The Time to Plan is Now

"Failing to plan is planning to fail."


Every time someone tells me they want something or encounter a challenge, I ask, “Where’s your plan?” I ask this not just to bug people—really, it isn’t. It’s because having a plan WORKS. We all will be much more successful in what we do if we have a roadmap of sorts that tells us how we are going to get to where we want to go, and NOW is the time to get your plan for getting what you say you want underway!

Plan… plan… plan. Let’s look at reminders of how important it is to have a plan—reminders that are contained in the word P-L-A-N itself.

P is for PAPER.
You must write your plan down on PAPER. That is the first step in turning dreams into reality. Involve your team. Team members’ ideas will be helpful and creative, and when you involve the team, the team has ownership and interest in the plan. Start by writing down everything you “know” about where you are going and where you want to be. What you write down at first doesn’t have to have a logical order. Just get it down on paper. When everything you “know” is on paper, what you don’t know about your plan will show up! Then you can plan for how to deal with what you don’t know. Where is marketing missing? Where is team missing? Where are you operating on hope instead of being a visionary?

L is for do something you LOVE.
If your heart isn’t into what you are doing, why are you doing it? If you’re having trouble writing your plan because you don’t really want what you say you want, you need to get straight with yourself. Writing a plan about what you really want is FUN! Have fun with the plan you are writing. It should reflect your passion and purpose. Our creative juices are at their greatest when we are having fun. So let loose, have fun and step away from the norm. Allow yourself to consider where your "out of the box" thoughts could take your business or family…it just might be outrageous enough to work!

A is for ACCOUNTABILITY. Your plan should have specific action steps, so the team members who will be implementing the plan will know what to do and by-when they need to do it. For any plan to be outrageously successful, it must be fully communicated to every person. Write down the actions necessary to get where you want to be, and then, after asking permission, of course, hold the team accountable for doing what they say they are going to do, by-when they say they are going to do it.

N is for NOW!
Get going! Do something now to make your plan happen! It doesn’t have to be a big step… just even a small step will get your plan started. Saying you want success is not enough. Focus, write the plan, and then live it. You have to really want what you want, write it down, and be willing to hold others accountable and be held accountable yourself for getting it all! An outrageous and profitable future is within your reach. So get moving!

Clay Nelson
Clay Nelson
Founder/President at Clay Nelson Life Balance
Clay Nelson's background includes science, systems analyst, and business management. After 30 years of corporate leadership, Clay knows the key elements that make a business successful, and for more than two decades, Clay has been providing business executives and their teams, from all industries, executive business and professional coaching, mediation, facilitation, planning, system analyses and seminar leadership. Read More »


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