darren-nolander-planPiggybacking off the proactive notion, many people fail to set aside the appropriate time to plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail, which is why you have to dedicate time to mapping any endeavor. It’s simply part of the investment.

Planning keeps the spotlight of clarity burning brightly on your goals. Begin by categorizing your goal. Is it a short-term (accomplished within the work week), mid-term (within the month or quarter) or long-term (by the end of 2019) goal?

Priority Level
Assigning a priority level to these goals on a scale of one to three can also keep you focused and moving forward. Yes, long-term goals require longer time periods, but they also demand attention both now and in the future.

In contrast, you could likely dedicate week after week to crossing off short-term goals and feel like you’ve conquered the world. However, if these items are lower priority, this poor planning will prevent you from hitting numbers come the end of the month, quarter and year if you’re only focused on the week at hand.

Mapping out a path to success also helps you identify roadblocks that hadn’t been evident when this goal was simply speculative. You want to reach the top of Mount Everest? That’s cool. How do you plan to go about this? Climbing upwards. Imagine if your planning stopped there. At best, you’d be laughed off the mountain. At worst, you may lose your life.

Resources Needed
Once you start to consider gear, endurance training, time of year, weather, cost, transportation to/from the area, accommodations along the mountain, survival preparation, the pros and cons of Sherpas, etc., it becomes a lot easier to break down the large goal into manageable pieces that ensure your best chance at success. Strategies and smaller objectives also help you determine if your goal is achievable within the period of time you outlined, or whether you need to adjust your expectations closer to reality.

Creating and documenting your plan will give you a level of accountability that’s necessary. Then you need the discipline to follow-through.

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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