On Track With Your Plans?

Are you on track with your plans?

Mine went off track a little. There are times when life gets busy. How we react to being busy can vary greatly.

Busy-ness can be hugely rewarding giving great meaning to your life experience. At other times or for other people it can be a trying time. Busy-ness can easily become overwhelming.

It would be great to say that I had reached that stage where everything goes smoothly. In all honesty, I can't say that.

Towards the end of summer last year, the pace of life started to accelerate for me. Partly a lack of detail in planning and partly not following the plan. We all do it at times.

  • Learn from it.
  • Re-adjust and get back on track.
  • And be gentle with yourself - no use beating yourself up over something past that cannot be changed.

Mistakes can also mean opportunity

My journey off-track opened up new avenues. I made new connections and saw paths to my ultimate goals. Some of them I started to follow. Some of them I noted before putting them on the back burner until I was back on track.

It has been a time of learning. Sometimes we learn what to do and sometimes we learn what not to do. I did a bit of both.

No, actually, I did a lot of both.

The downside is that when you already have a plan to follow and then break off to follow a whim, a new idea, the latest fad, or maybe even just a momentary hunch, well your original plan goes by the wayside.

You end up doing those things that you ought not to have done and leaving undone those things that you ought to have done. (If you appreciate the language, you'll also appreciate that it's an age-old problem.)

What can you do about it?

Not a lot in the short term. Like I said earlier, you can beat yourself up a bit over it just to make you feel bad. That doesn't really help.

You can look for the positives out of the situation. Find out what you gained from it. What did you learn? What new knowledge, skills, insights came to you? Good stuff for some time in the future.

The big thing that you can do about it is this:

When you make your plans for success - whatever that success may be - build into it a review process. If your plan's a good one you will need to know that it's a good one on a regular basis. That way when those whims, ideas, fads and hunches come along you can view them in perspective. That alone goes a long way to staying on track.

Additionally, bear in mind that time moves on, people change, new fashions emerge and new methodologies develop. If your plan is set in stone, if it is completely rigid, you will need to be absolutely certain that it is still going to get you where you want to go. There may be new people to help you, new trends emerging and new ways of doing things that just weren't available when you made your plans.

Consider the way advertising has changed on the internet over the last ten years to see what I mean. We've gone from banner ads to Google ads to viral ads to social networking ads. Sure, banner ads will still work to some extent but it may not be the most efficient any longer.

Finally, the big one.

People go off-plan for two main reasons.

  • The plan isn't ingrained deeply enough in the psyche to make the plan second nature.
    Knowing the plan and communicating the plan to those who need to know ON A REGULAR BASIS gets over this one.
  • The goals and the plans are not the object of your focus.
    In other words you've become unfocused. Put another way, you've forgotten what your end goal is. You took your eye off the ball. Yeah. Just like I did. Listen don't do as I did, do as I say on this one, right? I made a mistake and it's better to be open about it so that we all learn. Saving face is one thing. Being dumb is another!

    Make sure that you’re doing something to keep your goals in front of you. Something that will keep your mind on what the end result is going to be. If you’ve done it right you’ll have your ultimate goal and you’ll have marker posts along the way. If you miss a marker post then that should tell you something.

Okay. Enough of the preaching!

I've got things to catch up on. There’s the book that should have been done last fall. There’s the two e-mail courses and just a little bit of major site restructuring. And a whole lot of other tightly focused stuff.

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On Track With Your Plans?

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