How to plan simply for 2021

You maybe have not yet set out your goals for 2021, just like any other year.

Of course, like 2020, 2021 will not be any other year. Here in the UK, we started the year with our third national lockdown. So, these are not ordinary times.

How to address setting goals in that context?

So, my mind turned to how I might simplify your goal-setting process? My guess is you need something short, sharp, and flexible enough to deal with anything that 2021 might bring?

So, here's my recommendation for a three-question model that has stood the test of time. It is perfect for those who want to make change happen – in their life, their work, their organisation, or even their industry or sector.

Question One – What's the outcome I want?

The focus here is your final destination, not what is preoccupying you right this moment.  It asks you to be creative, not pragmatic. It is not about the problems you encounter, but the solutions that you might envisage.

For me, it is, above all, about changing the status quo in your life.

That's easier said than done, eh? I have just the thing to help. It is an excellent book titled, "Do/Disrupt/Change the status quo. Or become it."

It is a beautifully crafted, interactive workbook by Mark Shayler. It is about disruption, about doing things differently, about having ideas that will change the world, or at the very least, your world.

Working through the book will help you to do many things. Among them, create and refine your business idea, encourage you to define your customer, identify the competition, and then, outsmart them.

So, release your creator mindset, as once you have envisioned the destination, you can move quickly to the second powerful question.

Question Number 2: What stands in my way?

At the start of his book, Mark Shayler shares a fantastic quotation from one of my all-time favourite authors, Tom Peters – "If it ain't broke, break it." It is something of a misquote, as Peters was quoting the book by the same title by Bob Kriegel and Louis Patler.

They argued that accepting change is the only way to move forward. They also noted that the single quality that will lift a person head and shoulders above the rest in tough times is passion. Just what you need now.

So, try to identify and prioritise obstacles that are between you and the outcome you want. Then try to identify ways to eliminate, avoid, or neutralise those obstacles.

For example, how many people understand that losing weight is balancing eating less and exercising more. How many of those same people read articles advocating that simple message, while at the same time eating potato chips or more chocolate? I perhaps oversimplify here, but you get the idea.

Who makes the most significant difference in their lives? Those people with the passion for achieving their outcome by working through their obstacles.

It is also about taking your thought process strategically and applying it to each facet of your strategy, a step at a time.

To help you with that, you can move quickly to our three-step process's third powerful question.

Question Number 3: Who has figured it out already?

So, you now have the outcome you want. You have defined a list of obstacles, prioritised the list, and identified ways to overcome them.

At this point, some leaders spring into action while others pause to see who has gone before on this journey. I would argue that a brief pause is essential.

Most importantly, it gives you room to consider what others identified previously on the same or similar journeys. In turn, that identifies other potential solutions you may not have even considered or recommend an alternate route to take than the one you devised.

Adrian Grenier said, "We learn from each other. We learn from others' mistakes, from their experience, their wisdom. It makes it easier for us to come to better decisions in our own lives."

It tends to be less painful to be wise than smart. It's also often a lot cheaper. That's why this third question is so important.

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