Every year I write an article or two about goal setting. Goal setting is one of the biggest differentiators between people who are successful and those who aren’t.
There are many different ways to set goals and different acronyms used for goals setting. One of the most well-known is SMART Goals.
I decided this year I would develop my own goal setting acronym, PLAN:
Plan – A plan takes many different stages. There is a Grand Plan (The Big Picture). This is where you need to identify the large-scale goals you want to achieve. Then the Grand Plan needs to be broken down into smaller and more targeted goals. Each goal needs a time frame for completion.
Learn – When my sons were school age, their school district had a motto “Be a lifelong learner”. This motto is one that is adopted by successful individuals. Adults often commit to learning something new. It’s harder to commit to becoming an expert – make the commitment.
Action – This is the most important part of PLAN, without action all learning is, is knowledge. How do you get to the Action stage? First it’s important to understand the difference between activity and action. We all know people who seem very busy but they never move forward. They are creating activity but not action. Here is an example of the difference between the activity and action:
Action – making an appointment to meet the owners and viewing the property.
Why is activity so much easier than action? Activity allows us to feel like we are making progress but without Risk. But without risk there is no reward. Action begets Reward.
Normalize – “Is to make part of your life and routine,” as defined by Webster. What I’m really talking about is making your Plan a habit. “Success is a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.” I know that when I was raising my sons we worked off the premise that it takes “21 days to create a habit” that worked to get my sons in line (most of the time), but scientifically, it takes a little longer. A Study that was published in the European Journal of Social Psychology reports that “on average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic – 66 days to be exact.” So think of it this way, if you start Jan 5th, by March 11th you should have a new habit!!!
I personally don’t practice making New Year’s resolutions. Each year I look at the goals set the year before, appreciate how far I’ve come, re-tool the ones I didn’t quite reach and start a new PLAN.
Here is to your success in 2016!
Diana D. Hill – firstname.lastname@example.org