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Insufficient Planning (Number 9 in a 10-Part Series)

Goal PlannerA big reason why many people don’t reach their full and unique potential is they simply don’t plan well and leave too much up to chance.

Many people think you don’t need to figure out how you will achieve a goal. All you have to do is write it down and “attract” it.

I think that works some of the time. I’ve written things down that I wanted, put no effort into accomplishing them and sometimes never even thought about them again—until they happened.

So yes, I think there is some power in just being clear on what you want and expecting it.

But for important goals, I think your confidence and your expectation of achieving them go up dramatically when you’ve done the proper planning.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything”.

He understood that especially in the heat of battle, no plan is perfect. But planning does focus you on the process and can avoid many of the pitfalls and obstacles that can get in the way.

How do you set and plan your goals?

Do you decide on what you want and then hope it will happen? Do you write them down? Do you formulate a plan of action? Do you know the critical elements of that plan?

My experience has shown me that less than 3 percent of people have a written plan. And I’ve seen studies where only about 3 percent of people ever achieve any significant success.

Coincidence? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Does a clear, specific and well-thought-out plan guarantee success? No, it doesn’t. But I’d bet on the plan over the no-plan every time.

So if planning is so important, why don’t people do more of it? Here’s a few things that people let get in the way:

  • They’re not sold on the value
  • They aren’t sure how to do it
  • They’re too busy doing instead of thinking and planning
  • They think it’s too hard
  • They believe it’s dull and uninteresting

But none of these excuses match up to the many benefits of good planning.

One of the simplest and most powerful means of planning is to begin with the end in mind and work backwards. What will it take to create the outcome you envision? What has to happen to create the intended results?

Breaking the overall plan down into strategies and tactics creates more confidence. Having more confidence that your goal is achievable increases the likelihood you’ll take consistent action. Good planning allows you to determine and allocate resources and delegate certain components to move the project along faster.

A good plan enables you to be proactive, rather than reactive. It stimulates forward thinking, builds teamwork and expertise and helps establish and manage priorities.

Planning Resources:

What we came up with is a goal planning system. We then beta-tested it with our entire Diamond Club team and made further revisions. The result is The SuccessNet Goal Planner. And it’s a good one—a VERY good one.

We borrowed the best of the best, innovated, kept it simple and made it easy to use.

Here’s just some of what you’ll get from this system:

  • clarity on what you really want out of life
  • raise your belief as to what’s possible
  • more balance in your life
  • feel more confident and have more passion
  • prioritize your goals and work on what’s truly worthwhile
  • checklists to keep you on track, focused and consistent
  • access to other valuable resources
  • and much, much more . . .

You can learn more about the Goal Planner and get yours on this page . . .

However, for a limited time, The Goal Planner is included as a no-cost bonus when you order
The Best Life Navigator.

As I’ve often said, “Ideas are worthless. Intentions have no power. Plans are nothing . . . unless they are followed with action. Do it Now!”

Take Action

  1. Order The Best Life Navigator with Goal Planner
  2. Map out a plan for one of your top 3 goals
  3. Have someone you trust review it for clarity and effectiveness

Please Tell Us What You Think
I’ve published this article and previous ones here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

1. Insufficient Desire
2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
5. Inadequate Support
6. Fear
7. Poor Tracking
8. Poor Disciplines, Bad Habits

Poor Habits & Destructive Disciplines (Number 8 in a 10-Part Series)

habitsThe eighth reason good people don’t always win is that they have destructive disciplines and unsupportive habits. Instead of their habits helping them, their habits make progress more difficult and, in some cases, sabotage their success altogether.

But as I’ve often said, if you develop the habits of success, you will make success a habit.

In this chapter of this series we’ll examine our habits—both helpful and not. Because I want you to get just how powerful and important good habits and proper discipline is when it comes to winning.

We’ll also examine some of the challenges to changing our habits and discover ways to replace those that don’t serve us.

And finally, we’ll encourage you to commit or re-commit to acquiring the habits needed to win and replacing those habits that keep us from living our best life.

But first some basic premises . . .

  • A Habit is a wonderful servant but a terrible master
  • Bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with.
  • Good habits are hard to form but easy to live with.
  • When you sow and act, you reap a habit. When you sow a habit, you reap a character.
  • And when you sow a character, you reap a destiny.
  • We need to work as hard on ourselves as we do at our job or on our goals.
  • We first make our habits; then our habits make us.
  • If you don’t conquer your bad habits, they’ll eventually conquer you.
  • Habits are at first cobwebs . . . then steel cables.
  • How you do anything is pretty much how you do everything.
  • Easier to replace a habit than eliminate one.
  • We have habits because they served us.
  • Everything matters.
  • What’s easy to do is also easy NOT to do.

“The beginning of a habit is like an invisible thread, but every time we repeat the act we strengthen the strand, add to it another filament, until it becomes a great cable and binds us irrevocably thought and act.”

