If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, as they say.
So before you take any action to achieve your goals, you should first set aside some time to plan what it is you are going to do and how you are going to do it.
Mapping your journey to your success and prosperity requires knowledge of where you are now and where you want to get to. It also requires a timeframe of when you want to achieve your vision, mission and goals (which is why you need to know your ‘where and when’).
Your timeframe is usually set out in years, months, weeks and days. Classical action plans are set out as such:
- 3 to 5 years
- 1 year
- 180 days
- 90 days
- 60 days
- 30 days
Part of having a Life Leadership mindset is to have a vision of where you want to be in 5 years.
This big-picture vision allows you to work back and establish what you want your life to look like in 3 years, just over halfway along your journey.
This makes it easier to think about where you would like to be at in a year’s time, and then in 6 months or 180 days.
From here you can get very specific about what goals need to be achieved within 90, 60 and 30 days, and actively be completing weekly and daily goals.
Without executing the plan, however, it will remain a wishful dream.
This is now the time of active doing. The 4th Tenet of Success states that success is a habit:
Without action there is no success, no prosperity.
Motivation and discipline are key to taking action. Which is why purpose and meaning are so important, to keep you motivated on your journey and to instill the commitment and discipline you need to do what’s required every day.
Like going to the gym or following a diet to lose weight, when you do at least one thing every day to accomplish your goals it soon becomes a habit, and habits achieve results.
When the space shuttle blasted into orbit, 80% of its fuel was burned in the first two minutes of take-off. This initial sequence was always the hardest and most dangerous part of the launch.
After it had broken free of the earth’s gravity, it settled into orbit with the inertia it had established through this initial phase. From then on, it needed very little fuel to complete the mission.
Like the space shuttle, 80% of your effort will be in the initial phase of your Life Leadership journey.
If you want to reach the stars, you will need to break free from the gravity pulling you back to your normal, everyday life, the life that you are trying change for the better. That pull is the pull of your beliefs, emotions and instincts.
Habit is what will build your momentum through the initial phase of your journey.
Being motivated, committed and disciplined will maintain your inertia, which means you will need less energy to complete your mission.
But if you fall out of the habit of doing something every day to achieve your mission, your momentum will slow and your progress will come to a halt.
Then you will have to relaunch, which will require more effort and energy than had you maintained your habit.
Structure, Strategies, Systems
Tradesmen are only as good as the tools they use.
Likewise, your toolkit affects the quality of the work and the timeframe in which you complete your project.
Poor tools either function poorly or not at all and add to the frustration of your work. If you spend half your time fixing broken tools or putting up with substandard equipment, then a lot of your focus is diverted away from your project and your time is wasted.
The Life Leadership structure, strategies, and systems are the tools you employ along your journey to success and prosperity. The Life Leadership model of orange to purple diamond level is the framework or structure of your journey.
First, you identify what level you are on, then you employ the necessary strategies to achieve the life skills you need to ascend to the next level. Essential to your strategy are the systems and processes you use.
As Bill Gates said in an interview with Time Magazine in 2018:
If you want to improve something, look for ways to build better systems.
For instance, one of our goals in the Life Leaders club is to have at any given time 1,500 active and engaged email subscribers.
This goal is required to complete our bigger goal of helping 330 people per year begin the Life Leadership journey to black diamond mastery, and our overall mission of 5000 within 15 years.
To achieve our email subscriber goals, we need to devise a strategy and implement an emailing system. We employ a digital marketing strategy to attract visitors and readers to our website through social media advertising, posts, blogs, podcasts, videos, and other online activities.
Visitors arriving on our website are given the opportunity to sign up to our regular newsletters. We offer a great value ebook they can read for free where they can get a taste of what Life Leadership is all about, such as the Life Leadership model, The Diamond Triangle, and the 4 Tenets of Success.
Once they’ve signed up, they receive regular emails with loads of valuable resources and information, along with subscriber-only offers for discounts to Life Leadership courses and membership.
We need systems to build our subscriber list, such as Mailchimp, Aweber and Infusionsoft to automate our emails and warehouse our database. We also need a professional website to integrate our subscriber and membership platforms, and we need social media platforms to direct traffic to our website and build our online communities.
But at the end of the day, all our strategies and systems are designed to do one thing: to facilitate a face-to-face meeting with me. If this can’t happen in the same physical location, we will use Skype or Zoom or even a phone call.
The important thing is that we establish a human connection, and all our systems are developed to make this happen.
Which brings us to the people in your world.
Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, claims that you are the product of the five people you most associate with.
Your social connections are enormously influential on your sense of self. Be very particular, then, about who you spend most time with. They are extremely influential on who you become, your wellbeing and happiness, and the level of success you achieve.
This is due in part to the psychological phenomenon of social influence. This refers to the way in which individuals shape their ideas, thoughts and behaviours to conform to a social group or to a position of authority.
You encounter social influence every day at home, work and friendship groups. Social influence is a powerful influence on how you think and behave.
For instance, a person opposed to guns and who is an advocate for stronger gun laws can, over time, change their view if they spend long enough in the company of others who believe in the right to bear arms.
One reason we conform is our human need to belong and be accepted. We want to fit in and be liked and respected.
You can even find yourself wearing the same types of clothing and adopting the same mannerisms of your group. You can begin to speak like them, react like them, and before you know it you are just like them. This type of conformity is known as normative social influence.
The people you associate with are also a means of support and cooperation, especially when working to achieve a common goal. A collective goal bonds the group in a way other activities don’t, reinforcing the tribal idea that ‘you’re one of us now’.
No one is an island, and you will need others to help you achieve your personal brand of success. Part of the Life Leadership journey is therefore to decide who you allow to influence you.
Choose wisely. I advise that you surround yourself with people who share the philosophies and values that you want to aspire and adhere to, like those who are also on a journey of self-improvement.
Be aware, then, of how others influence you and how you influence others. Because you will become like them, and they will become like you.
That’s people power.
*This article is an excerpt from Dr. Scott Zarcinas’ new book, It’s Up To You: Why Most People Fail to Live the Life They Want and How to Change It.