Welcome to March … the third month of the year … the last month of the quarter. By this time you’re well on the way to achieving your plan for the year. The things you’ve committed to do have been in motion and you are totally working your plan … or are you? Invest 3 minutes and read on for your personal plan’s litmus test.
In speaking to coaching prospects we are challenged with the likes of … “I’m not looking forr a flavor of the month. I’ve tasted them all and will only consider something that is lasting and sustainable”. I get it and whether you’re working with a coach or forging ahead on your own, you all know that the scoop of ice cream simply doesn’t last. It doesn’t remain solid and the taste is short lived.
Interesting enough, it’s in this third month of the year that we encounter melting business plans. Let’s presume you made it through early January when so many abandon their resolves and, although you can breathe that sigh of relief, there are many pitfalls that loom on the path to your success. The trick is to get around and beyond them and in that sense we can’t a low ourselves to become too relaxed.
Mitch Evans authored an article for Printing News addressing business plan failure. I prefer to interpret it as what succeeding in the execution and achievement of your plan requires. Our experience over many years of business coaching sees his points as right on!
Success in staying the course requires:
1. A Clear Purpose
What is the underlying driver and purpose for the plan you have created? Is it the resulting dollars? Expanding your business into a new market or product? What’s your main thing?
2. A Road Map
What is your plan to get where you want to go? And what other people or person need(s) to understand your intended goal and your plan to get there? Keeping this a secret is a path to abandonment on your part.
3. Prioritizing Your Priorities
So many things to do … always … and yet, without being selective and committed to what has to happen first … staying that course … the chance of accomplishing the plan is diminished.
Check-ins on your own progress as well as those on whom you depend to do aspects of your plan is a way to determine that you as well as other relied upon people are remaining on track.
5. An Accountability Commitment
Working on a year-long plan is greatly facilitated by our willingness to hold ourselves accountable to remaining focused and doing our ‘next steps’ as we move down our chosen path. In fact, without this element, our chance of success is highly questionable.
To some this seems like a waste of time. “I’ll celebrate at the end of the year when I achieve my goal”. Why? The challenge to stay the path, to be willingly accountable and to achieve the intermediary goals along the way isn’t easy. Pats on the back or ‘celebrations’ fuel the fire to forge ahead.
You simply cannot do this enough. Where are you in the plan? Who else has a stake in achieving the plan that should or needs to know. Every time you communicate you are also reinforcing your commitment to working it.
You didn’t develop your plan for 2016 with any intention other than to achieve it. Our bet is, however, that you have experienced some form of meltdown in the past that has resulted in less than hitting your intended mark. The flavor of the month does go away as intended. Your plan doesn’t have to!