Success is no accident. Success is the result of hard work, perseverance, help from those around you and a solid plan. The more solid the plan, the better. Developing a plan for success increases your chances of success 100%. Yep, a plan doubles, at least, the likelihood of success. I find that statistic very interesting but here is one even more interesting, or scary depending on your point of view. 80% of people go through life with no actionable plan for success. 80%!
I’m pleased that everyone reading this has a real plan for success, one that truly drives their behavior. I must admit however that I am a little suspect that everybody reading this is indeed among that 20%. So let’s see if it’s true.
First let’s determine what an actionable plan is not: It is not, “I’m going to work harder” or “I’m going to work smarter” or any variation of the same. That is not a plan; it is a dream, a dream that turns into the nightmare of the same old thing.
A plan that succeeds has action built into it, the actions are very specific, and the actions have measurable standards that leave no doubt as to whether they have been accomplished. Each individual action has its own deadline, a deadline which is critical because you’ll never find “someday” on a calendar.
Here is an 8-Step Planning Process that has been proven time and again to help people achieve success if they are willing to put the plan into action:
1. Clear picture of current situation – we must know where we are before we can know where we are going
2. A clear understanding and vision of the desired situation – specificity is a key here
3. Development of short, medium and long range goals – it is perfectly okay to adjust your goals as circumstances change
4. Develop your program – how will you succeed – what will you sacrifice – remember success is not just about what you will START doing, often what you STOP doing is just as important
5. The investment you are willing to make (time & money) – the commitment of time is frequently harder to make than a financial commitment
6. Time Table – When will it all happen – just like it says, Time Table, specific dates and times, giving yourself a range of dates is giving yourself the opportunity to delay your success
7. Implement the total plan – no plan is more worthless than the plan never put into action
8. Follow-up – Check back often on how you’re doing – and while you’re checking back find someone that cares about you enough to hold you accountable to your plan, this is a lot of work and is almost impossible to accomplish alone
So there is your planning process, and before you start telling yourself you can succeed without doing all this “work” let me tell you something else: What you call success today will pale when compared to the success that is possible when you execute a real plan.
Your plan is not work, it is an investment and it is one of the greatest investments you can make because it is an investment in yourself. You matter, your success matters and if you will commit to a plan you will see results almost immediately.
So, what’s your plan?