7 secrets of turning your plans into reality

Aug 16, 2016

A plan by itself is not enough. So today we take a look at seven ways you can turn your plans into reality. A few weeks ago we considered how to create a plan on a page. The plan that captures all the output from your personal offsite. The plan that will help you achieve your goals for the next 90 days. The one thing that remains is making sure the plan on a page becomes reality.

Turn your 90 day plan on a page into a 12 week plan

Once you have a plan on a page you need to make sure everything in the plan is broken down into chunks you can realistically take action on. You need to schedule these evenly across the period. Aim to allocate tasks to each week. I prefer to break 90 days down into 12 weeks. Leaving week 13 spare. You have a choice, you can use week 13 as a contingency or you can use it for review used for review. Don’t plan each week as you get to it, because you will never turn your plans into reality.

You should aim to plan all 12 weeks in one go with an eye on the end goal. Plan each week as it comes and things will slip, guaranteed! If you plan things upfront you know what you should have achieved. By the time you get to say week 5, you know already what you should be doing. If you plan week by week then you have no sense of whether you are ahead or behind.  You plan week 5, but what needs to be in week 5? How do you know whether you will do enough to eventually achieve your goal for the 90 days? A week by week schedule is essential when you want to turn your plans into reality.

Make sure what is planned each week gets done

You don’t really want to use your contingency week. That week really should be about review and planning for the next period and not taking action. To ensure you don’t then you must hold yourself accountable. If you planned to do something in a particular week then you must make sure you end up doing it during that week. Holding yourself accountable isn’t easy. Consider finding someone else who will hold you accountable. A business coach or a mentor might give you the right level of accountability. You need someone who will be honest with you. Someone who will tell it like it is. Someone who will kick your butt when its needed.

Set specific time aside for important activities

When you are trying to stay on track and get things done when you said you were then you must have a routine. Set specific times aside for working on particular things. If you don’t do this you leave far too much to chance. For example if part of your plan is to issue a weekly newsletter to your customers, then schedule a specific time in the week that you are going to work on the content of the newsletter. Think about your daily schedule. Try using particular times of day for particular things. Think about your weekly schedule. You can use different days in the week to focus on different aspects of your plan.

Use the pomodoro technique to help you focus

Once you have set time aside to achieve the tasks and actions you have set yourself you need too make sure that you use the time well. Its very easy for the time block you allocated to pass you by without doing anything that moves you forward. The pomodoro technique is a great way of making sure you get things done.

The application is simple. Get a timer, set it for 25 minutes, try working solidly on the task you are meant to be doing until your alarm goes off. Don’t allow yourself any distractions. Switch off email, don’t go onto social media. Leave the phone unanswered. You must make sure you work 25 minutes. Working solidly on what you need to get done. You can achieve a huge amount in 25 minutes concentrated effort. Then take a 5 minute break, if necessary tend to the urgent email of phone call, then set the timer for another 25 minutes. It works, success isn’t built from making giant leaps its built from doing multiple consistent small actions.

New habits can turn your plans into reality

Some parts of your plan will need some new habits. Things you repeat evert day or every week. But these things, like any change, feel foreign at first and they are difficult to remember to do. If you want to get a habit embedded then you will have to do it multiple times. You need to make a conscious effort each time. Eventually it becomes natural and automatic.

Frequently habits don’t form. The reason for that is simple, its just as easy not to do them as to do them. In the past Ive used a very powerful technique “Tiny Habits” (you can read about it here). In short you make the action so small its almost impossible for you not to do it. Then you link doing it to some kind of trigger that makes sure you do it.

I was told I wasn’t drinking enough and was dehydrating. My habit to combat this is every time I sit at my desk I make sure theres a full glass of water next to me. This simple change is also helping with another problem. Im also not getting up from my desk often enough and moving around. This in turn is affecting my neck and upper back. The glass of water solves this too! I need to get up more frequently for trips to the bathroom! I’ve introduced a second habit. Each time i go to the bathroom do two push ups, but standing ones against the wall. This opens my shoulders after sitting hunched over a keyboard.

My new habits are all simple and inter connected. A glass of water, a push up. These are very very easy. I’m attaching them both  to triggers: sitting down to work; going to the bathroom.

Free yourself up, you need time to turn your plans into reality

Chances are that before you wrote your plan on a page you already had very little available time. If you are set on achieving new things you need to make room for these in your already full schedule. You must start feeing yourself up. The plan on a page should have identified the things you need to stop doing. ts now vitally important that you actually stop. When you prepared your plan on a page you identified how you were going to get rid of existing tasks. Now get rid of them. Turning your plans into reality takes time. Creating the time to achieve your new objectives is down to you.

Don’t end up doing it all yourself

One of the key reasons you put your plan on a page together was to identify who is best placed to do the things that need to happen. The best person is no always you. In fact the best person is rarely you. One of the secrets of getting things done is by you enlisting the help of others. You need to look to your team, your associates and contacts, wherever possible. If the plan on a page said that someone else should do something then its your job to make sure thats what happens. When it doesn’t then you mustn’t default to doing it yourself. When an extra task arrives on your plate, it simply adds to the long list you already have. End result, something doesn’t happen. Turning your plans into reality is rarely something you will do alone.

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