Today we’re going to discuss one of the most powerful yet one of the most underestimated, in my opinion, tools there are.
Today we’re going to discuss planning. I’m going to give you today a method. A method which I use to plan almost everything in my life and the method I can actually say that has changed my life for the better, and I guess forever and because you see, I believe each and every one of us, sometime in the past has learned how to achieve things, how to create things, how to work, how to set a goal and decide how to go for it and I believe that many of us learn to this skill or the system in which we actually operate to achieve our goals back in school. Places where I went to school and where most of the people I’ve ever worked with went to school, they were given, we were given, I was given a project, I was given assignments but most of the time I was given like an assignment, you have to do this.
This is how it should look like and that’s it. I was never given any information, any support, any system with which I can create a plan how to get to this end goal.
I think one of the reasons many people have actually given up on setting goals or like deciding what are the most important things for them and obviously, I believe that setting goals is one of the most important things a person can actually do for himself and I’ll probably make an episode just like this one about setting goals, about the importance of setting goals and about how and when I set my goals.
But I think most people have given up setting goals because they lack the skill of planning. Because if you only set the goal, if you only say, for example, I want to earn more money, I want to lose some weight, I want to find a partner, an intimate partner, I want to get this and this in my life and then all they do is have this goal. It can be effective but it’s not quite as effective as people would expect. Maybe handling it on a vision board or on your refrigerator or something like that or on your desk can make you focus more on achieving this goal. But if you don’t have a good and effective plan on how to execute it even if you’ll get to this goal sometimes it will feel like pure luck.
I think most people never learn how to create a plan and that’s why they procrastinate it. That’s why they don’t do it. I used to believe it’s only me. When I just started my business like 10 years ago, my first business.
Someone told me that I need to have a business plan, I need to have a marketing plan, I need to have a financial plan for the business and when I heard that it made sense to me. It was logical, it was obvious, I should do it. But it kept on procrastinating it, maybe a few months later, this person asked me
“Hey, do you have a plan already.”
And I told him, I have something in my head and the truth was that I did not have a real, effective, powerful plan And I believe that many people tend to procrastinate things they don’t feel certain about if I would feel like I know how to create this plan. I know it can help me and I know exactly how to do it, I would actually do it because I did believe, I made it simply. I had no clarity around this subject. I believe that having clarity around the subject, being clear, knowing exactly what you should do is one of the best antidotes to procrastination.
Predicting the future using goals
So first of all, this is what something I can give you today. Today, I can give you a method that I used to create plans, if you want to tweak it, if you want to change it so it will suit you better for you. You can totally do it. But I already talked to 1000s of people who actually use this method. So you can take it just as this or change it, as you wish.
The second reason I believe that many people give up on planning and then it may be sometimes, some of them even give up on setting goals is because they have false expectations of what the plan should actually provide for them.
Many people think that when they’re planning, they should actually predict the future. They should have timelines specifically when they’ll achieve every single part of the goal, when they’ll do everything and the future should make itself according to your plans and this thing in real life doesn’t really happen. Maybe very simple things or if you’re extremely skilled at something, then you can predict the future in a very precise manner. But in my opinion in those actual incidents, having a plan is less important.
Having a good plan
Having a good plan is very important when there’s a task, when there’s a goal, when there’s a result you’re after. But you don’t exactly know how you’re going to get there, the blank should serve you, you don’t need to plan just to have a plan, you should plan because this document you’re going to create and I usually do it on a document, I used to do it on a piece of paper.
Now I go to my computer and I have it available on my smartphone. But this document should serve, this document should help you achieve your goals and feel happy about it.
Being productive and happy, this is the goal of having a plan. So how do you create this [inaudible 05:57].
First of all, you need to understand that this document doesn’t need to predict the future. Most people, when they actually start the idea of planning, they do some sort of a plan where they’re actually trying to predict the future, then they fail to predict the future, for example, they set the first milestone to let’s say, a specific date and time, let’s say in this specific date and time, we should make $50,000 a day, a month, a week, a year, whatever. And then when they get to this specific date, and the goal, the milestone to this day wasn’t achieved, they feel like they failed, the plan they did was not good and that’s not true at all.
Plan should assist you in reaching those points.
Plan should be a projection and plan should help you when you get to those points. Like if your plan is based on the idea that every single milestone will be achieved specifically in the right time then you’re going to be disappointed. If this document can actually help you when you get to a milestone, whether you achieve it or not, you know exactly how to move on, you get options, you get power, you get leverage to get on to your next goals then this plan is very, very, very, very effective.
