The power of writing something down is incredible. As part of an ongoing effort to encourage team members to get their names on the leader board for a program we are running, I had to practice what I was preaching. So, I wrote down my month plan. This simple act turned out to be one that propelled me into action. I now had clarity on what I needed to do and by sharing it with others, I instilled a commitment to act within myself.
Sharing your goals with a receptive and encouraging other is powerful. A feeling of accountability emerges. If someone is interested and willing to check in on you once a week to see how you are progressing, the urge to stay on track and follow the plan is much higher. A bias for action is then something that becomes a habit.
This is what I set out to do with my colleagues. Figure out how they are doing in terms of their month plan. In doing this it turns out I was also holding myself accountable to my plan which I had created to share with them as a sample. It is not enough to do it for just one month though, I need to follow through again, and again, till it becomes part of their lives and mine. The time and effort I put in underlines the importance of this activity.
The more I think about the power of a plan on a page, the more I am convinced about its value. The key is to make a plan that is in alignment with something important to me. This is what helps me stay committed. In the long list of priorities that fill up daily to-do lists, ensuring the important does not get sacrificed at the altar of urgent, requires clarity and commitment.
This holds true for work and life goals. I have made a life plan about my desire to lose some weight and titled it 90×52. The 90 by 52 plan as the name suggests, is that by July 26th of 2024, when I stand on a weighing scale, I will smile and pat myself on the back for having reached my target weight of 90 kilos. To achieve this goal, every week needs me to check in on how I am doing. To be honest, the Diwali week set me back a full kilo, but I have reviewed my plan and am back in action. I have also just written down my goal for the first time and shared it with others, a step that will help me stay on track.
I see the parallels in my coaching work as well. Helping a client to identify what is important to them. Working through what they really want to focus on. Writing things down. Helping them commit to action based on insight and being accountable to follow through. This is what a good coaching conversation unlocks and supports.
What is calling your attention? What are you ignoring? What is that one thing you have wanted to do, but you keep saying “I don’t have the time” or “Maybe next month” or …. The head often tells you one thing, but most often the heart knows what is truly important. Time to write the next chapter. What is your plan on a page?
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