One Planning Mistake You Must Not Make If You Want to Reach Your Goal

Planning is an important part of achieving your goal. Your plan outlines how you intend to get from point A to B. Among other things, it describes the action steps you must take to reach your goal. In fact, at its core, your plan is a list of tasks and activities that must be completed to get to point B.

For example, if your goal is to write a cookbook, you’ll need to complete quite a number of tasks and activities to reach your goal. You’ll need to perform tasks such as (in no particular order):

– choosing the recipes to be featured in the book;
– buying the ingredients to prepare the dishes
– writing down the recipes
– preparing the dishes;
– taking pictures of the dishes;
– formatting your cookbook;
– etc.

That list outlines the action steps you must take to write a cookbook. And you achieve your goal when every item is crossed off the list.

The most important concept you must grasp when establishing your plan is that of “action steps”. The elements of your list must be action steps.

A mistake that some make when establishing their list is they include “wishes” as part of their list. There’s a big difference between an action step and a wish, and there’s a big difference between a plan and wish list.

The items of your plan are actions steps: items that you (or members of your team) have control on and thus can action. Conversely, items on a wish list describe events you hope will happen, but that you can’t make happen.

For example, if you’re planning a picnic, wanting that the weather to be sunny for the day of the picnic, is a wish, not an action step. Similarly, wanting that everyone shows up for the picnic is a wish, not an action step. However, “buy an umbrella in case it rains” and “contact all participants 2 days before the picnic to confirm their participation in the picnic” can be elements of your plan, as these items are actionable.

Refrain from adding “wishes” in your plan. If you add them, you set yourself up for failure and frustration. When your wishes don’t come to pass, you’re at a loss; there’s really nothing you can do to change the situation. Remove the wishes from your plan and replace them with action steps.