By Steve Keating for LEAD TODAY Helping the Next Generation of Leaders Develop Themselves
The first two steps in our planning process were foundational in nature. Use any GPS you want and you’ll discover that without both a starting point and destination GPS is worthless. So is a plan!
Now that you understand the “As is,” or your starting point, and you have a clear picture of your “should be” or destination, you can begin the heavy lifting of developing a plan to reach that destination.
I call step three of the planning process the “will be.” This is where you set goals. For your plan to be viable you’ll need short-term goals, medium-term and long-term goals. Others may disagree but I don’t think there is any perfect answer to what “short term” actually means. For some it might be 6 months and for others it might be 6 minutes. Remember this is YOUR plan. While I encourage you to share it with people you trust for honest feedback, do not be dissuaded from going after something you feel strongly about.
Keep in mind that while we’re planning for a better 2021 next year is only a stepping stone to future years. Your long-term goals may stretch out 5 or 10 years or even longer.
Whether something should be classified as a short-term goal or a long-term goal matters far less than your commitment to achieve it. So, while we’re on the commitment subject….
Never set a goal you’re not committed to work towards. If your goal isn’t something you are willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve then it’s not a worthwhile goal. You will develop the actual plan to achieve the goals later in the planning process but if you’re not 100% committed to working for a goal then don’t waste time setting it.
Which brings us to what goals you should set. Have I mentioned that this is YOUR plan…it’s no one’s business what YOUR goals are. I’d recommend setting goals in many areas of your life. Personal goals, professional, financial, health, spiritual, growth/learning and wherever else YOU want.
Whatever your goals are you will be far more likely to achieve them if they are based on the foundation of your core values. And that’s what makes planning such a challenge for so many people.
Asked to articulate their core values very few people can actually do it. Core Values are those deeply held beliefs that make you who you are. The sad reality is that many people float through life never understanding what makes them who they are. It takes considerable self-reflection to know yourself. It takes a sizable investment of time to understand what your deeply held beliefs are and how you came to hold them so dear.
And most people simply will not make that investment of time. In fact research shows the average person will invest 400% more time to plan a one week vacation than they will invest to plan the rest of their lives. Goals are actually the plan for the rest of your life.
This my friends is where the rubber meets the road. If you are unwilling to invest the time to know and understand your core values then you might as well skip the rest of this planning series. It will only be an exercise in frustration.
If however you are willing to turn off the TV, put down your phone, block out distractions to focus on the life you have then this series can help you. If you’re willing to consider the life you want along with the values that will guide you in your pursuit of that life then this planning process could change your life.
This is the step of the process where you decide the “will be.” Not what you would like things to be, what they really “will be.” Imagine being able to simply choose the life you want… then skip the imagining part and set goals to choose it.