For example, I like to compare having a good plan, having a map, for example, a few years ago, me and a couple of friends were having a hike, hiking in the mountains when we’re trying to get through a really beautiful valley and over a river to another friend of ours who lives in a very, very small town.
So what we did was we decided that we won’t go like in a specific route, we’ll simply have a map and we’ll find our way through the mountains and try to get as many beautiful spots because [inaudible 07:54]. So we started a journey and we had a wonderful time. In the journey, we stopped several times and made decisions together like do we want to get to this spot, this spot, maybe we want to get to both and every time we decided we could manage our way, we could decide where to go and what to do.
The plan should be flexible
The thing is that if we had planned itself to go from here to here through all those specific places, we have no flexibility.
In my opinion, especially in today’s world where everything is changing so rapidly, flexibility is power. Remember, flexibility is power. Your plan shouldn’t [inaudible 08:33] you, plan shouldn’t limit you. The plan should provide you with options with flexibility, with power, it’s supposed to help you to be more productive and more happy. So the plan was to get to the specific part of the river in a specific time because there was supposed to be a bridge and that’s a hint about what’s going to happen in the story and then we wouldn’t be able to get to the town before darkness because we didn’t actually want to navigate during the dark.
So it’s not very sympathetic but it wasn’t a very sympathetic place to hike at night time. So we had a wonderful time and then when we got to the river, there was no bridge. We looked at the map and then we understood that this little sign on the map because it had like a different color or different texture, I don’t specifically remember, it meant it’s a portable bridge. It’s not a normal bridge. It’s a portable bridge and this portable bridge from the map, it was like 10 years old, wasn’t there anymore, someone probably moved it.
Having a map
So at this point, many people would argue that the map has failed us. That’s the plan, we’ll take it as a metaphor for like planning something in your business or planning something in your personal life or planning your diet or planning whatever that the map, that the plan has failed us. But I don’t look at it this way. I think that at this point, the map was the most important thing we could possibly have. In this moment, if we had no map then we would have to get, we could like flip a coin or something and decide if we go south or we go north to look for another bridge, maybe we would actually set ourselves “Okay, the bridge has to be nearby and we would look for it” and not understanding that the bridge was portable bridge and probably got moved.
Having a map, we could actually look at it and see there are many kilometres away bridges to the south and to the north and that if we could actually go there before we decide to actually go there, we will never get in town in time before nighttime. So we decided, we made a decision to go through and crap across the river swimming, we would never make this decision without the map and we would get in serious trouble if we didn’t have it.
This is what I want you to have in your life, I want you to have plans that are resources, that plan should be a resource that will help you get through your most important goals in life. So this is the first thing.
Deciding what you want?
If we’re going practically right now the first thing we have to do when we start planning for something is deciding what we want?
We decide it from the outcome, the result, the goal we’re after. What do you want to catch? What do you want to achieve?
What do you want to get?
What is the outcome?
What is the result?
What is the goal in this entire project, in this entire thing?
It might be a business plan. So the plan might be to get more people, to have more clients, to get more money, to expand your influence, whatever, if you’re planning for your diet, maybe you want to increase your muscle mass, maybe you want to drop some weight, whatever. If you want to have a plan for your house or having a better time with your family or planning for some holidays or maybe you’re planning to find this special, significant other that will be your part for the rest of your life.
If you understand that the plan doesn’t need to be [inaudible 12:12], the plan doesn’t need to eliminate you, plan can help you and offer leverage, offer options, offer choices, offer flexibility, you [inaudible 12:21] anything.
I actually planned how I’m going to find the person that will fit for me, in my life, to be my partner. This is how I found Leah. This is not how I found her but it’s how I knew she was the right person when I found her.
So the first thing is to find out what you want?
What are you really after?
After you’re doing that, after you know what you’re after and as specific as you can get the better, if you can get like, I want to have more money, it’s okay. If you’re going for, I want to have like twice as much money, way more specific. If you can say I want to have this amount of money exactly by this time, then even better, the more specific you can get the better plan you can have.
Find the purpose of the goal
The second thing and this is something many people are missing and I believe that in order to be like, in a very basic level productive, you don’t have to have it. But the whole purpose of this channel and my work is to make sure that people are not just productive, not just successful. I know you’re a successful person. Most people who are watching my content are successful people but you’re also successful, but you’re also happy is the second part.
