I love the word yet. It’s both empowering and provides us with grace in terms of a timeframe, although it doesn’t define one. The presumption is that when someone expresses the word “yet”, they have an intention of accomplishing what preceded this word. Or at least I’m hopeful when I hear this, but there is no guarantee it will happen.

We all know that our best-intentioned plans may not work out, so one method to increase the stats in our favor of having a plan work out is to have a back-up plan. Sometimes referred to as your “Plan B”, although there are many more names for this, and I’m sure you have a few in your mind right now. Having a back-up plan makes sense, but it is quite different from having a success plan.

Right now, you might be thinking “what is a success plan”? Perhaps you even have one, but I assure you it is quite different than other people’s if you were to compare them. That’s a good thing, as we don’t all think alike or are motivated in the same way. Our criteria for being successful is also likely unique. Although there may be some fundamental overlaps (e.g., being healthy both mentally and physically, having enough basic resources such as shelter and food) which we can agree would be part of our success plan at a minimum.

Putting together a success plan requires both thinking and planning, and unfortunately this is where I have seen some people get into trouble. Why? Because they don’t invest enough time in either of these areas. Independent if a person’s success plan is for themselves, or involves other people, this first step must be well thought through. For clarity, I’m talking about investing a minimum of a few hours crafting the foundation of your success plan. If you are serious about having one, you shouldn’t have any excuses about why you can’t accomplish this.

Now, let’s presume you want to have a success plan. Fundamentally everyone should have one of these, but when someone is in what I’ll refer to as “survival mode”, this isn’t likely something they will have in place. It’s possible they didn’t have an initial success plan, or if they did, something severe cannibalized their plan. We all know someone who has had this happen to them. The trick to recovering from this situation is taking ownership for how you potentially contributed to your success plan failing. Yes, there will be exceptions where the person didn’t have any control over their scenario, but more often this is an exception. People simply don’t like to admit this.

The next step in putting together your success plan requires action. You can talk about and write down what you intend to do to accomplish your success plan, but as I wrote about in my article “Admit it. Are you all talk?” we know that talking about and doing something are entirely different actions. However, there are people who surprisingly think they are the same. If you are a leader, sports coach or individual who struggles with execution, my advice is to accept this isn’t one of your talents, and to ask for support in this area. The good news is that I’m sure you will be able to offer and potentially reciprocate a favor for the person or people who are able to help you with moving towards the creation of your success plan.

After you have defined your success plan and started acting towards having it play out in your favor, this step tends to be the most difficult, as it requires you to follow through with your plan until it is accomplished. This is more challenging than you at first might assume, as most success plans will take more time to accomplish than people are willing to consider factoring into their timeline. Partially this has to do with the fact as a society we have become both accustomed to and enamored with instant gratification, and success plans typically are not oriented towards instant success. Yes, there may be some exceptions, but if your success plan is a comprehensive one, I assure you your plans may take decades to completely unfold. This may sound demotivating, but this also depends on your lens and how you are looking at the situation.

Since there are a variety of approaches one can take to construct a success plan, I have offered below some suggestions on how you or someone you know who needs one can go about putting theirs together.

  • Define what success means to you. Your definition over time may change based on circumstances, but fundamentally construct what your long-term definition is.
  • Your definition of success does not need to be shared with others, but for accountability purposes, you may want to consider having an accountability partner to help you to remain on course with your success plan once it has been constructed.
  • Warning. This is not something you will want to procrastinate on. Reserve enough time (e.g., minimum of 1-2 hours) to begin with thinking about what does success mean to you? Or, to others who are depending on you? These might result in two entirely different plans or outcomes.
  • Although many people define success by have X amount of money, ensure that your success plan goes well beyond defining your success by the attainment of a finance level you are looking to accomplish. Why? Because I can assure you, when you get there, you will likely feel as if you didn’t stretch or push yourself enough to go beyond the amount you first imagined and committed to accomplishing.
  • There are numerous ways to set goals, and one of them I especially like relates to the definition of S.M.A.R.T. goals which was created as an acronym by George Doran, Arthur Miller and James Cunningham in a 1981 article they wrote. S.M.A.R.T. goals stand for a goal being S = Specific, M = Measurable, A = Attainable, R = Realistic and T = Time related. I find that using this goal method can be quite helpful.
  • Weaving an element of flexibility into your success plan is something I highly recommend doing, and revisiting your plan on either a quarterly or bi-annual basis to see how you are tracking against your plans.
  • Be patient with your plan. It will come to fruition for you if you remain focused and dedicated towards it.

I can confirm for you that based on my experience, too many people play it “safe” and can accomplish so much more than what they at first outline as both the criteria and end results for their success plan. Be aware of this, and don’t fall into the trap of having this happen to you. I know you won’t do this, but it is worth reassuring you that I know you will be putting together a success plan that you will both accomplish and exceed. Now, go make this happen!

TAGS: #Leadership #Management #Sales #Professionaldevelopment #Success #Leader #Sportscoach #Successtips #Motivation #Positivity #Business #Sales #Productivity

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