While cleaning out the backlog of email I get sent, I watched something interesting today:
It’s a long video, a bit slow in places and takes some time out to make a blatant sales pitch, but there is also some very useful information in it. Something in that video stuck out, for me. If you have an idea to do something, these are your chances of success, if you take the following committed actions (taken from the video):
What’s interesting about this is that if you simply visualize the end goal, you very probably aren’t going to achieve your goal. In fact, according to the video, you have less chance of succeeding, in your goal, than somebody that doesn’t visualize their end goal at all. That means just having a good idea is pretty much a total waste of your time.
What matters is the plan you envisage. If you just take some action consistent with your plan, you have a greater chance of success than if you do nothing (obviously), but just making a decision to do it helps, albeit not much.
If the task is long and complex, simply taking the first step alone, without even thinking about all the other steps at the time, dramatically increases your chances of taking the subsequent steps and eventually reaching your goal. What the table says is that a deadline is more important than a decision to do what you’ve decided to do. It’s more compelling.
A deadline with a verbalised plan is better than a deadline without a plan. It says that writing your plan down increases your odds of achieving your end goal, beyond just thinking about a plan, and places you into the zone of it being more likely you will succeed rather than fail.
However, for the best odds of success, you need to do all of those things and share them with somebody that is either a professional coach, or who will act as your coach and mentor. This can even be a trusted and encouraging friend.
So what matters is the process, planning the process, giving the process some time boundaries, taking any first step consistent with your process and having somebody that is going to encourage you and keep you accountable. Once you have a plan written down and a deadline, stop thinking and simply start executing simple steps from your plan. Just focus on the first step, however small and just do it. Envisage the next step after you complete the first one, then do that. Carry on, until you get to the end goal. It’s a bit like how you learned to walk, actually.
Seems so simple, really, doesn’t it? 🙂