Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon

Gotta Have a Plan

June 13, 2020 Wendy Deacon
Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon
Gotta Have a Plan
Chapters
Life Reimagined with Wendy Deacon
Gotta Have a Plan
Jun 13, 2020
Wendy Deacon

Now that you've figured out WHAT you want and hopefully identified your suggested workarounds for potential roadblocks, do you have a plan and a way to keep yourself accountable to actually achieving?

Not having a plan is the surest way to never get there so join me as I help you create the plan and support structure that will help get you there faster.

Show Notes Transcript

Now that you've figured out WHAT you want and hopefully identified your suggested workarounds for potential roadblocks, do you have a plan and a way to keep yourself accountable to actually achieving?

Not having a plan is the surest way to never get there so join me as I help you create the plan and support structure that will help get you there faster.

1.7 Gotta Have a Plan

Now that you've figured out WHAT you want and hopefully identified your suggested workarounds for potential roadblocks, do you have a plan and a way to keep yourself accountable to actually achieving?

Not having a plan is the surest way to never get there so join me as I help you create the plan and support structure that will help get you there faster.

INTRO

No matter where you are - no matter what stage of life planning you're in - you may be at the starting line even.  But you gotta have a plan.  It may sound a bit boring - definitely not a sexy topic - but hang with me for a bit longer if you can as it is important stuff.  If you're not actively sowing the seeds for the tomorrow you want, you are certain to have a greater chance of getting nowhere NEAR where you want to be or to the WHO you want to be.  

I'm going to first cover the importance of a plan, then the key questions and steps and then how to hang in there when it gets tough, with a few stories and examples along the way.

Writer and pioneering aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, stated “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” 

Think about it - we plan a TON every day in our world.  Soccer practice for young kids, school homework succession to improve our thinking and life skills, corporate committee meetings to develop and launch products, etc.  So why would you leave something as important as what you want your life to look like to such chance?  Why just willy-nilly it and hope that when you reach the end - hopefully in your 90s or longer - that it just happened to work out all the ways you wanted?

You may have heard the statement that "chance favors the prepared" or "the more prepared, the luckier you are."  This is not some random occurrence in the Universe that people get lucky - okay well most of the time it's not random.  It's more often a result of being in the right place at the right time and as a result of taking some forward action toward what you want.  By creating a plan, you're setting your heart, mind and focus in a specific direction and this alone sets you on a more successful trajectory.  You become what you want to see in the world.  

It doesn't guarantee that the plan is perfect, that it will be implemented flawlessly and without interruption or challenge, nor that you will achieve 100% of what you set out to achieve.  It isn't magic.  But the focus you create in establishing a plan and the reinforcement that you're on the right path you can achieve by coming back regularly to the plan are as close as you can predictably get.

The second critical piece is what is IN the plan.  It cannot just be a finite statement of what "will be" and then you hope for the best.  Instead, the more reflection, thought and careful detailing of what each step is needed to accomplish to complete the plan, the greater your opportunity to realize your dream or goal.


 If you want to learn to play the piano, your plan isn't simply comprised of sit down and start pressing on the different keys to see what they sound like.  Instead, my hope is that you'd first have access to or buy a piano, that you would invest in either books or online reading to give you background on what else is needed to get started.  What the notes are.  What different tempos are.  What the pedals are for.  Etcetera.  If you want to learn faster and have the financial means to do so, you can hire a teacher or go to a community center class to learn.  Maybe a friend of yours plays and you can barter or provide picnic lunch in exchange for lessons.

 

To ensure you're developing a sound plan, you have to picture what you're seeking to achieve and then walk backwards and break down the steps like you're explaining it to a friend or even as simple as what a child would understand.  A 1-2-3 recipe.  Ask yourself the tough questions.  For my piano example, maybe it includes verifying my hearing is ok so I don't find out I'm tone deaf too far into this.  For me, one of the toughest questions I had to face was my risk tolerance and timelines.  How much savings was I willing to leverage to fulfill what I believe is my dream and NEXT?  If I never worked again and just played on the hiking trails, snowy mountain or sandy beach, unless I hit the lottery, I would definitely run out of money to pay my mortgage and end up working again in possibly a job I didn't want.  I had to determine I was willing to pull $X that would financially cover me for X months while I took the time to reflect, decide and the build what I envisioned.

