When you want to have success, it is very important to have a plan. The plan provides a guide so you take the right steps. Additionally, it is important that you have a thought out plan, not just something thrown together. I outlined below seven steps you can take to create and implement an effective plan.
1. Set the goal or desired outcome. (The Why)
If you don’t have a goal or desired outcome, there is no point in having a plan. If, however, you have a goal or desired outcome a plan is essential. Identify what the goal or desired outcome is so that you have the end in mind. From there, you can start on step 2.
2. Identify the steps required to reach the outcome. (The What)
How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time. When you create your plan, identify the big steps that lead to the desired outcome. Then break the big steps into smaller steps. The goal is to understand what you need to do from a 30,000 foot level (the big steps) and then get into the details (the smaller steps).
3. Create a flowchart. (The How)
Once you identify the steps, you can lay them out in a flowchart. The flowchart is very helpful because it details out the process of your plan. Within your flowchart, you should include steps you can take if challenges arise.
4. Prepare an action plan.
With your flowchart and an outline of the large and small steps prepared, you are ready to put together your action plan. The action plan identifies what you will do. The action plan should be focused on action.
5. Set a timeline and stick to it.
When you are planning for success, it is important to have a timeline set out to complete each step. Your timeline will help you to continue to move forward towards your goals. When you set out your timeline, do the best you can to estimate the correct amount of time it will take to complete each step. As you work towards each step on the timeline, it may be necessary to change the completions dates as you encounter challenges. It is okay to change the dates; the important thing is that you continue to move forward.
6. Work your plan.
With your plan set, you must work your plan. It can be very easy to create a masterful plan and think the plan will take care of itself without having to do more. However, just having a plan is not enough. You must work to follow the plan and do what it says.
7. Review progress to ensure you are on track.
After you have begun working the plan, review your progress. Identify if you are on track towards reaching your goals. If you find that you are off track, make the necessary revisions to change course so you are back on track.
I have used these steps many times in my life and I know they work because they keep you on track so that you can complete your goals.