This is the time we need to prepare and plan. The adage that we should ‘Plan the work and work the plan’ is very appropriate for this next stage of our future development. However, we should not become so hung up on the planning process that we become paralysed with the need to know every last detail of the things we need to do to achieve our goals.
Napoleon Hill reminds us to “create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you’re ready or not to put this plan into action”.
Beginning at once is important because at this stage of the process we will be experiencing a high degree of enthusiasm to get going and taking advantage of this momentum will be beneficial. It’s also a reminder to avoid over-planning in the early stages.
I’ve already said in an earlier post: Don’t Be Afraid to Start, that it’s not necessary to know all the steps of our plan, instead it is sufficient at this stage to know enough detail to get going whilst still needing to flesh out other areas of the plan. In the fullness of time and with experience of making progress, other areas will become clearer, or, at the very least, we will know where to go to get the answers we need.
So once we’ve put a plan together, there are four main things we must do in order to be assured of a successful outcome:
Take Focussed Action
To achieve our goals there is no substitute for action! It’s surprising however how many people believe that their goals will just happen without any real input from themselves! This might sound harsh, but some people believe that they are taking action, but actually they’ll be working on refining their plan, doing lots more research or talking a lot about their goals…in fact they’ll be doing the ‘busy’ work, but what they won’t be doing is taking focussed action and actually moving forward with tangible actions that will bring about successful achievement of their goals.
Don’t fall into this trap. Instead make sure that you identify 3 – 5 tangible actions which can be taken every day that will move you closer to your goal and then DO THE ACTION! I can’t say it simpler than that!
Most actions we need to take to achieve our goals will require consistency. In other words, we will need to repeat the same, similar or evolving actions on daily, weekly or monthly basis in order to make progress.
If we’re talking about weight control and fitness, then that could mean sticking to a calorie controlled diet, every day, exercising three times a week, monitoring our weight on a weekly basis etc.
If we were writing a thesis, then that would probably mean writing a set amount of words every day and carrying out relevant research three or four times a week.
If we’re aiming to improve a relationship with a family member or friend, then we would probably need to establish regular contact through say, telephone conversations once or twice a week, meet-ups once a month and perhaps a weekend away every six months.
In each of these examples, it’s the consistency that’s applied that is important as this sets the ongoing progress in motion and keeps it going. As soon as the consistency is removed, then there will be an immediate and noticeable difference in the rate of progress.
If we’re to achieve our goals, we must be disciplined with ourselves. We must be disciplined enough to know, understand and accept that it is only ourselves who can bring about the circumstances we want to achieve. Consequently we must be willing to do the work that others, who lack self-discipline, are unwilling to do.
This means that we do the work whether we feel like it or not. If it’s hot or if it’s snowing, if we’re in a good mood or a bad mood, if we’re tired or full of energy! It really doesn’t matter what happens to us on any particular day, people who succeed do so in spite of the circumstances that arise on any given day. They push through their difficulties and move ahead.
Finally, to achieve a successful outcome, we must persist. We must persist in the face of any obstacle that comes our way, whether we like it or not! There are going to be times when we feel like giving up, when progress feels so slow and arduous that we wonder why we’re even trying. At times like these it’s important to remember why we’re striving for our goal and to really tune into what it will feel like when we succeed. Keep this vision fresh and use it to re-kindle enthusiasm as often as is necessary, so that your persistence muscle stays strong.
You see, the path to success is simple yet not easy and for this reason, most people will not succeed with their plans. So, if you want to be one of the few, apply the four disciplines above and get ready for success!
To finish, here’s a great quote from a very determined Will Smith, a bit on the long side, but I love it anyway!
“The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be out-worked, period. You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me, you might be all of those things you got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple, right?
You’re not going to out-work me. It’s such a simple, basic concept. The guy who is willing to hustle the most is going to be the guy that just gets that loose ball. The majority of people who aren’t getting the places they want or aren’t achieving the things that they want in this business is strictly based on hustle. It’s strictly based on being out-worked; it’s strictly based on missing crucial opportunities. I say all the time if you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready.”
I think that sums it up! Do you agree? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Photo: Tom Henderson