For day three of our #10Habits adventure we are going to look at the importance of having a PLAN. I personally hate to stop with just a nebulously defined “goal”. Unless we’re talking about my son’s soccer game, though there were precious few of those for us this season. *laughing*
Nope. We are talking about having a PLAN. As Leslie reminded us yesterday, Inspired Goals call for Specific Plans! See – it’s really common to hear people say “I hope my blog…” or “Gee, I wish my articles…” and it’s sad to me to hear.
The truth is something I’ve been saying for nearly three years now – “Wishes will blow away in the wind of change. Hopes and dreams are directionless. Goals have both – a set direction and time.” ~ Angela England
P = Precise – Have a Specific Destination in Mind
Like an airplane heading to another airport, there is a very precise target he has in mind. He files a precise flight plan with an altitude, a line he plans to travel and a VERY precise target. Thank goodness. Really – would you want to fly with a pilot who said, “Oh when I feel like landing the plane I’ll go ahead and put ‘er down.”
For writers, each precise target is very different depending on your desires. For one it might be “I want to write 4 new ebooks this year.” while for another it might be as simple as “I’d like to increase the community with my readers by seeing 10% increase in comments on my blog posts”. Each person may have a different goal – but it should still be precise.
L = Lasting – Over a Period of Time
Your steps to success should have a period of time. Again with the plane analogy – if there was no travel time we wouldn’t get on the plane in the first place. So if you goal is to increase the number of comments per blog post by 10%, WHEN do you want that to happen by? When will those ebooks be finished? How many new articles will you post per month? Per week?
A = Arrival Point – Where are you Heading Anyway?
Think long-term. If you are planning to write three blog posts per week, how many is that over the course of the year? Why is this ultimate arrival point necessary? Because we are fickle. Life is fickle. And uncontrollable.
It’s easy to say “I am going to write three blog posts each week”. Then what happens when my kids get the chicken pox. Or the stomach bug. Or we move. Or the power goes out. I’ve missed a week’s worth of posts and suddenly – what?
Has my plane fallen out of the sky? No! I’m merely blown off course a little bit. My flight plan is no longer following it’s precise goal. However, my arrival target can still be met. I simply readjust. I post a little more often for my blog posts to catch up and get back on track.
N = Natural – What is the Realistic Next Step for YOU?
Maybe your blog is just starting out? Would it make sense for your arrival point to be “Make $1,000 per month by February, with one-million readers per month.” Um….probably not. Likewise, if I’m a stay-at-home mom of three children, with another due in April, it isn’t realistic for me to say “I am going to write three articles per day at Suite101 and triple my article total there”. That simply isn’t the appropriate next-step for me given the level of my responsibilities apart from Suite101.
Whatever plan we make, it should include the natural next step.
What is the precise, natural next step for you? Does that plan include a time limit? Looking back over the inspired goals you created yesterday, do these plans have the natural, logical steps needed to achieve those goals?