Every year, fitness centers across the US are overwhelmed by new registrations in January from people who genuinely want to become physically fit. They have good intentions that are backed by New Year’s resolutions, but by March, most of these new registrations have cancelled.
Why are good intentions not enough to generate change?
Good intentions must be supported by effective choices, and that is where most people go astray. Achievement happens moment by moment, one day at a time! Many people have difficulty translating their good intentions into goal-directed, daily choices and actions. They don’t realize this truth:
Good intentions are under the direct control of your natural, human instincts.
Without an effective management system, which keeps your choices in alignment with your goals, your comfort zones and habits of thought will take over. That is why a personal management system is vital in achievement.
You cannot become who you have never been by doing what you have always done. Positive change is the key to achievement, and your effective daily choices are the stepping stones.
When you develop and use a system that is designed to keep you focused on what matters most, you bypass those nagging comfort zones and systematically move toward goal-directed achievement.
The 4 elements of the Next-Level Achievement System
Simplicity is the key to a successful system of achievement for any leader because a simple system can be duplicated by others. Group energy is generated from the use of a common system within any group, large or small. Then, from a consistent system of achievement, a common language and a synergy of teamwork is spawned.
ELEMENT #1 — A vision statement
Your vision statement should be less than one page and should be written in present tense. Begin by writing a description of your life 5 to 10 years in the future as if you are already there. You should be somewhat realistic, but be careful not to limit your potential. This statement will be the foundation for all your future planning.
A part of your vision is a statement of your life’s mission/purpose. This mission/purpose statement will be remembered monthly in your personal management system. Your mission/purpose statement should describe your best self and refine your heart and soul. Be patient, because a good mission/purpose statement may take years of refinement.
ELEMENT #2 — Annual goals
At the beginning of each new year, set 3 to 5 annual goals that will move you closer to your vision. These goals will be, and should always be, determined by and based upon your vision.
From these 3 to 5 goals, you will create action steps that outline what you need to do to accomplish these goals.
ELEMENT #3 — Monthly plans
The action steps from your annual goals should filter down to your monthly plans. You will need a month-at-a-glance calendar for this. All target dates from the action steps of your annual goals, along with all scheduled events, should be entered into your monthly calendar.
ELEMENT #4 — Daily actions
Each day of your monthly plan should transfer to your daily actions, one day at a time. These daily plans will include imperative/important things to do, contacts and follow-ups, and a time schedule of your day. The key to daily planning is to always plan tomorrow before tomorrow begins.
Good intentions must be supported by effective choices.
Planning is required
Achievement happens moment by moment, one day at a time! Effective daily choices come from a systems approach to pre-planning and daily management. Becoming a master of daily planning is also a significant winner behavior you must develop.
One of the most commonly asked questions that I get from clients is, “How can I achieve and still maintain balance in my life?” We want to have it all, but can you have it all and still be balanced? I believe that a balanced life of abundance is achievable. My consistent answer to this question is, “You can have it all if you commit to becoming a master planner!”
Here it is:
A) If you want abundance, then you must have achievement and balance, and
B) If you want achievement and balance, then you must have a system of personal management that consistently brings your focus to the moment-by moment, one-day-at-a-time process of effective actions.
Quite simply, you cannot have abundance without your system of personal management.
To grow, you must overcome ineffective behaviors, and that requires the implementation of new, more effective behaviors. Replacing old habits with new habits requires a system that stimulates behavior change. And again, behavior change without an external, consistent system would be difficult, if not impossible. The desired personal habit of daily management is to plan first and act second.
Prior planning helps you to become proactive against the comfort zone of procrastination. Comfort zones rush in to fill the vacuum left by unplanned months and days. Your system keeps you goal directed by preplanning, and you simply act rather than renegotiate with your comfort zones.
Your best plans and intentions are worthless unless you assume personal responsibility and develop the capacity to manage your effective choices. In other words, simply do what you plan to do without hesitancy, regardless of circumstances or what other people say, think, or do.
This is an excerpt out of David Byrd’s book, The Language of Achievement, which can be found here.