Are you a great planner? Do you love coming up with ideas, lists, and plans? Do you then carry out those plans? If not, you might fall into the rut that I do – planning but not executing it.
- I often think about travel, but don’t actually go anywhere.
- I create business ideas but don’t build anything.
- I plan out art projects but never actually make anything.
Making actionable plans
(Note: I think that planning is a valuable aspect of any venture, but there also comes a point when you have to stop planning and just get started. The perfect circumstances will never occur.)
It’s easy to come up with a dream, an idea of something that you want to complete. It takes a bit more work to turn that idea into a goal.
Good goals need to be clearly defined and have measurable standards to compare your results with. This is where I struggle. I’m excellent at coming up with lists of ideas that are related, but not actually creating a plan that can be followed. That sense of busyness that comes while making those lists make me feel good, but don’t actually get anything done.
So, in 2011 I’m making the goals on my action plan easier to achieve. I am spending the time now to lay out the steps that I need to take, in proper order. This way, over the coming year I will be able to follow the plans that I have laid out without needing to take the time to figure out what the next step is.
My goals for 2011 are clearly defined; they’re very specific and I can picture exactly what outcome I want to have achieved by December. They are also measurable with specific metrics that I will compare my results against and know exactly when I have reached them.
There comes a time to stop planning
Now that my action plan is ready to go, it is time to start acting on it. I have the map laid out before me and know what steps I need to take. Any further planning would be busy work, with no actual progress being made. And so, work has already begun. I’ve already started moving toward my goals. Books are being read, posts are being written, exercises are scheduled, and products are being created.
What about you? Are you stuck in the planning process, or are you making the progress you need to make to reach your goals?