If you undertake any project in the corporate world, the first thing you need to do is make a plan. You’ve probably heard about marketing plans, communication plans, software implementation plans, strategic plans…and so many other kinds of plans. These all have one thing in common: a clearly defined outcome to achieve in the most efficient way possible. That means considering the time and resources (people and money) available, the stakeholders: who will be impacted, who else needs to know; possible risks, threats and opportunities. All this is identified and strategised before any action is taken. Why? Because if you don’t the project can fall flat on its face very quickly: over budget, no resources, people not engaged, and the goal no where near achieved. Massive fail.
So why is it any different with a personal life change? Why wouldn’t you sit down and make a plan? If you really want to achieve your end goal, the best way to start is with a plan. So where do you start with that? First of all you need to define the problem. What are you dealing with? Why isn’t it what you actually want? What would you like to change about where you are right now? You need to understand what that looks like first.
Then define your goal: where are you going? Don’t get bogged down in the how right now – that's the fastest way to find yourself going nowhere! Just put some words around where you want to go. How would you like your current experience to look, feel, sound, smell like? How would you like to feel while you’re experiencing that part of your life?
You can break down that end goal into two parts if you like:
Once you have the here and there defined you can see the gaps in between. This is where you plan comes into place. What do you need to do to get from here to there? Start by making a list of these things. Don’t worry about the order or the how – just write them down so they’re out of your head. Here’s some suggestions for things to think about:
Write down all the things you need to do – even if they seem small. Writing them down means you don’t have to keep remembering them: you can see them in front of you like jigsaw pieces and you can begin to play with them and see how they fit together.
You might like to gather a list of those things used in a corporate plan:
Once you’ve gathered all the information you can start to structure a plan. You know what you’re dealing with, where you’re going, and what you need to do to get there. Put your list in order of a timeline – what needs to happen first? What needs to happen next?
A good idea is to write things on post-it notes or pieces of paper so you can shuffle them around into an order. Once you have an order, write it out and schedule time in your calendar for each of your steps needing action.
All these steps may not be necessary for every change you implement – but the basic structure will help you put a framework in place so you can actually achieve what you set out to do. Even if you don’t know what all the steps are, you have a general idea of the direction you’re going and the who, what, when, how much involved.
Once you have a plan – don’t forget to take action! Just thinking about it doesn’t get anything done 😊
Need some help with your planning? Book yourself in for a coaching session and we can work through it together.
Have a great week!
Life experience has taught me a lot about change - its messiness and my desire to circumnavigate it in a more efficient way. In this blog I share my experience so you too can survive change with a smile on your face!