The second part is what we are really after, what is the purpose of this goal?
What are you truly after?
What are your main values for achieving this goal?
For example, if you want to have a plan for your business, for example, you decide you want to have more money, let’s say that’s the goal. If you want to have more money because the values behind it is you want to have more freedom. For example, you want to make sure that the plan you’re creating is not going to limit your freedom. Most people I know when they’re starting their first business, they want to start a fresh business to be more free, to have freedom. Then, many people I know, very successful people created huge companies, very powerful businesses and ended up slaves to their own businesses.
On the other hand, I simply want to do it for the influence. You want to create your own business because you want to make an impact. If you want to leave a legacy. You should probably create very different plans, even if the goal is the same amount of money, the same amount of clients or whatever. If you have different values behind them, you can have a different plan also for that.
For example only a few weeks ago, I revisited, I revisit my plans every once in a while to make sure my goals are up to date and my plans are up to date. So I revisited my plan for my fitness, for my health, for my diet and the goal was that I wanted to increase my muscle mass. But lately, I started like, maybe five or six months ago, I started rock climbing and I love it, you see my hands, injured. Anyway and I love it. I enjoy the sport so much. I never thought I would love anything like this. Again, when I was very young, I used to do like martial arts six, seven times a week and I loved it and after I hurt my knee and I got injured, I couldn’t do martial arts anymore and I thought I’ll never find anything like this again and now I feel like I totally found it in rock climbing. So when I revisited my goals, when I looked at it, I said,
“Okay, what do I really want out of being more fit, being more energetic, feeling better besides everything has to do for my real life,”
for example, to be more energetic when I’m speaking, to be more energetic when I am in my house to be able to run after my kids and so on and so forth. I want to be better at rock climbing. So when I decided I want to be better at rock climbing, I actually changed my goal to reduce my body fat as a first priority even higher than increasing my muscle mass. So when I made this decision after I understood what’s my value and really after the entire plant changed. I eat less stuff that was really good to gain muscle mass and also, was really good to gain more fat. Now I eat something differently because I want to burn more fat and reduce some of my mass to get to this issue.
So the second part is and this is the part where you become from just productive to productive and happy. Many people are setting goals and then when they achieve them. They feel bad. If you want to make sure it doesn’t happen to you.
Simply be sure you know why you are doing it?
What are the values behind your goal?
The third part of the plan and this is the last part of the basic plan. Obviously, you can put on milestones and you can put in contacts, you can create a huge plan and maybe for some product, it’s necessary.
For example, if you’re an architect and you’re trying to design a house, maybe you need very complex plans. But what I’ve learned over the years for our basic everyday life, for basic everyday things. If a complex plan will not get executed, what’s not simply won’t happen. Make sure you keep it simple. Make sure your plan is simple.
So the first line of planning is what’s your goal?
What’s the result you’re after?
The second line is what are the values?
What do you want?
What’s important for you?
And then you’re going to create a huge list of options, that this part is the most powerful part of each and every plan. This is the part that gives you leverage, that gives you power that gives you flexibility. The first rule right now is to decide you’re not going to judge or to criticize your ideas.
Because there’s amazing research, not many people know about it, most people think that there are some very creative people and very uncreated people and that creative people can find creative solutions to problems that uncreative people simply cannot find and that was scientifically proven to be not true.
What is the truth?
The truth is that more creative people get to the creative ideas, get the creative solutions faster meaning, for example, if you are presented with a problem and you are a very creative person, you’ll find one, two or three boring, standard normal solutions and then you’ll start having more creative solutions.
Normal people will have I don’t know, four or five, six normal solutions than creative ones and uncreative people just like me, will tend to have like 7 8 9 uncreative, boring ideas, boring solutions before they’ll get to the more creative ones. The thing is that it’s very, very hard to find nine really good but really boring ideas. Also five good ideas that are boring or sometimes hard to find. So allow yourself to be free, to make bad ideas, to create crappy, not crappy ideas, even ideas that you know you’re not going to fall. Make sure this list is non judgmental and criticized.
Stupid ideas can be effective
I came to realize after many years of doing this that ideas that are stupid now might be very, very effective in the future, for example and I just started a new business or let’s say, two years after I started speaking. My speaking business was my third business. After I closed the first one and sold half of the second one, my third business was a speaking business. So in this business after like two years, I had an idea how to get more clients and the idea was to call every single person who ever heard me talk, ever heard me speak and receive a feedback and also suggest that they’ll come to another event. At this time, I had one person working for me and had I wanted to do it, it would make him unable to work for weeks. So it was a terrible, terrible idea. However, a few years later, I had a bigger team and I was actually able to execute on this idea.
