CORAL SPRINGS, FL - Whether you’re focusing on your business, career, family, health, or financial security, countless studies have proven that setting written goals, along with committing to a realistic action plan to achieve those goals, can increase your chances for success tenfold!
But universally, COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into our 2020 plans. Though some businesses still did extremely well in 2020, and while many of us still achieved admirable fitness or financial goals, there’s no question that “Plan A” was out the window by March, and “Plan B”, or perhaps even plans C through Z, are what enabled us to run, walk, or crawl over the finish line.
Even now, midway through the first quarter, 2021 presents a different conundrum: “How the heck can I even make plans for this year, given all the uncertainty that remains?” This breaks out into a number of more specific questions: When will I (or my family) get vaccinated? Will more businesses get shut down (again)? What is going to happen with the kids’ summer program? Can I book a vacation? How are my finances going to look in six months or a year?
But, as the saying goes, we know for sure that “failing to plan” is tantamount to “planning to fail.”
So, taking a few simple steps, starting NOW, can help us build momentum in 2021, regardless of what else happens in the world.
1) Pick A Lane: Standing in the middle of the road and waiting to see what happens is generally a really bad idea. Instead, hop in your “car” and select a destination (end goal). And to continue the road metaphor, you HAVE to pick a lane. What do you think the most likely scenario is regarding vaccination, finances, travel, school, etc.? Make a specific plan, based upon specific, well-articulated assumptions, and start moving.
2) Visualize The Road Signs: But just because we start heading in the most sensible direction doesn’t mean we’re locked in. Sure, circumstances might change, and the assumptions upon which you’ve formed your plan might prove incorrect. So, think in advance about what form new information might take. On a road trip, you’re periodically going to scan the side of the highway for helpful information on the signs. Identify your key sources of information regarding your key assumptions and make a plan to check in with those sources, to periodically validate and update those operating assumptions. And remember to keep your eyes on the road!
3) Stay Ready To Change Lanes: When we teach our teenagers to drive, we tell them how to place their hands on “ten and two”, how to shift their feet between pedals, how to scan each mirror, check the blind spots, etc. Once we’ve been on the road a few years, these actions that once required intense concentration are now part of our muscle memory and are nearly automatic. But we remain attentive and focused on the road and changing conditions, not to mention our fellow drivers. And we are ready to pump the brakes, step on the gas, or shift lanes as we see trouble coming. So, too, must we remain vigilant as we navigate through the coming inflection points of 2021. A plan is worthless without the commitment and ability to execute it. By committing today to staying alert and responsive to future changes, we actually free ourselves of the impossible burden of whipping through a million “What If?” scenarios today. Take on a mindset of resiliency and adaptability, and that way you don’t have to worry about whether you’ve developed the “perfect” plan, because you’re ready to be focused and flexible no matter what happens.
In essence, just because the road ahead is a bit uncertain, this does NOT mean we can’t continue to drive our successes. Choosing a destination is a critical start. Giving yourself permission to put your foot on the gas even without a “perfect” roadmap and holding yourself accountable for your results are the way you’ll get there.
And always remember: Whatever you’re going to be. . . BE OUTSTANDING!
Ellis Mass is a certified business and executive coach, and the owner of FocalPoint Coaching of Florida. He is also a longtime Coral Springs Coconut Creek Regional Chamber of Commerce member, an ambassador, and a frequent presenter at the organization’s Biz Academy series.
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