by Steve Paris
You’ve established your goals for the year. Now how do you make them happen? Start with a plan of action and follow it through — all the way to celebrating your success!
Start with the end in mind
Develop a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. State the end results in one sentence that even a child can imagine, understand and remember. Consider the power of President Kennedy’s goal “to send a man to the moon and bring him safely back home within this decade.” Thousands of people did very detailed work and spent billions of dollars based on this simply stated goal.
Develop a written plan
Get it on paper (or in the computer). Make the plan as specific as possible, in terms of what will be done and by when. A timeline will help you keep on track as far as providing a written outline of your accomplishments to date and what remains to be done.
Enlist support of others
Let them know what you are doing, and how they and others will benefit from the results you want to produce. Invite them to lend their support however they can.
Set up milestones and reporting systems
Break the job down into segments, and set target dates for completing each segment. Develop a reporting system on paper or via a good software program. Communicate often with all those who have a need to know to avoid unwanted surprises.
Have a support system
Set up the supports you need in your work and in your personal life. Have one or more advisors that you meet with regularly to report progress, and get advice and encouragement. Your personal coach can be one of these key people.
Monitor progress and make adjustments
Realize that even the best plans need to be adjusted in the heat of the battle. Make adjustments quickly and respond to new opportunities or short cuts along the way that help you reach your destination faster. If you find it difficult to get around or through certain roadblocks, get help and advice promptly.
Form mutually beneficial alliances with others
Find out what other people or groups are natural allies and team up with them so you can help each other reach your objectives more easily and effectively.
Work your plan regularly and continuously
Maintain a high focused activity level yourself, and get help when you need it. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Delegate as much as you can, and follow up with those to whom you delegate work.
Keep your allies on your side and your enemies at bay
Inform your allies about progress you are making and problems you are having. Thank them for their help. Protect yourself from important enemies by setting up and maintaining boundaries between yourself and your enemies. Recognize that enemies can be within you as well as about you. When you find that you are doing things that impede your own progress, replace that activity or habit with a better one. Ask your advisors what you personally can do better. Then put the corrections in place.
Celebrate progress along the way and at the completion of your work
Share the glory. Recognize and thank the people who have helped you produce results.