So when you’re creating a plan right now, don’t judge your ideas, don’t criticize your ideas. If other people have ideas for your plan as well, maybe if you have enough self confidence, you can allow them to simply sit with it and write down everything because you never know what will be good and good idea in six months from now or six years from now. Also allow yourself to be creative, to stimulate your creativity.
Setting up the list
So what’s going to be put in this list, don’t try to create one huge list, I found out to be very, very ineffective and very intimidating. I cut my list to four parts.
Find strategic action items
The first part is strategic action items, this is one of my favorite parts of the plan. First of all, we need to understand the fact that something is a strategic action item does not mean I have to do it, every part of those lists should be clear. By writing it down, you’re not saying you’re going to do it, you’re not going to do it. If you try to commit to it, you’ll feel overwhelmed, keep it aside, think about the ideas. In the end, we’re going to choose what you’re going to do.
So first of all, we’re going to find strategic action items, [inaudible 22:16] strategic actions. Almost every goal can be achieved by massive action by doing millions of things, working millions of hours, you can achieve almost everything. Strategic action items are specific action items, specific actions you can take that with very, very small cost whether it be mentally cost, time cost, effort cost that with a little effort, with little time, you might be able to create huge results, big results.
For example, let’s say you’re after creating growth in your business and let’s say, you can attend an event, for example and this event will host a lot of people that might help you with your business, maybe going to this event might help you, maybe taking a class in something in your business, that might really help you, do really increase your skills is a strategic item, you simply do it, you commit to it, you clear the time or your schedule, and that’s it, it’s done. Maybe for example, if you want to create better time, when you’re with your family, maybe a strategic action item is bringing flowers to your spouse, wife, husband, whatever, with no good reason. Maybe like just sending a message to him or whatever something that he or she likes. Maybe this can be a strategic action item. Depending on your goals, you might find a lot of strategic action items or very few.
Experts in their field, in my opinion, the way I look at people, someone who is a master of a specific field is someone who knows about many strategic action items about this field. So if you’re new to something, don’t expect yourself to find many of them, with time, you’ll find more and more.
Find key people
The second list you’re going to make is key people. Key people are very much like strategic action items but they’re not action items, they are people. It’s not just someone who can help you. Because I believe that many people can help you by doing a lot of effort and spending a lot of time to help you. I’m looking for people who can, with a very, very low level of effort that easily can help me create huge results.
For example, I used to know someone, I know someone that when I was single when I was looking for someone, for a partner, whatever, before I met Leah that’s the point. I knew someone she was a life coach and she was coaching women like, specifically her specialty was, her expertise was coaching women to increase their self esteem regarding today, so all of her clients were women who wanted to find someone to spend the rest of their lives with and they were so committed to this idea that they actually went to a life coach to increase their self esteem.
So there were also people with higher levels of self…. What do you call it?
Higher level of self awareness, that was the word of looking for, higher level of self awareness and so I thought, very likely, someone like this can be a good fit for me. So I called this person who actually meets hundreds of people every single month that are potential people for me, she can be a key person for me. So I called her. I talked to her and actually, thanks to her, I met a few people, in the end, I met Leah in a different way. But she could easily, she didn’t have to make any efforts, it wasn’t hard for her, it was easy for her to help me. So that’s a key person.
In a business, for example, let’s say you are creating a marketing agency, I have few friends who have marketing agencies that are doing social media and digital marketing for companies. The biggest problem for those companies is to get new clients [inaudible 26:33] themselves it’s very hard for most of them to do it. So one person I know that has a very big agency, over 350 clients, has 250 of those clients come in from three strategic people, three key people, each and every one of them is a business consultant who works with hundreds of businesses and the business has actually trusted the business consultant. So when the business consultant tells them because he truly believes in marketing and he truly believes that this guy’s agency is doing a good job. He refers people to this agency. So every one of them is transferring huge amounts of work. So everyone of them is a key person. So you have a list of strategic action items and you have a list of key people.
By the way, your list of key people should not only consist of people you know, they can also be people you don’t know but you understand if you will get to know them and if you will be able to influence them to help you, they’ll be able to easily influence you and maybe a strategic action item is to find a way to introduce yourself to this key person.
