failures” are happening and learn from them. Then adjust your plan to do more of what is working and correct what is not.
Make a plan. Figure out your goal. Then set little steps of mini goals along the way. Adjust your plan as you are working it. You can achieve your goals if you make a plan and work the plan.