 

So for you, what is the sequence and the cadence of the steps you have to take to get there?  Set weekly or monthly (or both) benchmarks in detail and in a moment I'll talk about the importance of revisiting them regularly to ensure you're on track.  Try to anticipate any potential roadblocks or hurdles, no matter how uncomfortable it is to answer, so you can create the most prepared and well-thought-out plan, giving you a great start toward eventually accomplishing.

 

The third key component in this whole scenario is actually implementing what you set out to do (ie walk the talk) and set up a system to keep you honest when you hit the potholes or detours.  This is where many people fall off….they don't execute.  Using the plan daily was a key factor in the success of both Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan - repetition.  Tiger hit the same golf shots over and over and over each day.  Michael Jordan talks of doing 300 free throws each day.

 

Or they start to do it and then fold when it gets tough.   Like quitting smoking.  Mark Twain said it's easy to quit smoking….he's done it hundreds of times.  You are good for a few days or weeks but then someone compromises your bank account and your stress level jacks up and you grab a cigarette.  

 

If you have a good support system in place, you would pick up the phone and talk with your friend until the desire passes.  If you anticipated such triggers, you could have included in your plan that you'd take a 15 minute walk when you felt this way to manage the stress.

 

There will be curveballs and you and others will need to hold you accountable.  What will you do when it gets hard?  Will you have the tenacity to try again?  To edit and update the plan with your new knowledge and hit it again?

 

To share a personal story, I decided in the Fall of 2018 that things were changing in my work environment and that it wasn't as fun and was getting more tiring traveling all the time.  I started really thinking about what I wanted and it became increasingly clear that I needed something different.  I could continue working on my NEXT a few hours each week, after I completed my day job and after I was done playing outside on the bike, snowboard or trail.  At that pace, I'd be able to move on to what I wanted around age 75 and I wasn't ok with that.  If I wanted different, I had to make bigger changes.

 

I spent several months reviewing my finances and my options - both inside the company at the time and outside the company.  I thought about writing or consulting or going to work again at a healthcare system, but was not really sure WHAT it would be, let alone how to get there.  I assessed all I could assess and decided I needed to leave my position, leave my company, spend time really reflecting and deciding and then create a whole new path.  The hardest part was not knowing with 100% clarity what I'd be doing in my NEXT.  That took a ton of guts and faith.  I felt like God and the Universe kept reinforcing my decision and with each meditation and prayer, I felt more compelled to keep moving forward in this direction.

 

I knew I wanted to write and that I wanted to focus on this unique time for us 45+ year olds, but anything more concrete at that time eluded me.  So what was my plan then?  To spend 2 hours each day minimum researching topics, what books and resources were already out there, and at least 2 hours each day on courses or training events to spur my thinking and help clarify my goals and direction.  Little by little, I began removing possible paths or goals from my list and it became increasingly clear what I wanted to write about and that I would need help.  I kept researching and pulled in a reputable consultant on the recommendation of a friend and created timelines.  It significantly expanded and improved my support and accountability network.  There was somebody expecting specific chapters or updates from me and my first-born-not-wanting-to-disappoint-anyone sure took that to heart.

 

I am not saying that every timeline and benchmark was met as expected - quite the contrary - BUT it kept me focused on my first book writing - versus going out and playing all day, every day on the trails and mountains nearby.  I did complete it, about 6 weeks later than planned, but that was MY deadline and it really was okay that it was a bit delayed.  I still got there.  And am still getting there.  I'm still on my own path and continuously updating and improving plan.  It's the only way I've been able to achieve so much over and over and over and have a great time doing it.

 

So remember, the simple act of having a plan is a key forward step in achieving what you want and you have a greater chance of realizing with greater detail and specific timelines.  Finally, having a support crew and structure to hold yourself accountable will be critical when it gets tough or when life throws you curveballs.

 

I detail these ideas further in my book currently available on Amazon in print or kindle format, Destination Unknown, and I encourage you to join our free DestinationU Facebook Community or download our free personal strategic planning ebooklet on my website at www.destination-u.net.

 

Thanks so much for listening and I invite you to lean in a bit further with me and our community.

As Michael Jordan once said, "Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen."  Where are you in this list?

 

I hope you are inspired & I hope you are empowered to get over yourself, get out there and get to your NEXT.