This blog is part of a continuing five-part series, titled “The Pull of Change” that shares some of my experiences implementing transformational change in my personal life as well as in the business I oversee.
This post discusses an often-overlooked step of implementing change: creating a masterplan.
Thinking of a Masterplan
When I was in my 20s and following a guru on a spiritual path – a topic for a different post – he would say something to the effect of “the difference between theory and practice is all the difference in the world.”
The difference is action and a plan.
So often, I hear people say they need to shed a few pounds. Their idea is to be a good girl or boy or simply “have willpower.” They punish themselves emotionally when they fail after relying solely on sheer resolve to shed pounds. They have beaten themselves up without having given themselves a real chance to succeed.
That real chance is called a plan. It lays out how you are going to do something you have agreed to. If this sounds stupid simple, that’s because it is. But how many times have you said yes to something you have no idea how to do?
Diving in is a great quality, especially for an entrepreneur, but lack of planning becomes an Achilles heel for anyone.
Create a quick, simplified plan in these three phases:
1.) State Your Objective
This is what you want to achieve. Your goal(s) are specific measurements that meet your objective. Come up with one objective and no more than three goals supporting that objective. For example, my weight loss objective was to feel good in a bikini. My goal was to lose 30 pounds over 6-8 months. An example of an objective in your business may be to cross sell to your most profitable clients.
2.) List Your Resources
What do you already have to help you meet your objective? Write down every little asset you can think of because you don’t know when you’ll need what. Always include a realistic budget to determine plausible solutions (or allay any disappointment) in the next phase. My resources were the My Fitness Pal app and a scale. What resources would you bring to the table in cross-selling to your most profitable clients? QuickBooks, agency, sales team, notecards, emails . . . nothing is too insignificant to place on the list if it moves the needle forward.
3.) Spitball Ideas
List ideas to help you achieve your goals. List all of them, no matter how nuts they sound at first. Do this with a team. Pick the top three and make sure they support your objective don’t seem too out of whack with your resources.
Common Giant performs “Next Steps” at the end of every meeting. We record, assign and give deadlines for each step to be completed. These are your tactical moves that accrue into accomplished goals. Your next steps help you deliver.
No matter what meeting you have, burn this step into your brain until it becomes habit.
Change Is Hard … but Easier with a Plan
After reaching a tipping point, it can be easy to get carried away and begin making changes without taking the time to plan. But this often leads failure and burn out before change can become habit. By taking the time to create a masterplan using the steps outlined above, you will spend more time reflecting and honing your goals as well as giving yourself a significantly better shot at reaching those goals. Next time you feel a tipping point at work or home, sit down and draw out a plan for success. You might be surprised by how far you can go.