Designing a “Success Plan”

Designing a “Success Plan”

You have made the choice to improve your life. You visualized your optimal situation and evaluated your current condition. Now you are ready to design a “Success Plan” to help you reach your dream. A “Success Plan” is a map that guides you from where you are to where you want to be. Like a road map, a good plan will help you estimate your distance from your destination and visualize obstacles you are likely to encounter along the way. If you are traveling unfamiliar terrain, it may be helpful to hire a guide. At the very least do your research to know what you are getting into and what to expect. Preparation will give you an advantage to go the distance and to face the necessary challenges which arise. Flexibility is also important. Be ready for surprises. Plan alternate back up routes to stay on track when things do not go as expected.

Make a “To Do” list of everything that needs to be accomplished in order for you to achieve your goal. Think of every single thing you can imagine and write it down. This is an important list. You are paving the way for the steps you will take to to be successful. It is a living list. Items will be added and deleted as you go. Keep track of the one’s that are completed. It will be helpful to look back on when you need a reminder of all you have already done. Prioritize your list. Move the most important steps to the top. This would include items that are life sustaining, time sensitive, required to accomplish other steps, or you feel most passionate about. Re-arrange the order as necessity dictates.

An important part of a good plan is time management. Next to each project write the time frames you will schedule to work on it and the date or time you estimate to complete it. Time frames should be based on the total amount of time you expect a project to take and the amount of time you will budget in your schedule to complete it. If you expect a project to take a total of four hours and budget thirty minutes a day, two days a week, you can estimate one month for completion. These projections may be re-adjusted also. Remember a plan needs to be flexible.

Now that you have mapped out the steps you need to take, make a list of resources you will need for each step. Be thorough. It is important to be prepared with the right tools for the job. Some important resources you may need include money, materials, tools, skills, training, experience, and support. This list may also grow and diminish as you progress. I will discuss many of these resources individually in future articles. Skills, such as time management, improve your level of success and need to be addressed separately.

Divide this list into “available resources” and “needed resources”. What steps can you think of to acquire the needed resources. Add these steps to your “To Do” list. See, your list is already growing and you have not even taken your first action step. As you progress, continue to maintain your list. Move items as you accomplish or acquire them. A well thought out and managed plan will help you visualize, organize, and track your success.

Designing a “Success Plan” is the fourth article I have written in my series, Seven Steps to Success, and we are still in the preparation stage. Abraham Lincoln said if he had eight hours to chop wood, he would spend the first four sharpening his axe. I hope your axe is well sharpened. We start chopping in my next article.