The Power in Planning Right From Where You Are

I took on a new client this week. When we started he was sharing with me how he thinks goal setting doesn’t work and all it does is frustrate him. As a strategic coach, I agreed whole heartedly with him. I continued to listen. He went on to say it’s a waste of time, his circumstances were different than most other people’s and he had to work harder and overcome more than most to accomplish what he had. Again, I agreed with him and told him it was all his choice and his story. Needless to say, he didn’t appreciate my comment. However, he listened. On one level I understand we may not always have a conscious choice regarding the circumstances within which we find ourselves.

However, we always have the power to choose the most healthy perspective from which to view our situation.

All he needed to adjust his thinking was a 2 by 4 to the head. No, I didn’t take out a piece of wood and crack him on the noggin. I did share with him a new perspective of seeing that everything happens for (4) his benefit and not to (2) his detriment. All too often I see people trying to achieve a goal by creating a plan from where they think they should be at this stage of their life or career rather than from where they currently are.Because they are 45 years old and want to retire at 60 and need to make more money, they set a goal of making $500,000, when they only made $78,000 all of last year. It’s like aiming to complete a marathon in two months when they haven’t even attempted a 5K run their entire life. Imagine you are going on a road trip. You are currently in San Francisco, CA and enter your destination for Rochester, NY into your car’s GPS. However, because you are getting a late start on your trip, you try to trick or override the system into navigating as if you were already much further along; let’s say Des Moines, IA. Imagine the chaotic feedback that would ensue from every mis directed navigation instruction from the hijacked GPS. Life is no different. If you plan from where you are and are receptive to feedback, you will receive accurate and helpful data so you can plan accordingly and recalibrate along the way. Rather than coming in the form of lefts and rights, the feedback may come in the form of people showing up and sharing with you tools and resources to get you to the next segment of your goal. Along the way, you may become aware you need to learn a new skill, system, or procedure in order to keep progressing. Situations and circumstances may show up not to our liking at the onset. We may misinterpret them happening to us rather than for us. However, it’s in the initial upset that sets us up to contemplate, learn and discover the breakthroughs we seek. Ultimately,the serendipity of attending an event you normally wouldn’t and then meeting someone who ends up introducing you to one of your best clients becomes somewhat the norm. That’s the way it works.Refrain from trying to play it safe and only advance forward. There are always switchback to get to the top of the mountain. An important awareness to have is you can’t get feedback if you keep your car in park. Get out there and allow the world to give you the feedback you need to get where you want to go.Sure, there will be road closures, construction and detours. Just remember the lefts, rights, and U-turns you hear from your GPS are happening for your benefit to help you get to your end destination.You don’t have a satellite that is tracking you. However, you have something even better. It’s your gut and intuition. Learn to trust it. Ask how, what you may perceive as a set back, is actually a set up for success. Your answer is the best feedback you can recieve. Choose the most healthy perspective from which to move forward. In order to get to where you want to go be sure to plan from where you are and not from where you think you should be.Make it up, make it fun and make it happen!

Related: The Six Elements of a Successful Plan for Your Advisory