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Posts Tagged ‘action plan’

OK I don’t mean that literally, but its nearly the end of August and time seems to be flowing at an accelerated pace right now. It’ll be Christmas soon!

But given that we have a week to go before the end of the month, how are you doing on your goals for this month?

If you’re anything like me, some of them will already be nailed and some of them will be looking decidedly wobbly right now. The temptation is to look at those ones and decide that its just fine to put them into next month’s goals.

Don’t do it. Its a slippery slope!

While letting a goal or two slip may not make seem to an overall difference to your grand vision, once you’ve allowed one,  its all too easy to let more go! Pretty soon your whole plan has slipped and suddenly you’ve lost momentum and things don’t look quite so achievable any more. Keep going like that and very quickly you will be vulnerable to the energy vampires who told you you’d never achieve anything anyway.

Sure, there will be times when the world conspires against you and you just can’t get things done according to your plan. That’s life. But with a week to go, now is the time to look really closely at your action plan and your goals for this month and start to take some serious action. If you do what most people do and leave it to the last day you will have no chance of success and put yourself under a whole lot of unneccessary stress!

But you’re not most people, are you?

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Yes, its the weekend again! And I can’t say it often enough – after a busy, hard working, focused week the very best thing you can you for your goal setting and your mental health is to give yourself a break, relax, think about anything but work and have some real fun. And most importantly spend some time with the people who matter most to you. All the success in the world will mean nothing if you get there and find you’ve left everyone you love behind!

But just before you pour that lovely glass of chilled white (or whatever you fancy) and switch off for a couple of days, take some time to review your week. The great thing about setting goals and action plans on a daily and weekly basis is that often when you’re in the thick of things you don’t notice what you’re achieving. Taking just a little time at the end of the week to review things can be very illuminating. You might be very surprised at how far you’ve come!

Dan Sullivan, the Strategic Coach produced an amazing CD many years ago, and I think its now available as a book, called Learning How to Avoid The Gap. In it he talks about how one of the greatest differences between happy successful people and unhappy successful people is that the happy people have learned to look back and see how far they’ve come, and unhappy people only look forward and see how far they still have to go. Its such a simple concept but it is incredibly powerful.

Give it a try this weekend!

And just in case you didn’t notice what didn’t happen this week – here’s a great song to look back to!

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I want to make it really clear that there is a difference between goals and action plans and why its vitally important to understand this difference.

Your goals come from your vision. They come from looking at your vision and asking yourself “what has to change between now and then for my vision to manifest itself?”

So clearly in order to set powerful goals, first you have to have a compelling vision – but we talked about this ages ago here!

A compelling vision is going to take you miles and miles outside your comfort zone and so it makes sense that the goals which are going to take you to your vision have to be way out there too. That’s why I always talk about HARD goals (Heartfelt, Aspirational, Radical, Daring) instead of SMART goals. Goals are all about personal growth. In other words, they are about expanding your comfort zone. Goals have to be exciting, compelling, magnetic, huge to draw us to them! They have to create passion and a sense of wonder in order to drive us to new heights! We have to wonder if we are really capable of such magnificence, and wonder how on earth we are going to achieve it, but at the same time know how extraordinary life is going to be when we get there. When the going gets tough we have to be able to look at them and know that its worth it.

But we can’t get there in just one step.

Which is where your action plans come in. Action plans do have to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound). Once you’ve set your big scary incredible goals you need to step back and ask yourself “what is the first thing I need to do to get me started moving towards these goals?”. Take each goal and work backwards. Sometimes it helps to project yourself into the future and ask yourself “How did I get here”. There are no rules about how many action steps you have to take. Sometimes you will take huge leaps, other times you will barely manage a millimetre – we all have days like this! But you need to know that every step you take is getting you closer to where you want to be. If you feel like you’re stuck, break the action steps into smaller pieces, and keep breaking them down until they feel manageable. Even if you only do one of them you are still closer to your goal.

Do this and you never need to spend much time out of your comfort zone and your brain will thank you!

Tomorrow I’ll talk about why being outside your comfort zone gives you brain damage!

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