For the first 15 years of my working life I did what I thought was enough to develop. That was to work long, work hard and show a strong commitment and enthusiasm to whatever I did. This was my way and it got me some career growth but in terms of my personal and financial situation it was a real slow dragging process. I would do training courses to develop my skills in my chosen profession and then would try and utilise and market the skills I had gained. I would purchase the latest equipment and technology to further myself. Again this would be to minimal growth. At one point I was working 7 days a week for months at a time and really just making enough money to get by. I had no life and what seemed like an infinite spiral of debt and work. Something need to change but I didn’t know what.
I was lucky in that I had lot of successful client who I worked with and it was conversations with some of these that changed my entire life. One client, Sam asked what my plan was, and I gave them an answer of growing my income or my business. They then stopped me and said ‘have you written anything down?’ I replied that I didn’t have time for that. But as they explained what they did it began to make some sense. I took this thought to another client of mine Alan, a business mentor. He suggested that the first step I needed to take was to make an Orbit. This is a simple tool of drawing concentric circles on a piece of paper. You start at the centre point (today) and each circle represents a period in the future. 1yr, 3yr, 5yrs etc etc. You then draw lines out representing each goal you’d like. For my first ever plan this covered areas such as income, number of clients, paid hours etc etc. This was a revelation for me. The act of putting specific milestones on paper had a profound effect on me. I suddenly knew precisely what I needed to do to get to my goals. From this initial chart I started to created more. Life goals, separate business goals etc etc. Then I would break each of the areas and goals down to specific ways I could make this happen. I’d gone from wandering around blindly to having a laser focus on every aspect of my life. All in a matter of a few hours homework.
I quickly realised I was doing everything wrong. I was spending so much time working on day to day stuff and no time building myself a future. I knew from this moment I needed to find out more and more about planning and building a better life for myself and wanted to learn how the most successful people went about creating this. I set aside time each week to make sure I had my daily and weekly goals in place and now always write down everything! Well the change was incredible. In 10 months I had already reached my 3 year goal and realised that I needed to start planning bigger and better dreams for myself. More personal time, make more of a difference in my life. This was my next move.
What about you?
If you are not devoting time each week for planning your life then you are on a road to nowhere. You need to have very clear ideas of what you want. For this you can plan how you get there. Planning time should be the one of the first blocks you book into your diary each week. Don’t skip it. Take yourself somewhere you can’t bed distracted by others the phone, email etc. and spend at least a couple of hours each week to assess and reassess you goals. Then plan what you can do that week to move yourself closer. This applies to career, personal, health and any other goal. Examples could be. Do the same at the start of each day.
What can I do this week to improve my relationship?
What can I do this week to be more motivated?
What can I do today to get fitter?
Take time each day to plan what you can do to improve and you will not regret it. Focus your life.
To speak to jeremy about development email firstname.lastname@example.org