Part 1 of the planning trap covered why it is essential to plan, why taking a day out to focus on planning is important, what looking backwards before looking forwards can do for you and why it is great to start with a big goal.
Dividing a big goal into manageable chunks
Once you have your big goal you can divide it into more manageable periods of time. A three year goal can seem a long time away and it can often be a struggle to associate day-to-day activities now to what will happen in three years time.
In order to make it more real it needs to be chunked into 90 day segments. A quarterly plan allows periodic activity towards the major goal with enough flexibility and control to move in different directions and react to circumstances along that road to the big goal. 90 days in turn can be chunked down further into a weekly plan. 90 days is 13 weeks therefore 13 individual weekly plans will meet the 90 day objectives which will in turn be directly related to hitting the three year goal.
The major advantage to going to the level of creating a weekly plan is you can neurologically associate day-to-day activities moving you closer and closer to the big goal. Suddenly that goal which seemed so far away is getting closer by everything you do each and every day. You can see it, feel it and taste it! Remember that three years is just 12 quarters and approximately 156 weeks, not long when you chunk it down.
Plan the next dates in advance
The key to ensuring one quarterly plan turns into 12 quarterly plans is setting the dates in advance. It would be very easy to do one plan, give yourself a round of applause, get back in to day-to-day life and forget planning ever happened.
Continued success comes from regular planning sessions and creating the habit of taking that day out every quarter. It is only one day every 13 weeks and it can provide such a great buzz of excitement and energy afterwards it’s an absolute must for all successful businesses.
Once you have it, share it
As soon as you have the plan in written format, then the next most important step to make it a reality is to share it with people. If you keep your plan to yourself then it is you versus the plan, if you share it then many people can help you achieve it. They can offer help by providing you with accountability by asking you how you are getting on and the more people you have on your side versus the plan the more likely you are to achieve it.
This isn’t something you must do by yourself. Share it with fellow directors, employees, family, friends, the next door neighbour, anyone who you think can help you in whatever way to make it happen. Taken seriously, the planning trap can be overcome and it is a critical ingredient to making your business a sustained success.