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Start 2013 with a Plan

 

Some of us are natural planners.  We know what we want to achieve, we write our goals down, we commit to our plan, we find someone to hold us accountable and we have the discipline to take consistent action to ensure that we achieve our goals.  I wish I was a natural planner!

The truth is, planning (like I just described) doesn’t come naturally to most of us.  We begin with great intentions but sooner rather than later something or someone gets between us and our goals.  But….that doesn’t mean we can’t be every bit as successful in achieving our dreams and goals as the 20% of us who come by this particular skill quite naturally.

If you are one of the 80% who finds planning and follow through a challenge, there is something you can do to boost your confidence and morale.    Start by being completely honest – admit to yourself that you need help with the things you aren’t great at, then have the courage to ask for help.

Hey I know that asking others for help can be embarrassing, perhaps even a painful experience.  Requesting help can feel like we are exposing our weaknesses and also opens us up to possible rejection.  Which may explain the conclusion of new research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that finds we grossly underestimate just how willing others are to help us out.

In a series of studies Francis Flynn and Vanessa Lake of Columbia University tested people’s estimation of how likely others were to help them out. They got people to ask others to fill in questionnaires, to borrow cell phones and to escort them to the gym. Across these studies they found that people underestimated how likely others were to help them by as much as 100%.  The moral of the story.  Don’t let your fear of hearing No keep you from the Yes most people are likely to say.

When you know where you want to go, having a map makes the journey easier.  Having a plan will:

  • Improve your productivity;
  • help you make better decisions;
  • reduce the amount of ‘downtime’ associated with spontaneous actions/activities;
  • helps you distinguish a need from a want;
  • focus your energy;
  • increase your chances of achieving your goals.

Ready to make your plan for your best year ever?

Mark Twain said it best  “The Secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

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