How Incredibly Successful People Plan

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Successful people think about planning slightly differently to most other people.  They plan for success by considering 4 important pointers:

1. Be Realistic

A realistic view of the world is critically important in any plan for success.

Distorted or over-simplistic views are the main reason why plans fail.

2. Plan For Obstacles

Yes, there will be obstacles along the way.

What successful people realise is that most of these obstacles can be anticipated in advance.

They are prepared for when these obstacles occur and don't lose heart.

3. Visualise The Benefits

Successful people realise that they are doing this for a reason.

And that reason has benefits.

They visualise these benefits, make them real and tangible so that in difficult times, they can recall the benefits that will come and find the strength and courage to continue.

4. Break Your Task Into Sub-Goals

Sub-goals are essential when your plan is big or complicated.

It allows you to break your plan down into manageable chunks.

Successful people realise that feeling overwhelmed is usually because they have not broken a task or project down so that it's manageable and attainable.

And don't forget to reward yourself along the way!

How Incredibly Successful People Plan

So next time you've got an important project or task, plan for success, copy the experts and include these 4 points.

If you haven't already done so, be sure and sign up for my FREE insights and training on how to Master Your Income. And if you're a podcast person you can subscribe to the Career Hacker iTunes podcast.

Successful People Anticipate Obstacles in Advance


Successful People Visualise The Benefits


Successful People Break Down a Task into Manageable Chunks

Transcript (yes, I do speak fast):

Hi! So, today I’m going to take you through something that’s really important to all of us, and it’s actually a little secret that very successful people use.

And I’ve watched so many people use this, and the difference between what they achieve, and what people who don’t sort-of focus on these aspects are, it’s huge!

So, I’m going to let you into a little secret today, and we’re going to learn how incredibly successful people plan for success.

And that’s just about how they set about thinking about how they’re going to do something, and then what are the little steps that they do differently to what you and I do.

And they’re not difficult, but they certainly get around a lot of the frustrations that we feel when things aren’t quite running right, or the fear that something isn’t going to happen as it is.

Well, very successful people typically don’t have the same fears that you and I have, because they’ve actually put in place a few little steps that just lift that fear and anxiety off their shoulders and into a plan.

So I’ve written out “ROBS,” because basically what they’re doing is they’re robbing fear, they’re getting rid of it.

And these are the 4 steps that I want to take you through, that just gives you an insight into what they’re doing differently to typically what you and I do.

Be Realistic

So the first one is, they’ve got a Realistic view of the actual world.

Now, yeah, yeah, you and I have a realistic view as well. Well, sometimes we don’t, because typically what we do, is we start off, and we actually have this: so this is our objectives.

Here we are now, and what we want to do, is we want to get it over to here: this is the end result, the checkered flag.

And we see the world sometimes as like this. And all we’ve got to do is just push that, and it’s going to magically roll down the hill and hit the flag. Bingo! Done.

But guess what happens?

We start pushing this and it doesn’t roll.

And the reason it doesn’t roll is the world is not like that. The world is typically the other way around.

That’s the way the world looks like. You’ve got to push this object up the hill.

And guess what happens if you stop pushing?

So you get to here, and a little bit tired, I’ve been distracted by something else, you stop pushing.

And what happens to this?

It rolls back down the hill.

So successful people, they know this happens. So before they even decide that they’re going to push this up the hill, they think,

“Hang on a second: am I committed to keep pushing this all the way up the hill until it’s there? Because if I’m not committed to doing that, I’m going to get halfway, stop, this is going to roll back, I’ll come to it, you know, in a few weeks’ time, and have to start all over again, and keep pushing up that hill.”

So think realistic: if you’re going to start something and do something, plan to make sure that you can follow this through, the realistic view of the world.

It’s uphill, if you stop, you’re going to be starting over again.

Be Realistic


Plan for Obstacles

So the second thing that successful people do is: this is a lovely, straight path, yeah?

Well, they don’t quite think like that.

They think in terms of O for Obstacles.

So, what are they thinking that we’re not thinking?

Again, look at this path, nice and straight. Well, that’s not exactly how they see it.

So again, they’re starting here, and they want to get to the same flag, which I’m going to start here to make my diagram nice and easy for me to draw.

Basically the path’s starting off fine, because they can see till next week and they know that’s all fine.

But then they know that things are going to get maybe a little bit bumpy.

And eventually, you know, there could be a cliff in the middle of it, and then they get back off the cliff, and they start off, and then a huge push to get to the flag. And these are all obstacles.

So they actually look at the flag and say, “Well, I’m going to have to get to the flag. So, what are the things that are going to prevent me getting to the flag?”

