The book is essentially a questionnaire to ask yourself where you are now and where you want to be five years for now. It delves into the areas of
a) Your Emotional & Physical Health
b) Your Family & Relationships
c) Your Home & Community
d) Your Work and School
The forward of the book is by Richard Carlson, phd author of highly successful “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff”.
I was so impressed with the book that I contacted the author directly and ordered a whole bunch of copies to give to close friends & relatives.
While it is often attributed to John Lennon (from his song Beautiful Boy) it was actually Allen Saunders, writer & cartoonist who wrote “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans” (first published in Reader’s Digest in January 1957).
The reality is often life happens without a plan at all.
I would take it perhaps one step forward… it’s not just about making plans. Plans are wishes. The real question is how are you going to make it happen? What’s your strategy? That’s part of why I liked Sheree Bykofsky’s book so much – it wasn’t just about defining what one wants, but also understanding why you are where you are now, and how you are going to get where you want to go.
I’ve been involved in many strategy sessions. The process can be broken down with the acronym SPIN.
S – Situation
P – Problem
I – Implications
N – Need
You define the current situation. This is where we are now, the good, the bad, the ugly. The good news is that if you aren’t happy with where you are now then it can always be improved on.
What is the Problem, or perhaps a more positive spin on it is what is the opportunity? If the problem is that one is overweight and out of shape, then the opportunity is to become fit.
What are the implications of solving the problem. This is what provides the motivation to make change. If you don’t solve the problem then bad things happen. Using the example of being overweight and out of shape means that one is at much higher risk of getting sick, one doesn’t have the energy to participate in activities with friends and family, one doesn’t like how they look, etc. The Opportunity is really to gain self-discipline to make the necessary changes to reach one’s goals
Lastly, is Need. You are never going to make the necessary changes to reach your goals unless you’ve identified why you need to change in the first place. This process works both on a personal level as well as a corporate level. Not getting the business results you want? Why? (Problem) What happens if you do or don’t meet those objectives? (Implications) What is the need? The need can be implied or explicit. In other words if you can achieve your objectives then what is the payoff?
Once you have defined the SPIN and understand what the situation is and why it needs to be changed – then one has to come up with a strategy on how to get there. Develop a plan. There is a proven methodology for that as well and it also has an acronym – STAR. The STAR methodology allows one to create a plan and then execute the plan, or in other words – Plan the Work, Work the Plan. I give a high level outline the STAR methodology at www.YouNeedaStrategy.com
April 6, 2017 marks 1,000 days until January 1, 2020. One thousand days is not 5 years. It’s actually less than 3 years. It’s just shy of 2 years and 9 months.
Where do you want to be personally, professionally, and so on when New Year’s strikes on January 1, 2020? Will you be celebrating all that you’ve accomplished, or looking back with 20/20 vision thinking “if only I..” and having regrets?
If you find the idea of having a plan for January 1, 2020 daunting – here’s the good news: You have 1,000 days. All you need do is make small improvements every day. Little steps. See how small things can multiply and grow exponentially. The other good news is that with 1,000 days ahead of you, not every day needs to be perfect or an improvement on the previous. There will be setbacks, but with your goals in mind and the ability to reflect each day on what little thing could be done tomorrow to make the next day a little better than the day before you will get there. Alternatively, you can wish your way to a better future, plan on winning the lottery, make no goals, and do nothing to achieve them. Who knows, maybe when January first 2020 rolls around you will be in a better place. My one suggestion is that on January 1, 2020 think back to today and ask yourself if back on April 6, 2017 if you took the time to invest in yourself for a better life for yourself and everyone
The next thousands days starts now.