—Orison Swett Marden

Obstacles

Here are some of the obstacles we must overcome in directing and changing our habits:

  • Change is usually hard
  • Ingrained brain patterns
  • Taking on too many at a time
  • Not realizing how powerful they are
  • Not having big enough reasons
  • Other people
  • Environment

Strategies for successfully changing habits and developing good disciplines:

  • Choose carefully
  • Don’t take on too many at a time
  • Be precise
  • Enhance your reasons for change
    • Exacerbate the pain ~ the cost of NOT changing
    • Pile on the benefits ~ elevate the payoffs
  • Make sure it’s worth it
  • Track your progress, be accountable
  • Celebrate your successes

One of the ways to explore habits you wish to change or install is to go through a More/Less, Start/Stop exercise. Simply answer these questions with as many things as you can think of:

  • What do you want to do more of?
  • What do you want to do less of?
  • What do you want to start doing?
  • What do you want to stop doing?

Something else you can do is to look at your top 3 goals and ask what habits and disciplines does their accomplishment require. Ask yourself what kind of a person do you need to become in order to achieve your most important goals? Because who you become is almost always more important than what you achieve.

Winning Habits
Here are a few of the winning habits of people who consistently win:

  • Urgency – Do It Now
  • Deciding quickly, and changing decisions slowly (if at all)
  • Good planning
  • Speaking positively, no complaining
  • Telling the truth, operating with integrity
  • Order

Habit Ideas
Here are some ideas for habits YOU might like to acquire, change or improve upon:

  • Daily vitamins
  • Up early
  • Be on time
  • Smile
  • Bragging/boasting
  • Plan your week on Sunday
  • Worry
  • Filing taxes on time, every time
  • Accounting up to date
  • Say affirmations daily
  • Prayer/meditation
  • Saving at least 10% of income
  • Practicing daily gratefuls
  • Wear seatbelt ALL the time

I’ve always appreciated this poem, although I have never been able to source the author. Do you know?

WHO AM I?

I am your constant companion.
I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden.
I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me,
And I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me.
Show me exactly how you want something done,
And after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men
And, alas, of all failures as well.
Those who are great, I have made great.
Those who are failures, I have made failures.
I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine
Plus the intelligence of a man.
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin;
It makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me
And I will put the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am HABIT!

Aristotle wrote, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

If you want to consistently win, achieve your most important goals and live your best life, you must cultivate the habits that work and shun those that don’t. Make your habits serve you and never be a servant of them.

Resources

  • The Best Life Navigator™ launches soon. It allows you to keep your personal and professional growth front and center. It has the tools you need for your success—all in one place.
    • The CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement) section deals with habits in general, Top Daily Habits, and has the Start/Stop, More/Less exercise.
  • Stay close to SuccessNet. We’ve been helping people and companies grow and prosper for nearly 20 years. Because if you consistently work on improving yourself, you will become someone who attracts success in all areas.
  • Phil Humbert’s eBook www.BetterHabits4aBetterLife.com

Take Action

  1. Decide on 3 habits to acquire or replace
  2. Make a action plan for accomplishment
  3. Start today

Please Tell Us What You Think
I’ve published this article and the previous one here on my Blog. Please add your comments, questions and suggestions at the bottom of the post. Your feedback and engagement is important. If you disagree with anything, say so. If you have questions, ask. If you have additional insights or resources, please share. I promise to read every one. Thank you.

By the way, you’ll gain even greater value from this series if you have a copy of my book, The Achievement Code: The 3C Formula for Getting What You Truly Want (available in print or Kindle). Details at www.TheAchievementCode.com

Previous installments of this series are located here on my Blog.

  1. Insufficient Desire
  2. Lack of—or Erroneous—Beliefs
  3. Confusion, Lack of Clarity
  4. Lack of Focus and Concentration
  5. Inadequate Support
  6. Fear
  7. Poor Tracking

 

A Tribute to J. Francis Angier on His 90th Birthday

dadOne of my favorite poems was written by Edgar Guest entitled “I’d Rather See a Sermon than Hear One Any Day.”

It relates to much of the ways I see my father.

Like many fathers, Dad gave me a great deal of advice over the years. And like many sons, I rarely listened to it.

But, you see, I did observe my father. I saw what he did, and what he didn’t do.

He never had to tell me about being honest and having integrity, he just lived honestly and with integrity.

He never needed to lecture me about hard work and industry. I saw him work hard every day of his working life.

My father never needed to talk to me about being respectful to women. He just was. In fact, I never heard him denigrate women in any way. And he was always respectful and honoring of my mother.

He didn’t have to preach safety—although he did. He just went out of his way to practice safety in everything we did. It’s likely why most of his crew survived being shot down over Germany in the fall of 1944. And none of my family was ever seriously injured on our farm.

Dad didn’t talk much about humility and generosity. He simply demonstrated it all the time.

He didn’t spend much time explaining the value of good planning. But he planned his work and his business carefully.

He didn’t have to advise me on the value of education. Because he was a lifelong learner. And he read, and still does read, every day.

Dad didn’t tell us to love our country. But we knew he was a patriot and how much his country—and his service to it—meant to him.

So although the advice was there, what mattered most was demonstrating his best at being a good man. And it made all of us boys want to be a good man as well.

He set the standards pretty high. And I know I haven’t lived up to them all the time. Perhaps he didn’t either. But I know he did his best.

His sermon was, and still is, his life. And it mattered.

I’m so proud of you Dad. Happy 90th birthday!

ron-cover-smallNote: His first book, Ready or Not: Into the Wild Blue,
is available on Amazon (print and Kindle version)