How many times have you blocked off time and spent the day creating a plan, sure this time you would achieve your highest goals with total ease, because your plan was awesome, only to realize a few months later you were completely off track?
What happened to that plan anyway…? Where did you even put it?
When plans fail, we tend to blame the plan. It must not have been a very good plan to begin with if we couldn’t achieve our goals. Therefore, we should create a new plan!
And we start again.
The definition of insanity, the saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over, again, expecting a different result.
You see, my friends, the issue, most likely, is not your plan (though, there are better ways to create plans to make them more “doable” than not). Here are some of the reasons why plans fail:
1. We fail to create a plan based on our real, personal goals. Many times, we create plans based on goals that don’t really excite us like “I need to make a certain amount of money so I can pay off all this student loan debt.” Yeah. That’s nice. But, truthfully, it’s not enough to fuel that inner drive of achievement. If you want your plan to succeed, you really need to dig deeper and consider why you want what you want. Why do you want to make the kind of money you say you want to make, for instance? What will it do for you? Be specific. Let’s say your burning desire is to travel more, where will you go, specifically? How much will that cost? How much are plane tickets to get there? What will the hotel rooms cost? Maybe you are driven by “financial freedom.” What does that mean to you exactly? Once you get clarity on that, you’ll be much more apt to create a plan with goals you can stick to.
2. We fail to break our plan down into small, achievable chunks. This is the big difference between achievers and non-achievers. Non-achievers let the size of the tasks ahead of them overwhelm them, so they often just avoid taking action altogether. They get confused and forgetful, often to the point they even forget where they put their plan. Achievers keep breaking each task down into smaller and smaller tasks until they find the smallest, first step they can take toward achieving their goal. Once that step is done, they look for the next smallest action they can take, and so forth until they reach their goal. Goals and strategy critical. And, ultimately, you must get tactical.
3. We fail to stick to our strategy when bright shiny objects are dangled in front of us. There will always be bright shiny objects, and good-looking, silver-tongued, shiny object sales people. A well-considered plan, based on knowledge, education and understanding of your business model, goals, market, ideal client, industry, geography, and other pertinent factors, is your sword and your shield. Once you go through the process of creating a business growth plan, you should have such deep knowledge that you’ll instantly know whether you’ll need what someone else is selling (or not). Not only should your plan save you time and money, it should save you an exhausting emotional roller-coaster ride.
4. We fail to hold ourselves accountable when we get distracted. We let ourselves off the hook when “life” gets in the way of the goals we set for our own lives. Wait. Wha…?! Let me repeat that: We let ourselves off the hook when “life” gets in the way of the goals we set for our own lives. Yep. That’s what I thought I just wrote. Planning is about writing down what we want for ourselves for our highest and best good. It’s about verbalizing and then documenting our deepest desires—visualizing and then creating a roadmap for how we will get to where we want to go. Oftentimes, at the first sign of struggle, we ditch the map and go off-roading, making our lives even harder! It’s nuts! It’s also a very human thing to do, and it’s why we (myself included) hire other people to help remind us to stay focus on all the best intentions we have for ourselves, to bring us back to center.
5. We fail to ask for help. I know, I preach this one all the time. I’m not likely to stop any time soon because if you want to transform from a struggling do-it-my-damn-self-solo to the CEO of a high-impact, high-revenue-generating practice clients clamor to hire AND, you want to do so in a way that allows you to create a lifestyle that fills you with joy, then you’ve got to stop trying to figure everything out yourself. I get that you are intelligent. I get that you are resourceful. I get that you have Google. It’s not about that. Really. It’s simply this: Professionals hire professional strategists, coaches and advisors. Why? For the same reason your clients hire you—because sometimes you need to stop messing around and start seeking the guidance and advice of experts.
If you have finally had enough of plans that fail and are ready to engage in a process and plan that’s designed to work for you, schedule a conversation with me now to see if we are a good fit to work together.