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Set a Course for Success
By Robert Knowlton


"If we don't change the direction we're going, we're going to end up where we're headed."
                                               Chinese Proverb

Don't read this if you are not committed to succeed this year! Now that we have separated the wheat from the chaff, let's get down to the kernel of what it takes to be successful in all areas of your life: material, spiritual, your relationships, family, work, and your community.

It takes two things. Planning and effort consistent with your plan. Think about this. How will you know you have had a great year? The answer, "I'll just know" doesn't cut it. You need to be very specific about what you want to achieve this year. It is called "starting with the end in mind." To build a house you need a plan of what it will look like when it is finished. Then start with the foundation, build the walls, the roof, etc. You'll know you have achieved your goal when the physical reality, the house, matches the picture on the paper -- the plan.

A plan and a goal of completion give you both context and a direction to follow. You'll never know you have arrived if you don't know where you're going.

There are two key parts to a plan. Where you are starting from and where you want to end up. Starting with your final destination gives you a point from which to measure your current position in relation to your outcome. You can then direct your attention and efforts to stay on course towards your goal.

When your plan is clear, you can then begin to lay out the specific steps to take you where you want to go.

Start your New Year Plan by thinking of January 1, 2004. What will you have accomplished? It may be helpful to look at different areas of your life: work, family, relationships, etc.. Set an outcome or goal for each. Then, start to break each outcome down in three month segments, then monthly, weekly, and even daily. Remember, the journey of 1600 km (1,000 miles) begins with the first step and is only achieved with consistent effort.

There are two types of things that can knock you off course.

  1. The environment around you -- competition, the market, a snow storm, and
  2. Your own beliefs about yourself-- your commitment, effort and determination.

You cannot do much about the weather, but your own effort, commitment and beliefs are within your control.

A plan will help keep you focused and on track. If you're concerned with being boxed in by a plan, don't worry. It is a flexible thing. The objective is to help you achieve what you want.

Plan to build your year like you would build your home. Decide what you want then take action aligned with your plan. Whatever it is you want, get the most out of your life this year and take the time to set out a plan.

(c) 2000, Robert Knowlton, Options Success Coaching and Training

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