Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Goals or Plans, Who Needs'em?

Yesterday I read an interesting essay that I think is important and it’s taken me 24 hours to digest it.

Here’s the deal: Goals are dreams, plans are action.

Now, that may not sound profound but so much of success literature and positive thought focuses on setting goals.

I realize that you have to have a goal to shoot for, but the point of the essay was that too many of us stop with setting the goal.

When you set a goal you get those wonderful warm and fuzzy, or jacked up and adrenaline-rush, feelings and it’s easy to stop right there…with the feeling. Too few of us put a foundation under the goal by creating plans that will get us from where we are now to where we say we want to be, or where we really need to be.

The great thing about creating a plan is that it is just that…a plan; a step-by-step map to get to the goal. And the first step in the plan can be a small, easy-to-take effort. That first step is a small success, but one you can build on. Then you take the next step. And maybe it doesn’t work and you are back to step one, but because you have a plan you still know what that next step forward is. So you try again.

A Latin motto that is important to my fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, is, “Ad Astra Per Aspera”… “Through difficulties to the stars.”

The stars are the goal. But, no one launched for the stars as step one. I’m thinking the first step to the stars was when Og the Caveman actually jumped up and tried to touch one. And failed. And then he thought, well, a multi-staged space vehicle manned by three men could…ok, ok…you get the idea.

So, do you have goals? That’s great. But, what plans do you have to get to them. And, as Super Bowl Coach Jimmie Johnson posted on the Dallas Cowboy’s locker room wall, “WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY THAT WILL GET YOU CLOSER TO WHAT YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH AND WHO YOU WANT TO BE?”

Make it happen.

***Note: The essay was in an e-letter I get every Monday morning. Go to Mondaymorningmemo.com and you can subscribe.

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