There are plenty of people out there talking about how to make a plan, why you should have a plan, and the effectiveness of executing on a plan when the need arises vs. sitting around and winging it. I am not an expert in planning, but rather it’s counterpart in procrastinating and delaying because I have no plan. I’m here to tell you how I was brought from the dark side to the light. No I’m just fooling around. I’ll show you what some of the characteristics and traits I look for in creating an effective plan.
It’s actually quite simple. Creating a plan consists of three components.
- What is the end goal?
- How can you move towards that goal?
- Time to execute.
Everyone needs to plan around something. What are you aiming at, what’s the end goal? You need clarity in that final goal so you can start the journey getting your ass over there. You need to figure out what that goal is. For instance, my goal is to get my writing published. In determining the goal and seeing what we want clearly, we are able to visualize what it looks like for you to reach that goal and it makes for a fun writing exercise as well.
Now we decide on the first step. The first baby step. A teeny tiny little step that’s going to bring us closer to attaining that goal. In doing this one little thing over and over and over again, ad infinitum, we will put a dent in the distance and time we require to meet our goal. It isn’t necessarily going to get us there, but it’s getting us closer. For me and my writing journey, that’s writing for my blog every morning. I’m still in the stages of repetitions. For those training for their run the reps this stage looks a lot like getting out and just running, seeing how far you’re able to get at your pace.
Then you have to ask yourself-how can I maximize these repetitions? I’m already doing the work and I’m noticing improvements. How can I improve in a more specific and measurable way? This is where my writing was last week and I need to be elevated and better by this time (next week).
We experiment with other methods and do a little bit of reading and copying. With something like writing it’s pretty ubiquitous, it’s literally all around us. So looking at the world around us through the writing lens will reveal certain things that had previously gone unnoticed. More importantly, I have to read through others writing to get a feel for how they crafted and put their work together. Later on in the journey and the process, this is referred to as finding inspiration. But for now, this is R&D.
I’m at the stage where I’m reading highly regarding writing, learning about those authors, and then imitating or copying their work. This is something that we all used to do in grade school, if you can remember. We would literally copy, word for word, the page or pages out of this book or article or whatever. Hunter Thompson occasionally did this when he was getting himself ready to write, Benjamin Franklin was a famous copier.
Given that my writing is where it is, and I’m on week number two of writing blogs in the morning, I feel that I can only benefit from the practice. There is a ton of writing out there that I like and want to learn from and emulate, so I will find those pieces and copy from them. Literally taking from them to create my own little style and voice.