And they’ll start thinking, “Oh yeah, actually this happens. That could be a big problem. So let’s imagine what I’m going to do about that now. Is there something I can do now to address that obstacle?”

And typically they can.

They go, “Oh yeah, if that happens I’ll do this, I’ll do that.”

So they’re prepared for it: they plan in advance.

The second thing they do is, they realize that actually it’s not all going to be a nice straight, easy path, or even if it’s just a difficult path and consistent.

Because quite often what happens is, as we get near to the end of a plan, we’re so close and then something bad happens: the world falls down, “Oh no, how am I going to get through this?”

They know that happens, it happens every single time we try to do something important.

So they plan for it: they know that things are going to go easy, and then all of sudden they’re going to be hard, you’re going to have to push yourself over the line.

So they’re already thinking, “OK, so this is going to happen, so when it does happen, hey, we’ve been there, we’ve thought about it, I know I just have to push through it, and I’m going to complete it.”

So that’s how successful people think through obstacles.

Plan For Obstacles


Visualise The Benefits

The third thing they do is B, and that’s for Benefits.

This is something that, when I first started doing this, it was a game-changer for me.

Because again, when you’re sitting here, or sitting in the middle of your cliff, something has just gone wrong, it’s so easy to think, “This is it. I’m going to give up, it’s too hard.” Or, “I need help.”

Whatever it is. And panic, the frustration, the fear, all of that.

Once you start thinking about the benefits of when you’re actually here, things start falling into place.

So what happens with your mind when you think, “OK, things are really bad at the moment, but hang on a second. I know that when I get to there, I’ll achieve the thing that I really want to do. I will have that wonderful feeling, I will learn, I will have more money maybe, I’ll have a better friendship, I will go and visit someplace. OK it’s difficult for me to plan at the moment, but once I go through and plan it and go through the stress of getting on the plane and figuring it all out, I’m going to have that joy.”

So when you’re here, and you’re thinking through to the joy, it’s a lot easier for you to keep pulling yourself through.

And often, it’s just having one or two benefits in the back of your mind, and focused: that’s what pulls you through those difficult periods that you are going to get through as you go through your goals.

Visualise The Benefits


Divide The Task Into Sub-Goals

The fourth thing is S, and that’s actually for Sub-Goals.

And this is all about making something possible.

Remember the elephant? Can you eat an elephant? No, but a bite at a time, well you can certainly start making a try.

It’s about breaking a big task down into manageable chunks, chunks that you can actually influence and aim for and tilt, and as you do them, cross them off and say it’s done.

So if you take this example, a successful person would basically break it down into 3 or 4 chunks.

So, there’s maybe chunk 1, chunk 2 I know I’m going to have a big obstacle, I need to get over that, chunk 3, that’s the easy part when everything’s happening, and chunk 4 is that final sprint to go and implement it and get it done.

And what you do for each sub-goal is you figure out, OK, so what’s the world going to look like here? And then what you do is you say, “OK, so when I’m there, this is what I want to have achieved, this is the target, and how long is it going to take me to get there?

Well, actually I think it should take me about 1 week.” So you’re setting an expectation for yourself.

And the other really important thing that you should always do with a sub-goal is say, “OK, if I get there, what am I going to do to reward myself?”

Because reward is an incredibly powerful motivator for us all, even if that reward is just simply the pat on the back, to say, “Well done, you said you would do it and you’ve actually done it on time.”

Or the reward might be phone a friend, go out for a meal, whatever it is, but make sure you reward yourself, because that is one of the best motivators we’ve got.

So typically a successful person will have broken this down into the 4 sub-goals here.

So from the beginning, they’ve got a rough idea of here’s how long it’s going to take me, so maybe it’s going to take me one month, and here’s the 3 sub-goals and the fourth that, as I break through these, I’ll have achieved and I’ll have gotten to my goal.

And it’s a lot easier to break it down like this.

If you think about some of the things you want to do, so some of the amazing stuff, the really big stuff that gets us excited, sometimes you can have a fear: it’s just too big, how am I going to do it?

And that is why, breaking it back down into the sub-goals, you’re basically making a quarter of each one.

And when you’re seeing something is just a quarter of some amazing big goal, a quarter is much more manageable and attainable, and often that’s all you need to just start moving forward.

Divide The Tasks into Sub-Goals


So again, Realistic, Obstacles, Benefits, and Sub-Goals.

They are the 4 pointers that really successful people are using that I really encourage you to build into the really important things that you’re striving for too.


If you haven't already done so, be sure and sign up for my FREE insights and training on how to Master Your Income. And if you're a podcast person you can subscribe to the Career Hacker iTunes podcast.

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