Make simple daily habits
The third part of this is we’re going to make our simple daily habits. I’m not talking about crazy hard daily habits. For example, if you want to lose weight, going for a run for two hours every day might be a great habit, might be very helpful, it might be awesome, it might be terrible depending on your fitness level and situation. But what I’m talking about are simple habits. For example, drinking a big cup of water every single morning. For example, if you want to simply have a plan to be more happy.
Maybe, for example, something I do, I do every single day, every single night, I write three things that were successes I can celebrate for this day. If you’re going to, for example have a good time with your spouse, maybe having like an idea that I’m doing one little thing for her or him every single day, maybe if regarding to your business, you’re going to do some very small thing every single day that can actually help, maybe write one Facebook post, uploading one photo about whatever, doing something simple, easy that take five minutes, 10 minutes is is not hard for you and again, the fact that you’re writing down this habit doesn’t mean you’re committed to actually do it. In the end of the list, you’re going to choose what you’re going to start with, that we will discuss very soon.
List everything else
So you have a list of strategic action items, you have a list of key people and you have a list of simple daily habits then you have the next list which is everything else. Everything, everything, everything else. This list can be long, full of bad ideas or whatever. Because the first thing you’re going to do when you’re looking at this is you’re going to look at the strategic action items, you’re going to look at the key people, you’re going to look at the basic habits and again, when you’re actually filling out everything else you’ll see you’ll get more creative, you’ll spark your creativity to make it flow and then you’ll find more options for the first three lists so you will be able to extend them and make them better.
What you have right now is a very powerful document, is a document that first of all helps you to focus, what’s your goal, it helps you stay connected to your deeper self what’s important to you, make sure you’re happy and not just following or chasing something that you won’t enjoy in the end because you’re connected to your values and that gives you a lot of options which I’m going to do right now is choose, choose simply 1, 2, 3 little things out of this entire huge list and start doing.
Try to get the perfect plan before you start | a big mistake
I believe that the most terrible mistake people make, especially when they’re starting something new, is that they’re trying to have the perfect plan before starting. The thing is, if you’re not an expert in your field, a complete expert like if you’re starting a new business, you’re not an expert in your business, maybe expert in your craft, maybe you’re the best [inaudible 30:48] maker or the best filmmaker but you’re not the best business owner, you’re not an expert in business.
So until you’re an expert in business, you cannot possibly create a good business plan, what you’re trying to do is create a basic plan with many options, start with whatever looks best for you, start doing the best way to be better and to increase your levels of scale is very, very easy. It’s very, very simple. Start doing and learn as you go. If you do some strategic action items that in the end will simply get a result, maybe you shouldn’t do the next time if you do some basic action items, basic actions that suddenly produce amazing results, you can move them to the strategic action items.
The idea is simple. First of all, have a plan. After you have a plan, start moving. Don’t wait. This is one of the most terrible, I think mistakes people will actually plan and make. As I said earlier, most people don’t plan at all, that’s a huge mistake. But the second part of this like scale, is people are so into planning that they don’t end up doing anything. So don’t let planning stop you from doing, when you have this basic plan, it can take you one hour, two hours, maybe 30 minutes depending on how expert you are and what you’re going to do.
Start taking action
Start doing, start taking action while taking action, you start doing it, you’ll find out more ideas, you’ll get more insights, you will learn how to be better. So simply do it and I think that the most powerful thing I can give you today besides this very powerful concept, I’m telling you this concept of planning like this, of creating a map like this with those three parts, with those three steps is incredible. It’s very powerful.
The thing is very simple. If you won’t do it, it will do nothing, you create nothing in life. On the other side, if you try to make it perfect and it will stop you from taking action also going to stop you. But if you’ll find a way simply put into it as little time as possible but do it well enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect, make it good enough, very simple and it will allow you to have more power, more flexibility when you’re taking action then maybe today, I managed to give you something very, very meaningful.
In the end, you’ll be the one responsible for the results of what you’re after. No one else can help you. But no one else can, many people can help you. What did I mean? No one else can be responsible for your results. No one else is going to pay the price or enjoy the rewards of your results. Maybe your family could certainly share it with them. But the thing is very simple. Just do it and remember but it simply doesn’t get done. Keep it simple, planning is important. Don’t put too much mind into it but invest the necessary amount of time and energy and I wish you the best of luck and see you in the next video.