Did you know that December is National Write a Business Plan Month? Now, I’m not a big fan of business plans (actually I find most of them useless documents that sit on the shelf and never get looked at). And many of you have no need for a business plan as your Somedays are not business related. However, I’m a big fan of small plans, of deciding on actions and then following through on implementation and in the end getting something done. To kick off this month-long look at planning, Jonathan Beebe of Develop Minds takes a look at the quick way to come up with a plan.
When you set a “goal”, your subconscious mind tends to place it into the “someday” category, even if it’s a short-term goal you have every intention of completing. And while you may complete it as a short-term goal, the chances of failure actually go up when you label it as a “goal”… despite the fact that it’s good to have goals.
Stop for a moment and think back to the last time you went on vacation and enjoyed yourself. Beforehand, what did you do? First, you thought of what to do, and then you planned the big day. When it came up, you went out, had fun, and it felt good right?
You had an idea based on your desire, and you successfully executed it at some point in the future. Same as a goal right? The difference is, your mind is used to following through with plans, but may need much more training to follow through with “goals”, despite the fact that they are basically the same thing.
Don’t Plans Often Change?
Plans may change, but so do goals. In fact, I’d say goals change quite a bit more than plans because of the fact that they are more long-term in nature. Change isn’t always a bad thing, however. If you’re continuously growing, many things are bound to change about yourself, such as your interests, and maybe even your passions. Likewise, your goals and plans need to change in order to accommodate your changes, and that of course isn’t a bad thing.
It’s all about getting what you honestly want out of life, and as humans, what we want can change from time to time.
How to Create Your “Plan”
Let’s do a quick exercise. All you’ll need is a pen, a piece of paper, and your mind.
Take one of your big long-term goals that you hope to accomplish “someday” and that’ll be the only thing we label a “goal” for this exercise, and write it down on the top of your paper. Now, the sub-goals, or what would be called the short-term goals leading up to your big goal are going to be labeled “plans”.
Write down your new short term “plans” and decide when they should be executed, and give an estimated time-frame. Put tentative dates, and make sure to plan on executing some of them very soon, in fact, as soon as you can. If it’s honestly a goal you really want, you won’t want to wait anyway.
Below is a simplistic example plan to illustrate the exercise I just described. It’s for someone who’s always wanted to start their own online business but has previously put it into the “someday” category in their mind.
Goal: Start an Online Business
- Find a good resource and gather up the necessary knowledge.
Date: 11/30/2009 (Today) – Complete by: 12/7/2009
- Topic/Market Research
Date: 12/7/2009 – Complete by: 12/14/2009
- Create the website
Date: 12/15/2009 – Complete by: 12/21/2009
- Create the initial content
Date: 12/22/2009 – Complete by: 2/22/2010
- Create a marketing plan
Date: 2/23/2009 – Complete by: 3/1/2010
- And so on…
If you take the above example literally it will obviously have some flaws, but it wasn’t meant to help you start an online business, it’s purpose is to show you how to simply change the “goals” you need to accomplish as soon as possible into plans, so your mind actually queues the actions you need to take, rather than just letting them remain stagnant in the “someday” bin.
Do What Works For You
You can always modify the template to be more effective, especially if you already have a working system set up for getting things done. And if you currently had some pending goals, the “goals to plans” method I described should give you enough of a push to get started on them right away.
Once you start accomplishing the little things that work towards your big goals, you’ll be taking steps toward the life you honestly want to be living, and remember, you can be given all the right information you need to accomplish anything you want to, and be taught everything you’ll ever need to know, but it’s all useless if you don’t put it into practice.
Make it your plan to get started immediately.
About Jonathan Beebe
Jonathan Beebe is the author of Develop Minds, a personal development blog focused on providing information on how to increase your consciousness, your intelligence, and how to significantly improve your life by making the most out of it.