How to Create an Effective Plan?
1. Assess: Where Are You? The first step in developing an effective Plan is to be Aware of your current circumstances. A Plan is like a road map it can only take you where you want to go if you know where you currently are. Being Aware of your current circumstances requires you to sense what you are experiencing and how you are reacting. Only from this perspective can you become Aware of the overall impact of your circumstances and what, if anything, you need to do about it. The more you are Aware of, the better you can Plan.
Take a sheet of paper, and write CURRENT SITUATION at the top. Underneath this heading, record what you are experiencing as well as how you are reacting. This survey will determine your current state of being. As you complete and review this survey, you will have the opportunity to see your circumstances and you may uncover details and relationships that you may have otherwise overlooked. It is important to recognize and fully accept your Current Situation if you want to move beyond it. When you are finished, place the sheet of paper off to your left, and proceed to the next step.
2. Choose an Outcome: Where Do You Want To Go? Looking at your Current Situation, identify what is working as well as what is not working or what you would like to change. Become Aware of how you are Responding in the areas that are not working. Remember, if what you have been doing is not working, a different Plan/Response is needed. Evaluate the circumstance you are in, and ask yourself: What would I prefer to happen moving forward? What opportunities does my Current Situation present? What result would I ultimately like to achieve? Take the second sheet of paper, and write IDEAL FUTURE at the top. Then clearly define your Ideal Future in writing. Be realistic, specific, and detailed. Determine the Outcome you prefer. What do you Envision your Ideal Future to be?
● You have the power to Transform anything you choose in your Life at any time. You don’t have to avoid or run away from difficulties; you can resolve them. Remember, you are never helpless. There are always options, as every experience presents numerous opportunities. Take the time to reflect thoroughly, don’t let the Outcomes from your past restrict your thinking; the future is full of possibilities. Think in the long term. What would be the best Outcome moving forward? To help you with this, imagine how someone you respect might handle the same situation. Envision the big picture. Focus on the ideal possibilities. When you are finished recording your Ideal Future, place the sheet of paper off to your right, and proceed to the next step.
3. Design a Response: How Are You Going To Get There? Now take the third sheet of paper, write PLAN at the top, and place it between the first two sheets of paper. Compare your Current Situation (on your left) with your Ideal Future (on your right). On the paper entitled Plan (in the middle), write down what needs to take place to bring you from your Current Situation to your Ideal Future. Take your time with this step, as this is the foundation upon which you will continue to build. Ask yourself: What has to change? What needs to be done? What are my resources? What obstacles may present themselves, and how can I eliminate or work around them? Do I need to research, learn, or acquire anything new? Is there more than one way of accomplishing what I want? Keep your options open, brainstorm, and be creative; there is always more than one way to accomplish something. Identify all of the main factors that are necessary to bring you closer to your objective. Write them all down. Then continue on with this step as follows:
– Organize all of the factors you identified above into a Time Line.
– Keep in mind any time restraints you must work within. How long
– do you think it will take to accomplish your Time Line? Be realistic.
● Divide your Time Line into steps. The sequence of all the steps is important. Organize them in the order they need to be completed for your Plan to unfold. The completion of each step should trigger the next step so that you don’t get out of sequence. Identify the objective and time frame within each step, and have a way to determine when each step is completed so that you can monitor your progress. Grounding Your Plan: Once your Time Line and steps are mapped out, you need to cultivate your Motivation to take Action and make your Plan a reality. If your Plan is designed properly, it should bring you closer.
4. Monitor: Are You On Track? As you actively work your Plan, review your Time Line and steps often, and Evaluate how things are going. Assess whether or not the Outcome of each step remains in line with your Ideal Future. However, do not become fixated on or obsessed about your Plan. As each step is completed, cross it off your Time Line. It is sometimes helpful to look back to see where you started to get a good perspective on how far you have come. How many times should you adjust your Plan or replan? Answer: As many times as you need to accomplish what you want. There are no mistakes, only lessons and learning. Thoughts are instantaneous, but accomplishing something in the physical world takes constant, focused. This is where patience and persistence really pay off. Plans tend to be challenging, as they require you to reach for something you have not yet achieved. The more challenging your Plan, the greater is your potential for learning and growth. However, be careful not to get caught up in creating huge challenges and therefore lose sight of your objective. Your focus should remain on creating your Ideal Future. You should strive to become an effective Planner, not an overplanner who never completes a Plan. Plan now! Do now! Create now! There is always something that can be done or improved upon now. Don’t procrastinate. Keep your Plan in perspective, and don’t allow difficulties or obstacles to overpower you. Remember, what you experience daily as life unfold continually create opportunities. Seek out and take advantage of those opportunities before they pass you by.
The Center For Self-Development
CEO & Co-Developer