Why You Need to Learn to Plan

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In my experience, until we understand the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) we never really do anything.
So let’s first take a step back and explore when we do understand planning. One of the best examples is planning a wedding. Weddings generally work out well because they’ve had literally months and months of planning.
So let’s see how and where planning fits in:

  1. Dream
  2. Goal
  3. Plan
  4. Action

Once you have spent some time on getting clear on your dreams, the next step would be to set SMART goals. SMART goals then need to be translated into plans so that the actions we take again feed up the line to ultimately achieving our dreams. This would be the same for business goals and personal dreams.
Once you have absolute clarity at each step, it’s easy to focus and more often than not your goals and ultimately dreams are achieved faster than initially expected.
So to start, get some clarity on what you’d like to achieve in the next 3 years. With that in mind, what is it you’d like to achieve in the next 12 months? Once you’ve got the 12 months goals, break them down and work backwards to what needs to be done in the next 90 days only. Start the planning at that level and first get good at creating a 90-day plan, like ActionCOACH’s GrowthCLUB. This can be broken down into monthly focus areas and weekly goals, plans and actions that again connect to the 90-day goals.
Take daily action and get good at reviewing the daily plan and preparing for the next. Then move towards working on the weekly review and planning for the week ahead, and so on. Before long you’ll have exercised your planning ‘muscle’ and will be getting good at annual and then three-yearly planning.