How To Make 2014 A Year of Strategies, Not Mere Plans
It’s a new year with new adventures. A new blog. And my wife and I are starting off excited for what is to come. I’m not much of one for yearly resolutions (how many friends are making the same resolutions they made last year and the year before that), but I do enjoy that every year brings a sense of newness with new possibilities. And of course, the thing possibilities that the things we didn’t do last year could be accomplished this year.
Resolutions are one thing. Most resolutions are ideas in the very least, and at the very best, plans. But plans cannot succeed without strategy. Strategy comes from the Greek word, stratēgia, which was a war-time term for “generalship” and the art of being the troop’s general, leader or commander.
Almost all resolutions are great plans. We may want to lose weight, read more, eat less, get a better job, buy a house, make more money, get a job that we love, or start our own business. These are great plans, but I have met many people who will be saying these same lines 365 days from now.
So I thought I’d give us some tips to making myself and all of us sure that our plans have strategies. And the hope (and prayer) would be that 365 days from now, we get to see how far we’ve come.
- Forget The “Plan”—Write Down Your Goal
We want goals, not mere plans. The best way to make sure something gets done is to get it on paper. Notice that I said, on paper. Not on the computer. Not on your phone. On paper. Better yet, make it sticky paper and you can post it up somewhere that you will always see it. There is also the physical-to-mental connection made when you take that writing utensil and jot it down.
- Next, write the answer to this question: “Why do I want this goal?”
Discovering and writing down the answer to this question is vital as it creates the motive-ation to see this goal accomplished. Maybe your goal is to lose weight—your answer for your main motive might be so you can live to see your children’s children. Maybe your goal is to make more money—your answer to “why” might be because you want to travel, or have enough money to have children, or get that new car.
- Identify The Critical “Action Items” To Achieve Your Goal
This step is the most important. Just because you wrote down your “what” and “why” doesn’t mean you’ll accomplish anything. It takes action. We all know this in theory, but it’s so hard to put it into practice. Think through the “Action Items” it will take to reach your goal—things that are possible, doable and realistic. Don’t over-complicate these items. And again, you want to write them down. Why? Because, these are the tasks you will do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to actually achieve your goal.
Identify the critical “Action Items” to achieve your goal. This step is the most important.
- Find Your Accountability
We must be vulnerable with our goals and we must take the risk and let people in on our strategy to reach them. Ask yourself: Who are the people I want to let into life to help me succeed? Maybe it’s your wife, your best-friend(s), your parents or to use the example above, your children. My advice is let at least one person in on what you are doing. This is a personal decision, and will be hard for some. You must also be honest and think through the best people to push you. If you only chose one person (like an immediate family member or spouse), will they truly push you towards your goal (or, is it better to get help from outside of your immediate family)?
- Lose The Guilt-Trips
The “last but not least” of this list means you must ditch the guilt. If you aren’t fulfilling your Action Items on a regular basis, don’t fret. This is a perfect time to let your Accountability in on your hardships. This is also a perfect time to go back and read “Why Do I Want This Goal?”. Remembering the “why” will help rejuvenate that motivation within you to keep going.
With that, see you in 365 days to see what you’ve accomplished!