by Johnn Four
I’m going to tell you now the easiest and best way I’ve found, after tons of research and experimentation, how to get what you want. It’s funny how making things simple gets you better results. The trick is in the simplification – the essence of good lifestyle design. But what seems obvious takes a lot of work to figure out. So it has been for me when doing my annual planning. I have tried many goal setting programs. Many were complex and involved multiple iterations, gap analysis, weekly schedules and thorough planning.
But as Mike Tyson said, we all have a plan until we get punched in the face. Every year life throws punches at us. And those detailed plans are the first things that break and get discarded. I can’t think of any of those complex plans working out for a single year, much less a lifetime. So, here’s how I plan things now to get what I want. Use this simple system yourself to create a massively successful 2014.
- Step 1: Figure out what you want.
- Step 2: Write down how you’ll get it.
- Step 3: Take action.
That’s it. Deceptively simple. But no spreadsheets involved. And when you get punched, do the steps again and be flexible.
What Do You Want?
I stopped making goals. You can make SMART goals, but even those just wasted my time. Instead, I think about results. What results do I want? I start from there and work backward. For my 2014 planning, I pictured myself on Dec 31, 2014 and made a list of all the results I will have achieved this year. The stuff I’ve accomplished, big and small. Step 1 done.
How You’ll Get It
Now it gets interesting. Focus gets you bigger results faster. So I only have one big project as a top priority at a time. Any free time that pops up I immediately look at what I can work on to carry the ball forward a yard on my Big Project. 60 minutes, 15, even 5 => I do something that makes a little bit of progress. Every day.
Then I have two Backup Projects in case I get blocked (waiting for something) on my Big Project or if I want a break. I write down just the steps I need to take to finish the Big Project and two Backup Projects. All the other items on my results wishlist get benched. I’ll pull from the bench when a project slot opens up. This saves a lot of time and keeps things simple. I like simple. It keeps my head on straight.
But what happens when you get stumped on your project recipe? What if you get to a part where you don’t know what to do or how you’ll do it? Aha! This becomes a Learning Goal. I target my googling, reading and course purchases on what I need to know to bring my projects to fruition. Step 2 done.
This is where most of us fail. We lose motivation. We get distracted. We quit from pain of The Grind. Solution: for long journeys of thousands of steps, focus on taking just the next step. Keep your head down. Take the next step. When writing a large book, for example, I only focus on stepping up to the keyboard that day and getting 2,000 words down. I don’t care about word #100,000. I only care about the 2,000 next ones. And I’m happy.
I hope you take a few minutes today to make a list of results you want in 2014. That’s a good next step. Here’s to an awesome 2014!