Think long, think wrong. It’s great that you got organized and created a plan for the future. However, it’s now 6 months later and you haven’t taken any steps to implement it.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re talking about a financial plan, a business plan or a plan to renovate your house; many people seem to freeze when it comes to execution. Why?
Often the problem is fear – fear of giving up control, making mistakes, looking foolish or incompetent or some similar feeling. This is particularly true when dealing with your business or finances. If you want your plan to succeed, you need to get over the fear.
- Pretend it’s 3 years from today. Let’s say you run into your advisor/confidant who hasn’t seen you in that time and asks you what has changed in your life/situation. Imagine what you would like to be able to say.
- Determine what makes you happy. You need a motivation to implement your plan. Think about what has made you happy in the past and how you can achieve more of that by executing the plans you made. It’s interesting that many people find it easier to list the things that make them unhappy – the bad, stressful things in their lives – but have a hard time coming up with what they really enjoy.
- Set a 3-year goal, but then break it down into smaller goals. For example, if you wanted to reach $X in savings by year 3, also set your goal for year 1 which is only 1/3 of that amount. Remember that every quarter, you only need to be 25% closer to your annual goal. Thinking about your quarterly goals will make the plan feel more achievable and gives you small successes to celebrate along the way. You can do this with any type of plan to make each step more manageable.
- Go public with your plan. Tell others what you are planning. It will make you feel more accountable for taking action because others will ask you about your progress. With business plans, you can go further and put together your own “think tank” or “board of advisors” to help keep you focused and provide feedback and encouragement.
Remember your plan is worth nothing if you don’t ever implement it. Try these tactics to overcome your obstacles.