Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Plan of Action...Plan of Results

It's great to make an action plan.  "This is it!", you may say.  "This time I'm going to do it!", you remind yourself.  "OK, but how do I start?", may be the last comment before you blissfully go about your day.

We all have plans and things we'd like to accomplish.  Often times though, there is no road map laid out before us.  No steps to follow, just the end result played over and over again in our minds.  In a way, that's great, because there is a lot to be said for thinking from the end.  However, while we can all see ourselves sipping margaritas on the beach on some remote island without a care in the world, after we have that vision, we have to figure out how to get there.  That will be your plan of action.

Step-by-step, we have to plan.  But not just for action, for results!  It's a minor thing but sometimes, I believe, we get so caught up in taking steps just for the sake of taking steps.  There are no measurable results along the way.

Here is my suggestion:  Next to your "Plan of Action" in which you write out all the steps necessary to see your dreams become reality, make an "Actions Taken" column next to it to show what you've actually done.  In the right hand side of your page, list the "Results" your actions have yielded.

For example in your Plan Of Action column, your first plan is, "Create a Blog".  In your Actions Taken column, you may write out, "Reviewed Blogger & their How To Create a Blog" section.  Finally, in your results column, you may write out, "Successfully began my blogging career."  If you do not achieve your desired results, seek a plan B in your Actions Taken column until you find what works.

One of my old bosses was fond of saying, "A plan to plan is not a plan" and as confusing as it may first seem, it's really very accurate.  I would follow it up by saying that a plan is the first step, but there are others to follow, i.e. your actions and measurable results.

Try it out and see what you think.  If you have a system that works for you, please post a comment and share with others.

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