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Are You Planning for Success?

I’m so excited it’s JUNE! Not just because it is finally tee shirt and flip flop weather but also because June is a planning month for me. Yes, I said planning. Most people I know do this in December and January as they prepare for the new year. And I do that as well. However, time has taught me that not only do I need to do quarterly reviews of those plans I also need to do a full planning session in June to ensure I’m still on track to reach my goals. And if not, to evaluate why and then right size my plan again.

Ideally your plan is the roadmap for how you are going to achieve the goals and success you have envisioned for yourself. So, taking a deep look at that roadmap in June is the perfect timing to ensure that you are not off track and headed towards a destination you are not interested in.

This may sound like more work than you are interested in, but hang with me. This process is way simpler that it sounds.

The first step in your June planning session should be to REFLECT. If you wrote out your goals and action plans at the beginning of the year, take them out and review your progress. Did you achieve the goals you planned for? Are you following thru on the action steps you laid out? If the answer is no, take the time to reflect on why.

I started my reflection process earlier this week and I was dismayed to realize most the goals I set had not been achieved. And many of the action steps I laid out for those goals had not been done. Given the results I needed to figure out why this had happened. Upon reflection, I realized three things:

1. Life happened. You just can’t get around this one, right? Things I had not planned for (both good and not so great) had come up that had deviated me from plan. And I had not built in a process for how to readjust when this happened.

2. I over committed. Lordy! This is the story of my life. I get so excited about the idea of accomplishing all the goals I’ve laid out that I don’t truly recognize my capacity to get them done. Thus, as I rework my plans for the remainder of the year I am going to adjust my goals to be a bit more realistic to what I can devote time to. I’m not talking about setting goals that allow you to coast to success as frankly I don’t think that will work. You should push yourself and set goals that require you to stretch while being realistic about the amount of time and energy you can give to a given goal.

3. I had not monitored the plan with any regularity. Realistically I should have been looking at my plan on a continuous basis and adjusting as the year progressed. But I had failed to do that. Thus, I have decided to build into my calendar a 10-minute check in per week to review my progress on all action steps. In addition, I’m adding to my calendar 1 hour per month look at the full plan and adjust as needed. The mistake I made was believing that my plan would continue to evolve even if I didn’t focus on it. That’s like saying your plants will continue to grow even if you don’t water them. My plans had withered on the vine and needed me to pay more attention and “water them” as needed. And the best way to ensure that happens is to actual schedule time for review.

The second set to my June planning session is to focus on the OUTCOME. desired and then ensure the plans I’m setting are on track to give me the result I desire.

Focusing on the outcome you desired is going to be the golden key to your success. If you are focused on simply checking off the to do list/action items you will have some success for sure. But if you can retrain your brain to focus on the OUTCOME you desire vs. the steps you need to take the process changes completely. I find what gets in my way to my success is thinking that movement will lead to achievement. And it can. If it’s the right movement. But if you are just ticking off action steps without any focus on if they are getting you to your desired outcome the movement is worthless.

So, don’t focus strictly on your action plan and to do list. Make sure you have clearly defined the outcome you desire. Having this fixed firmly in your mind’s eye will allow you to adjust the action steps when life gets in your way or the steps are not what it will take to lead you to your desired outcome.

If you are a planner, join me in June with reflecting on your progress to day and adjusting your focus to become outcome based vs checking off your steps.

Happy Planning & Namaste!

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