Prepare to Succeed

"Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure." Confucius.I have a confession. I wasn't always a good planner. Sure, I had a Daytimer, used Outlook and scheduled my meetings. I even had an assistant for years who placed my calendar with my meetings and appointments on my desk every morning.

I wrote my kids' events at school and doctor appointments in my calendar. I hung birthday party invitations on the fridge at home. At the time, I thought I was organized. But man did things fall through the cracks. Do you ever feel like that? Yes, I knew we had a birthday party this weekend but always ended up buying the gift in a rush on the way there (and at the time I WORKED for the corporate office of a national toy chain! Couldn't I have picked up a gift in one of my many visits to the stores during the week?). So, what I discovered is that there is a difference between keeping a calendar and actually having a plan for what you want to achieve.

Success doesn't just happen at home or at work. Just like a vacation, you need to at least plan where you want to go and figure out how you're going to get there. Then once you have the plan, you can deviate a bit if something interesting comes up but at least you have a framework. Otherwise, you would never get there if you didn't get driving directions or make a flight reservation, right? And if you only make the plans to get to your destination, you would waste a lot of time once you got there just figuring out what you want to accomplish.

Chances are this wouldn't be the best use of your vacation time unless of course it's one of those vacations where you just want to veg-out and do nothing (which is fine for a vacation but not a life).It's so easy in our society to just jump in and start running. There was a time in business when there was actually training for jobs.

Now, unless there is real technical information to learn, many times, we experience trial by fire. That's ok and I believe there's real value in experience as opposed to theory however, we begin to live our lives that way too. What happens is that we become reactive and never take the time to step back and "sharpen our saw" as Stephen R. Covey says or "sharpen your ax" as Frank Vitetta, the owner of the first company I worked for used to say. If you keep chopping away at the tree that is your life with an ax or saw and you never take a step back to sharpen the ax, you become less productive.

Additionally, if you don't plan what you're doing, the tree may fall on you.So, you must determine where you want to go and devise a plan to get there. We've all made resolutions and goals before only to have them fall by the wayside. I believe what makes goals achievable is if they support what you believe in.

So when you are putting your goals in place, think about what is important to you?take a look from 3,000 feet?the big picture. What do you really value? (Not what do you think you should ) Some of my top values are:

  • Family relationships
  • Authenticity
  • Compassion
  • Love
  • business success
  • respect
  • fitness and health
  • professionalism
These areas of importance help me reaffirm what is important to me and remind of what is not so I don't waste my time. From here, I work with my clients to create true goals for business and personal life that support these values.

I start yearly and then break this down into monthly goals and tasks. Then, we break this down into daily habits we put in place to set ourselves up for success. I put my yearly and monthly goals as well as my daily tasks in my planner so I can see them every day.It's important not to set yourself up for failure and to stop committing to things you know you won't accomplish.

Start small. For example if you have always had the goal to be a size 8 but for at least 30 years you have been a size 12, understand that there has got to be something stopping you from achieving this. Stop beating yourself up (when you don't achieve this month after month and year after year) and stop putting it on the list because you either don't want it badly enough, don't know how to achieve it, need more support or have some medical and/or psychological issues around this. If you constantly made promises to a friend and never kept those promises, how long with this friend trust you? Not too long. That's what you do to yourself when you constantly break your word. Set yourself up for success?get some achievements under your belt and keep your word to yourself consistently.

Try these tips to help you plan for success.

  • Use the beginning of the month as an opportunity to start anew. Write your goals for the month on the monthly summary page of your planner.

  • Determine tasks to achieve these goals and write them on your daily planner pages.
  • Take ten minutes before you pack up to leave the office to plan the next day while tasks are still fresh in your mind. Write them in your planner so you can download them from your brain and prevent those 3AM wake up panic sessions.

  • Take 15 minutes during the weekend to plan your week. See where your appointments fall ? both personal and professional. Schedule your exercise (or a yoga class!) on days where you see some time.
  • Have your children pick out their clothes the night before school. Planning isn't just about keeping yourself organized and making you successful. It's about them too.

  • Take another 15 minutes during the weekend and plan your meals for the week. 15 minutes on the weekend can prevent unhealthy eating and stress about food preparation all week.
.Think about people and teams that are successful, do they just wing it or do they have playbooks, game plans and strategies to achieve what they want? Success doesn't just happen; like it or not you have to plan. The question is how badly do you want to succeed?.

Karyn Pless is the creator of The Beyond Balance Home Study System? and President of a U.S. company called Beyond Balance which conducts corporate training, keynote speaking, seminars and executive coaching. For 18 years Karyn built her career in marketing working her way up the corporate ladder to Vice President of Marketing of a U.

S. retailer and then Vice President, Marketing and Creative Services of a U.S.

promotional agency while also juggling two children and a husband. After turning to a personal coach herself to reduce the chaos in her life, Karyn decided to become trained and certified as a professional coach and pass on all she has learned to effectively guide business professionals who want practical, real-world, work/life integration tactics that actually work in the business world.For more information, please visit http://www.


By: Karyn Pless


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