Do you have the will and intention to carry out some deliberate action as concerns your life? Beautiful wishes never got anyone very far, without a plan of action your goals are dead on arrival. Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now – Alan Lakein
It was Dwight D. Eisenhower that said “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”. Planning changes the planner and opens you up to new possibilities. The willingness to exert yourself mentally puts you ahead of most.
They are various techniques used in planning from brainstorming, developing problem statement guidelines, doing a SWOT analysis – identifying your strength, weakness, opportunities and threats, developing problem trees, identifying the logical framework, doing a force-field analysis, developing a comparison matrix and role playing etc. the point is these activities force you into structured thinking and cause you to anticipate how the different scenarios play out. In life you must be intentional, when you do not plan on going somewhere you end up anywhere.
Let’s talk about two techniques – Problem statement and Force-field analysis.
Problem statement – You apply problem statement guidelines to sharpen the definitions of any problem into its what, when, where, who, why, and how dimensions. Sometimes your improvement goals are vague and poorly defined1. What do you intend to achieve? Can you state your challenge in two or three sentences that capture the essence of what you are trying to get done?
For example, if you are having a problems in your relationship or financially try to articulate your problem in a statement. Narrate the ideal state of affairs, do not lie to yourself, and say it as it is, propose solutions and state the benefit of those solution. So, if you were to become more patient and forgiving will your spouse reciprocate the gesture, if you got a job, started a business or expanded on an existing business will you be better off financially. Remember the purpose of this exercise is to put your challenge in context.
In your bid to articulate your challenges, it will surprise you the possibilities that open up in your mind.
Force-Field Analysis – Most goals are characterized by restraining forces that hold you back, and driving forces that push you forward. In force-field analysis, you identify these forces, and you assess your degree of influence to control them2.
The fear of failure could be a driving force, the fear of disappointment of loved ones could also be a driving force, the pain of regret, the need to give your family a better life, the loss of a loved one, the desire to give your children a life better than what you had growing up. As you try to outline this forces you uncover your why, and if your why is strong enough nothing can stop you. The fight for survival could be a powerful why, for some its success or significance.
So today, get a piece of paper and articulate the problem you are currently faced with and see if you can come up with solutions and benefits. Also write down the forces driving you and the ones restraining you from achieving your full potential. Remember planning changes you, plan your way out of failure and program your way into success.
Commit to a daily routine to grow your mind.
That’s G.Y.M for today and I trust that you are charged up and obsessed with a burning desire to succeed. Ordinary is a misnomer for you.
Plan, Act and Pursue your dream.