Right now if your 2020 goals sound out of control, it’s perfectly understandable. It becomes impossible to know how to make a plan to achieve target and stick to it with so many unexpected adjustments due to COVID-19.
The thing is that our world is constantly evolving. It’s not overly obvious much of the time or we treat it reasonably well.
However, since we are all affected, this unique global challenge is different. For our economy, our livelihood, and our original plans for the year, this has created turmoil. And for many of us it seems unmanageable.
Just sitting and waiting is tempting. And how can you make a plan if you don’t know what’s next to happen? However, our desire to adapt is the one thing that hasn’t changed, and we can use this to build new goals and make a strategy that works for us now.
The ability to change our acts is something that we are all born with. Currently, it is one of our biggest gifts for childhood. We use it as a baby to switch from crawling to walking.
It’s the same ability that we use to wash our hands more often and keep a healthy physical distance. When we decide not to watch the television and instead listen to a constructive podcast, we exercise versatility.
This muscle has been used by many of us to transfer our work online during isolation.
In fact, one of the five principles for success is called behavioural flexibility. Together with sensory perception, we give ourselves the full opportunity to succeed.
The good news is you can make a strategy in any situation by embracing this muscle of versatility. This involves times, like now when you feel you have no leverage. It’s just a matter of remaining conscious and adapting as you go.
Here’s how to start off.
Project for the year
A well-known technique for achieving success is to begin with the end in mind and to work backwards. It is a habit that has stood the test of time, as shared by Stephen Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
It’s difficult to properly prepare or affect what we do without understanding our objective.
This highly successful habit, even in the current situation, is important. You can always decide on an outcome that you like, no matter what happens in your external world.
You will start finding ways to help you accomplish it when you get clear on this and write it down.
Evaluate if the timeline is feasible when you set your objectives. Often, depending on factors beyond our control, our deadlines can be a little too tight.
This does not mean that we will not accomplish them.
You will be able to reach a very short deadline depending on your choice of tactics and your workload. Take a rational and sensible look at your target and determine if the timetable is reasonable. Change the deadline if not.
Don’t map your plan
This is one of the biggest errors I can see in any year at any time. People map out their plans for the whole year, each move recorded month by month, through a desire for certainty. Mapping the entire year could be why many people are dumping their plans during the crisis.
If we do this, when we go forward, we leave no room to adapt and it restricts our ability.
Our brain and our external surroundings change as we begin to take action. This indicates that we are mindful of greater possibilities that might help us accomplish much more. But we’ve got to leave room for this possibility.
We use smaller chunks and deadlines while we are making a schedule. This leaves space for modifications, and we optimise our scope for achievement.
Make your 90 day plan first
This means just for your initial fifth, chunking your targets down into a 90-day plan. You leave space when you do this to be adaptable to whatever comes up.
Building traction takes 90 days. This implies that it takes three months to see the results of a technique that we use. This is an unconscious idea, but we can use it to help us remain on track and move forward consciously.
Divide your year, starting from where you are now into four quarters. Then, decide what results need to be reached in the first 90 days for each 12-month target.
Write down the objectives and determine which techniques to use.
Chunk the plan to first month
Different sized pieces of data inspire various individuals. Many individuals feel more compelled by major image targets. Others feel more encouraged by shorter-term targets.
Longer-term lovers do not want to chunk targets down and can take haphazard action. Many who love knowledge find it hard to see the big picture and may get lost.
Using both big and small chunks is the most effective way to make a plan.
You will experience a sense of accomplishment far earlier by chunking your goals down to what you can accomplish in the first month. It keeps you on track and helps you to accomplish more.
Check your 90-day goals and set expectations that match with them for the first month. In your planner, write them down to make them stick in your mind.
Break it down again
Note how, and this includes our first week, we only set targets for “firsts.”
It’s a natural inclination to want to schedule all month long, but it’s not. This can keep you seriously stuck or put way too much pressure on you.
Plus, note that there is often more than one way for something to be done. There are possibilities that we will not even see until we have done anything else. This means we can restrict ourselves if we map the month out.
Setting targets just for the first week leaves plenty of space for the unexpected, so we can change it to suit changing circumstances. It also means that at the week’s end, we will feel good about ourselves when we look at all the ticks. That is what our unconscious mind likes!
In your calendar, write results for the first week that will help you meet your goals for the month.Plan and scheme your work
This is where many individuals, especially when things are rapidly evolving, come off track.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with a list of goals and no structure to execute each week. If we’re not organising every day we can spend a whole week feeling like we’re not going anywhere.
It can also significantly enhance our wellbeing to structure our week and shape a routine. Some of the advantages include lower levels of stress and better sleep.
We feel like we are going somewhere when we structure each week and day. This motivates us, even when the unexpected happens, to keep going.
In order to accomplish your objectives, write a schedule in your journal about what you will do each day of the week. This is where you can map it out and build a schedule on a regular timeline.
Reflect and redesign the strategy
I recommend that you do this, at least at the end of each month. However it is important to do this more often as things are evolving rapidly.
Using our knowledge and versatility constantly, by looking at how we can improve, we can make the most of any situation. To keep up with the external world and stuff that we have no control over, we should easily make changes.
We can also see where errors have been made or where we can subtly adjust anything to optimise outcomes.
This is why we are not planning out the year. It gives us much more versatility to react to external changes positively.
Check for what has worked and how you can do more of it at the end of each month or more often if you need to. Take into account what didn’t work and how you might change it. See what you need to begin to do or avoid doing.
Then, to include those improvements, write your schedule for the next week or plans for the following month.
Repeat and Rinse
Rinse and repeat until you hit the end of your 90 days. Create a schedule for the next three months and downgrade your targets in exactly the same way.
You will find that you are enhancing the momentum that you have already created when you continue to do this. You’re going to experience a tremendous sense of satisfaction, and this is going to inspire you to do more.
At this point, you will find that some of your priorities may have changed slightly, and that’s all right. Note, the mind grows to see new possibilities when you take new actions. Since you have found something better, this can alter your shorter-term objectives.
That’s a cool thing and it’s all part of being versatile, so run with it.
You can always make a strategy by adapting, whether you’re actually surfing the COVID-19 crisis or another challenge altogether.
More than that in any case, preparation without flexibility can get in the way. Since nothing is static, this includes the good times.
You will find your observations are pleasantly surprising when you prepare thus leaving room to readjust to external changes.