My parents always told me, “Get a trade and you'll always have something to fall back on.” I believed them, so I got a job as an electrician's apprentice straight out of High School. When you first start out in a trade they team you up with a journeyman who tells you what to do, and when to do it.
After I got some experience, I wanted more responsibility, so he began teaching me how to read the plans. I no longer needed to ask my journeyman what to do next. When I needed to know something, I looked at the plans.
The same way we can't build buildings without plans, we need plans to guide us towards our goals. In today's article we'll talk about:
- The Void: Before we build, we must clear
- The Foundation: A base for success
- The Blue Collar Trap: Working too hard
The Void: Before we build, we must clear
The first step on any construction project is clearing the land. We have to get rid of all the trees, rocks, and debris. This gives us a clean palette to work on. It's the same when we're planning our goals.
Before we can build anything, we must clear out the debris that will get in our way. This means delegating or deleting anything that doesn't fit with our plan. Clear your calendar. You must get rid of any work that can easily be done by someone else.
This will create a void in your schedule that you can fill with your new laid plans. Now let's look at a system for planning your goals.
The Foundation: A base for success
Every building must have a solid foundation. After the land is cleared you must go to work creating a solid base that will support the weight of the building. It's the same when we're planning our goals, we need a solid foundation to support us.
The structure I recommend is my “3×3 Stupid Simple System.” Here's how it works:
- Each Quarter pick 3 goals you want to work on
- Focus on 1 goal per month
- At the beginning of each week pick three milestones
- Each day pick three tasks that help you hit your milestones
People have told me this structure is too simple. This is intentionally “stupid simple” so there are no excuses to getting things done. I recommend you do the same. The human brain is easily distracted. By focusing on 3 things at a time, you'll have enough to keep things moving without getting overwhelmed.
Now let's move on to one of the biggest mistakes that can keep us from achieving our goals.
The Blue Collar Trap: Working too hard
If your parents were like mine, they told you to, “Work hard.” Mine always gave me a great example of what it meant to be a hard worker and provide for my family. Unfortunately, working hard is not enough if you want to live an extraordinary life.
There's no question hard work is absolutely necessary. The problem is the blue collar thinking that makes us feel like we have to do everything ourselves. When things aren't going our way we think the only answer is to work harder. This is a mistake.
Most times when we feel the urge to work harder we should take a step back, look at what we're doing, and ask ourselves if we're getting closer or further from our goals. If we look at what we're doing objectively, we can clearly see if the work we're doing isn't necessary. We need to delete or delegate this work so it's no longer holding us back.
Yes, you read that correctly. Sometimes you need to do less in order to get more done. Crazy, huh. We covered a lot so let's have a quick review.
You can't build a building without plans, and you can't hit your goals without plans.
To make room for our new goals we must clear time and work from our schedule. After that it's important to have a structure for planning (and hitting) our goals. I recommend my 3×3 Stupid Simple System. Pick 3 things you want to work on this 1/4. Monthly, focus on only one goal. At the beginning of each week choose 3 milestones that bring you closer to your goal. Start each day with 3 tasks to help you knock out your milestones. This simple system will help you achieve all your goals, without even trying.
In today's article we talked about building a stupid simple system for planning (and achieving) your goals. One thing you're going to need to make this system work for you is self-discipline. If you need help mastering your self-discipline, check out this training I recorded for you https://thepodcastfactory.com/dwp011/
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