Project 120 – Phase 5: Execution Plan
Oprah calls it the “aha” moment and Malcolm Gladwell the Harajuku moment. It’s a moment of deeper understanding and a moment of realisation. A moment where the world appears to spin slower and your thoughts are richer.
I was sitting in a cafe with nothing more than a notepad and my thoughts. I had set off to this cafe with the intention of writing down my goals for the coming year. This wasn’t the first time I’d done something like this. In years past, it had gone something like this.
A significant date would approach, a milestone birthday or new year, to which my response would be to write down my goals for the upcoming year. I’d buy a notebook and write down my goals for the year. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. It’s the new year’s trend that results in gyms being packed with new members for the entire month of January…then empty again in February.
Not This Time…
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that this time around things went a little differently. The main reason was my “aha” moment and the realisation of what success actually meant to me. For the first time ever, I was setting my goals based on the things that mattered most to me, without the restrictions and expectations of those around me.
I dreamed bigger, much bigger. I also tapped into a desire that I’d previously misunderstood. I’d always been frustrated by people not living up to their potential. I’d privately judge people for wasting opportunities and not trying their best. Especially those who I personally knew we’re capable of more.
Am I A Pretentious Git?
Previously, I’d told myself that this was bad and that I was a being a pretentious git who thought he was better than everyone else. It wasn’t bad and I was right. (Stick with me here).
My misunderstanding was these thoughts were “bad” and “judgemental”, they were instead an indication of my passion. In that cafe, I had realised that far too many people go through life only to lose their dreams and accept a more “realistic” life.
I now understood that my deepest desire was to help these people. In part, because I was one of them. This was my “aha” moment, my moment of clarity, my epiphany.
The Missing Ingredient?
My “aha” moment poured passion into my goals, this was the ingredient that was absent in years past. Passion alone is the reason why, this time, things are different. Do you need an earth-shifting “aha” moment to achieve your goals? No, but you do need to mix in a little passion and emotional energy.
What does this mean exactly? In short, you have to give a crap. More eloquently put, it means you’ve got to actually care about the end result. The outcome and desire have to fuel your desire, light your inner fire and excite you. If it doesn’t, the flame will fade and your intentions will be just that, intentions.
Passion and Then Massive Action
After a clear dream, the most important step to success is taking massive action.
This is where we head next. We understand our dream and it’s time to workout (I mean work out…or do I?) what we have to do to make our dream life a reality.
How to Develop Your Execution Plan
1. Turn Your Goals into Specific Objectives.
Goals are big picture, long-term. Objectives are measurable, bite-sized pieces that break down your goals into actions.
Have a goal to “Make $1M Dollars”? You might chunk this into a few objectives like “Get New Higher Paying Job”, “Buy an investment Property” . You’ll want to assign a time-frame to each of your Objectives, some might be quicker (one month) some might take longer (1 year).
2. Build An Action Plan.
Under each of your objectives, start to build an action plan. The “How” for each objective.
For your “Buy Investment Property” you might have actions like, “Set up a $500 direct deposit from my weekly pay cheque into my investment account” or “Make an appointment to speak to Mortgage Broker about what I can buy. These action items can flow straight to a to-do list so you can tick them off. Assign a time frame to each action.
3. The Success Criteria.
For each objective, assign criteria for success. This is essentially how you’ll be measuring your progress for each objective. Some will be simple (“Yes or No” or “On Track”) some may be more complicated like, “I’m getting better”. A traffic light system also works – assign red, green, orange against each of your objectives.
4. Regular Check-ins
What doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get managed! Set up weekly check-ins and monthly reviews.
At your weekly check-in’s you’ll be running through your Action Items, to make sure you’re on track. You might be assigning new action items as others get completed (e.g. “Speak to Mortgage Broker” might lead to “Go to house inspections”).
At your monthly review, you’ll be reviewing the objectives at a total level. If you’ve kept up-to-date on your action items, you’ll be able to quickly check through each Objective. If you set your goals with a partner or spouse, have these check-in’s together. This will help you to make sure you’re both on the same page.
5. Once a Year, Review Your Goals.
You might change them, modify them, or tick them off (achievement…yay!). As time passes so to may your focuses and desires, adjust accordingly.
Not Clear? Here’s an Example
- Eat a lower-calorie diet – Start Monday (On Track? Yes OR No)
- Workout – Start Monday (On Track? Yes OR No)
- Be proactive with my health – End of The Month (Am I Getting Better? Yes OR No)
Eat Lower Calorie Diet
- Get MyFitness Pal app and start tracking
- Buy 50% vegetables in my weekly grocery shopping
Work Out –
- Join a gym
- Work out every Tuesday and Thursday
Be proactive with my health.
- Make a Doctor’s Appointment
- Buy multi-vitamin
Coming Up in Project 120
For You: It time to start doing! You’ve got that plan and it’s time to start making it become a reality.
For Me: I’m going to break down the most popular major focus areas (e.g. fitness, careers, business). I will then attempt to distill and provide us with the best information available. I will also be trialling and testing some of the most popular concepts in my own life. For example, I’ve been playing with the ketogenic diet – it didn’t go well, I’ll share that story soon.
Are there any focus areas that you’d like included in the upcoming posts?