Practice Makes Perfect - Here's the Plan

life plan pyramid.png

When working with a client ( personal development goals, I often suggest doing life plan. You can use a classic business strategic planning model to map out your life plan. Here are seven-steps to get you started.

1.      Purpose:
Identify your purpose (mission statement)
. Describe your life’s focus. If you’re young and just entering adulthood, this step may be challenging. Imagine you’re approaching the end of your life, and figure out what you’d tell people about a life well lived.

Your statement should reference your values and explore how you intend to spend your time at work, at home and in leisure pursuits. Outline the needs you intend to meet (community involvement is sometimes mentioned). Recognize that your mission statement will change over the years.

Seeking to connect your purpose with God’s purpose can be very rewarding. Often leaders miss the opportunity to see their purpose is about the people they work with and serve. This creates a whole dimension of impact that has eternal reverberations.

2.      Vision:
Establish a vision statement
. Describes your life at various points in the future. What happens when you live out your “purpose” well over time. This can be a most inspiring place to spend quality time exploring your mission and vision dynamically. What would happen in 3 years if we were excellent at the mission? How about 5 years? This process creates more clarity around both the mission and vision. What might God say about your vision? Is it big enough?

3.      Goals:
State the goals you must reach to achieve your mission.
Goals are general statements that (a) define what you need to accomplish and (b) cover major issues. While your vision is longer from a time perspective, goals may be mid-range (for example, 1 to 2 years into the future). Break them down into short-term steps, as well. Remember with goals less is more. What are the 3-5 goals that would be the best runway towards your mission and ultimately your vision?

4.      Strategies:
Identify strategies you must implement to reach each goal.
Your specific approaches will change as you engage in more robust strategic thinking—particularly as you closely examine external and internal environments. Aim for 1-2 strategies for each goal. Remember less is more! Keep strategies inside of 1 year and down to quarters.

5.      Action Plan:
Identify strategic action plans or goal objectives.
State the specific activities or objectives you must undertake to effectively implement each strategy in order to achieve each goal. Use clear language so you can assess whether objectives have been met. This area target is 2-3 action plans for each strategy. Here you are looking at your plan a quarter at a time. What goals need traction first? Pick a goal, declare the strategy and now action plans are using a monthly time target.

If you decide to work with a coach or accountability partner, include this as part of your action plan. Most experts agree that working with another person enhances successful goal achievement.

6.      Document:
Compile the mission, vision, strategies, goals and action plans into a Life Plan document.
This can be done as a written text or in chart or diagram form. Work to get your plan on one page. You don’t need 1000 words for description, keep it simple and engageable. You start with the “WHY” and use that in your Mission/Purpose as your “North Star.” Working the process downwards until you are looking at this quarter, month and week is where the power of planning takes place. Here you can focus on the next most important thing to do. Make a declaration for this week and quarter and watch it daily. You will be amazed at your progress. Write it down.

7.      Track Progress:
Monitor implementation of the plan; update it, as needed.
Regularly reflect on the extent to which goals are being met and whether action plans are being implemented. Use a spreadsheet or graph to monitor your progress, adjust your plan and remain challenged. Remember you can make changes as you go forward. There is no judgement. Reality is your friend.

8.      Get Help

Get light on what you are doing regularly. Schedule time with a friend, mentor or co-worker. Get a coach. Be accountable. Expand your thinking and possibilities.

What’s been your experience writing down and tracking your goals? Most people say that it helps them. What about you?

Marc Ottestad leads MO Leadership Coaching – Connecting the DOTs of Your TRUE-Self, Your Work and Your God – through One to One coaching and peer team experience.

If now is the time to get unstuck, let’s connect. Here is my calendar for a complimentary coaching session. CLICK HERE or text at 714-267-2818