By Jackie Zach
Do you have a five-year, three-year, one-year and quarterly plan for your business? Are they written (in your head does not count)? Do you review them regularly? If you are hanging your head in shame because you can’t even remember where you put your plans, let alone remember if you created any, let today be your fresh start.
Why plan ahead?
Focus – Millions of pieces of information are entering your brain all the time. Your reticular activating system (yes, it is a real thing) is actually a place at the base of your brain that handles most of the incoming information such as light, noise, the feel of your chair, your learnings, etc. Your RAS helps you filter out information that you don’t need and helps you pay attention to the information that you want to focus on. By setting goals and reviewing them, you are telling your brain to pay attention and focus on the things that are important.
Momentum – Setting goals creates momentum. Think about when you last set a goal. How did you feel once you decided to focus on it? Excited? Couldn’t wait to get started? You were creating momentum to propel you forward.
Goals – If you don’t know where you’re going how are you going to know when you get there? By having a written 5, 3, 1-year plan and creating written goals to get there, you will be much more likely to achieve your goals than those who keep their goals in their head only.
Control – You have a lot more control over the outcome of your business if you create a written plan with goals. You control what you focus on. You control what success looks like to you. You also control how you communicate with your team and to your customers. If you fly by the seat of your pants you have no control, your business controls you.
Contingency Plan – By having well thought out, written plans and goals you can also review any obstacles that could possibly get in the way. The more obstacles you can identify, the more you can plan for those. Imagine, if the fire department didn’t have contingency plans when coming to put out a fire at your house. If they can’t get to you via the front door, they have other ways to rescue you because they thought about those obstacles and had an alternative path to save you.
Success – By having a clearly thought out plan with goals you have a way to measure success. After all, success gives us an opportunity to celebrate! How will you celebrate once you’ve successfully achieved your goals?