A Goal Needs a Plan, Otherwise You Have No Goal

A goal without a plan is just a wish. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I like to set goals and achieve them.

Yet, many of the goals I set, I don’t achieve.

Why? I am a better goal-setter than I am a planner. I’ve learned that if I have a goal and no plan to achieve that goal, I really have no goal. 

Setting a goal is great. Setting a goal without the plan to achieve that goal will only bring you frustration.

Remember, a goal is nothing more than a desired outcome. To get that required outcome requires a very specific plan. 

For example,  I have wanted to replace all of the closet doors in the bedrooms of my house for several years. This is the goal. I have failed to achieve the goal because I have no plan to achieve the goal. (Sad, but true.)

So most days I try to use one of those doors and remember I have a goal to fix them. (Frustration). Yet, unfixed they will go until I create a plan.

Here’s what that might look like.

GOAL: FIX  OR REPLACE THE CLOSET DOORS IN ALL BEDROOMS OVER LABOR DAY WEEKEND.

PLAN

  1. Watch a Youtube video on how to fix a closet doors.
  2. Buy or borrow the necessary tools to fix the doors.
  3. Set aside an afternoon to fix the doors.
  4. Fix the doors.
  5. Dispose of the old doors.
  6. Celebrate the achievement of a goal!

Ready to achieve more of your goals? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What is my SPECIFIC  desired OUTCOME? This is my GOAL. (Write it down.)
  • What is my VERY SPECIFIC PLAN to achieve this goal? (Write it down.)

Now, you might be asking yourself: well this is all very simple and obvious.

Well then, you should start achieving more of your goals.  You’re welcome.  🙂

10 ways you can have more time – really!

Good leaders have time.

This is another way of saying that a good leader is not driven by their schedule. Rather, a good leader drives their schedule. It’s a simple idea that can have a profound impact on the way we live and lead. 

The problem is that most leaders (myself included) complain to have so little time. Our schedules are packed with events and meetings and things to do. We hop from one meeting to another as if being physically present is the point (it’s not). It seems to me most of us are overloaded, overburdened and overworked and we’re not sure why? All of this is evidence that our schedules are controlling us rather than us controlling our schedules.

This can have serious consequences. When feel a dearth of time, it stresses us out. We neglect our families and friends in an effort to catch-up. We become human doings in a maniacal effort to accomplish or agenda. When this happens we lose our edge as leaders and many of us risk burn-out.

What about you? Do you feel you ‘have time.’

I am trying to be a good leader and therefore still learning how to make time. I’ve been feeling stretched lately. I realized that I was allowing other people to control m schedule. That inspired me to research ways to better control my schedule.

Here’s what I am doing. Maybe it will help you.

  1. I schedule a weekly preview. Every Sunday (or early Monday) I schedule a few minutes to preview my calendar. I want to know which events and meetings I have I initiated and those I haven’t. I compare those to meetings and events that I haven’t. The more items I am initiating, the better.
  2. I prioritize. I try hard to determine what needs to be accomplished first and why. I go after the big things first.
  3. I determine whether I am responding or initiating? Am I being pushed or pulled into this meeting or event? Again, the more I am initiating the better. There will be times we need to address problems or new opportunities. But these must be less frequent.
  4. I identify the forces are driving my agenda and name them. If I am constantly being yanked into situations, I had better know by who why. If it’s a good reason, fine, if it’s not I need to renegotiate my time.
  5. I determine my boundaries? I need to maintain my boundaries. I need to tell people know when I can’t deliver what they’re asking. I need to say no to extra meetings or responsibility when I know I can’t deliver. You can’t do it for me.
  6. I clarify the why? I clarify the why as much as possible. Why am I doing this? Why are we doing this?
  7. I focus on the outcome? What am I trying to accomplish with this meeting or event? What is the organizer trying to accomplish? If I can’t answer these questions I less likely to say yes.
  8. I understand this is not winner take all. The fact is I have responsibilities and obligations. This means I don’t control all of my schedule. We can’t control everything. (This is a reality of the universe that some of us resist.) But there are parts of my schedule I can control.
  9. I leverage technology. I use as many tools as necessary to get the jobs done. Google Calendar and Todist get the job done for me.
  10. I am a time steward. I have 168 hours in the week. (So do you.) And it’s my responsibly to steward them well.

It’s clear that good leaders don’t react to circumstances or issues, they respond. I know that good leaders are proactive. They initiate action rather than wait for things to happen.  When you and I do these things we will finally control our schedules. And that’s how we can have more time to slow down a bit and take in all that life is offering us.

What about you? How do you have time?

20 rules of email that will make all of our lives better

On the average day I read and respond to approximately 75 emails. This does not include junk or spam. I refer to emails that are directly relevant to my work. These are messages I must respond to in some way. Most days it seems my life is all about getting to my emails.

While I’ve tried to use other platforms for team communications and projects, the default seems to be emails. It seems that we are so accustomed to emails that there is no going back. Therefore, I am capitulating. Email is here to stay. 

The problem is that it’s like the Wild West out there. I am convinced that if we all followed some simple rules it would make reading and responding to emails easier and dare I say, more pleasurable. Here they are… Continue reading “20 rules of email that will make all of our lives better”

It comes down to execution

It all comes down to execution.

We can have the best plans.

The best intentions.

The finest work space or buildings.

The best team.

Best visionary oration.

Take all the time in the world to schedule and scope it all out.

But if we don’t execute, we have nothing.

You know this though.

But it’s also true.

So whatever it is your planning and dreaming about, we’re excited to see it (or buy it or read it etc.)

So maybe you’re getting to work now?

I ran 1,596 miles in 2016! This is how I did it!

I am not trying to boast here so stick with me. I learned a ton from running all of these miles that I want to pass it on to you.

But it’s true, I ran 1596.82 miles in 2016. I could have run from Chicago to Las Vegas. Those are Forrest Gump miles!

Thanks to my trusty Garmin 15 I know I ran for 231.05 hours and burned 193,967 calories. I ran 199 of the 365 days of the year.

I am utterly shocked by all of this. I don’t check my miles everyday. Usually I run for a week or so before I sync my watching with my computer. My plan was simply to ‘run’ in 2016 because I love to run. I signed up for one marathon so I knew I would need to train for that. I certainly had no plan to run 1600 miles!

Here’s how I accumulated all of these miles…

Continue reading “I ran 1,596 miles in 2016! This is how I did it!”