What’s your plan?

Fail to plan; plan to fail.  I have heard this phrase many times in my life and my career and I find it to be just as true today as ever.  We live in a world of activity, frantic activity, and most of this activity is not planning.  A good plan is essential for success in anything you will do, but even more important is to understand when to adjust and refine the plan.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes when I think of planning:

Thomas Edison

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.

Thomas A. Edison

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html#D36jrBto8dBJRkZh.99Dwight D. Eisenhower

Plans are nothing; planning is everything.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html#D36jrBto8dBJRkZh.99

Phil Crosby

If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow.

Phil Crosby

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/search_results.html#3yROL6ZU5SvBArT5.99

 

When I think of planning I also think of goals.  I find the two to be first cousins when it comes to setting direction and getting things done.  Goals are best accomplished by using the SMART goal method.  Here is the meaning of smart goals as a refresher:

S-Specific

M-Measurable

A-Attainable

R-Realistic

T-Time based

Goals that do not meet the SMART acronym have a much lower probability of being achieved successfully, if at all.  Let me share an example of a goal that is not a SMART goal:

I would like to obtain my doctorate in Organizational Development

This statement lists a great idea or accomplishment, but it does not have a time component and it may or may not be realistic, based on the current position of the person making the goal.

Let me rephrase the goal in a SMART fashion

I will obtain my doctorate in Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University before 2018.  I will first obtain my M.Ed. by 2016.

This goal is much more specific and it also lists a sub-goal that would need to be accomplished prior to the final goal attainment.

What plans do you have?

What goals have you set to attain these plans?

Take some time each week, even each day, to lay out what you want to do and also consider what time frame is realistic in attaining these goals.

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.  This quote comes from one of the more famous books ever written,  Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  I fear we live in a society where many of us are involved in a number of meaningless activities that are not leading to the attainment of any tangible goals.  Taking the time to focus and set direction will give each one of us the ability to know what we should, or should not be doing, in order to attain our ultimate destination.

Think about it…