I am a big fan of goal setting and planning. In fact, I will soon be sitting down and working on my written goals for the New Year in the six key areas I focus on every year.
The danger that planning has the potential to introduce into any situation is the illusion that putting a plan in place will help ‘tomorrow’. December is an especially sensitive time when so much potential productivity is lost due to ‘planning’. You know what I mean…this is the time of year when everyone is working on “Next Year’s Plan”.
What is wrong with that, you ask? Well, nothing as long as it isn’t coming at the expense of today’s results. The planning phase is setting up your future, but too many allow it to become a hindrance on today’s results.
Here is a test you can take yourself. Ask yourself what you have heard around the office lately, in meetings, water cooler talk, etc. Are you hearing more discussion about doing things TODAY to finish the year strong, or are the conversations steered in the direction of ‘Next Year’?
Napoleon Hill once said:
Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.
It doesn’t matter if you are discussing the remaining month of the year or looking at any period of the year. Looking ‘ahead’ is often just a subtle excuse that stops you from taking action today.
I have seen it in organizations, businesses, sales teams, and more. It often sounds something like:
“We start the planning process soon.”
“We are planning a strategy meeting in a couple of weeks.”
“We had a recent brainstorm session and are reviewing the ideas.”
There is a classic statement about the 5 P’s of planning which I agree with when it doesn’t allow for lack of production today. However, I find that far too often a different kind of 5 P’s rears its ugly head. I call it the Other 5 P’s:
Consider for a moment that you have had previous planning sessions in the past. In fact, you have probably lost count of all the planning sessions you have had. Well, are those ideas in full implementation today? If not, that is because the idea of planning is pleasant and sounds good to the ear. How can we ever argue with needing to be prepared, right?
Plan ahead. Ensure your processes and goals are in place to make next year the best year ever for you and your team. However, the best way you can ensure you will actually achieve those goals is to enter the year with a full head of steam. That will only happen if you take action NOW! Go ahead, I dare you!
DREAM BIG!!! Then take MASSIVE ACTION!