What are the 3 questions to you ask yourself when planning anything… I’ll give it to you straight…
- What is the BIG idea… (so what are you trying to achieve!)
- How can I achieve it in 3 steps
- What’s my reward?
It’s pretty much that simple, the magic 3 questions to ask yourself that will help you refocus your mind regardless of what you are planning! But all though it is that simple (and it really is) lets look a little deeper into the WHY of it all!
How BIG can the big idea be? I definitely believe that we should always aim for the stars but by the same token focusing on goals that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time specific helps to gain clarity and is more likely to help you break things down into more achievable chunks
Is there ever such a thing as too big? Absolutely! Again stick with the SMART principle, not only is there such a thing as too big but there is such a thing as too vague! If you don’t have a clear picture in your mind of exactly what it is you’re working towards it is so easy to get sidetracked! We all do it, how many times have you gone to pick up some groceries after work but you don’t really know what you feel like so you end up buying a range of ‘just in case’ items. Go in with a firm idea of what you want and the battle is already half won!
Why are 3’s significant? Basically it’s about keeping it simple – when planning ahead it just makes sense to chunk things down and for me 3 represents a ‘beginning’ a ‘middle’ and an ‘end’, for me it’s just nice and tidy & I always tend to feel that if I can drill something down into 3’s it always seems more do-able
Why are rewards important & what kinds of rewards should you choose? Everyone enjoys a reward, but it is far more than just enjoying rewards. The idea of a reward goes hand in hand with the idea of recognition, recognising that you have achieved something. Accomplishing something that has been bugging you and sitting there in the back ground for ages is important and deserves a reward! For me, as I am the worst house wife on the face of gods good green earth, I am currently staring down the barrel of needing to organise and file everything that is on our dining room table and the top of the piano… You know what I’m talking about… While the house is clean it certainly is not what I would call organised and it’s something that is driving me insane! Added to which I don’t believe in starting arguments with my toddler when I’m the one controlling the situation in the first place. How can I get angry with her for drawing on an important document if it was left in a place she can get to!
So how do I intend to reward myself for conquering this mission? Going and having my nails done! It HAS to be something I must leave the house to do! Why make it something you have to go out to do I hear you ask… Basically if your reward is something like chocolate or watching your favourite TV show (or if you’re like me, having a full marathon with your favourite TV show…) its too easy to con yourself into thinking ‘oh, just a little bit now, then I’ll do the thing’, I know I have conned myself SOOOO many times. The trick is upping the stakes a little so if you actually plan something that means leaving the house this means putting a little more effort in, e.g. You possibly may have to change out of your fluffy slippers, therefore it is far less easy to to ‘do a deal’ with yourself if your reward is that little bit more out of reach. Often the real hurdle is just STARTING! Once you get started on your plan you will fly through it, the ideas will come, the excitement and anticipation of the end result will help push you on.
Here’s a little 1 page tool to help you start planning – 3 Step Plan – it is focused on the 3 questions to ask yourself. It’s super simple because that’s all you need, keep it simple BUT keep it specific, the clearer the BIG IDEA the easier the roadmap becomes!