What Is Your Plan?
In this article, we are going to look at how to make a plan.
First things first. How did YOU deal with your own problem? Identify the problem that you had struggled with. Then, think carefully about how you solved your problem.
A problem is a problem because it, somehow, stops you from achieving your goal. So as you identify your own problem that you solved, you must explain what the problem was and why it was a problem for you.
Then, explain to yourself step by step how you solved the problem. Be specific. Take 10–15 minutes journaling to find out what exactly you did in order to solve it.
After you have figured out how you found the answer to the problem, you are now ready for designing a plan that can help others.
What Is Your Plan?
A good plan should not be too complicated. The best plan should only take two steps.
- Step one, identify what the problem is.
- Step two, do something to be free from it.
So don’t make your plan with too many steps and stages. Make it as simple as possible. Simple doesn’t mean easy. Simple means clear.
Also, don’t worry about your plan being less than perfect the first time. Plans change. They should. The perfect plan is the one with the latest update before the next update.
A good plan moves you to take action. If the plan made you do something that pushes forward to the solution, that was a good plan. And as you move forward, you can make changes to the plan along the way. The important thing is that you are doing something that propels you to the solution.
Making A Plan
The first step in making any plan is to identify the problem at hand. What is the problem that you struggle with? Why is this a problem?
For example, you might be struggling with finances. Then, the problem is finances. More specifically, you might be burdened by student debt or rent. Why is this a problem? Because of the financial burden, you can’t pursue the career you want to pursue. I’m being a bit too simplistic for the sake of this article. But when you do this exercise, be as specific and clear as possible. What is the problem? What is this specific problem stopping you to be or do?
The second step is to figure out the solution to the problem. Only when you are clear on what the problem is can you come up with an effective solution. What would free you from the problem? This is your solution.
I need $100,000 to pay off the debt. Then, $100,000 is your solution. Or you can say I need a philanthropist to pay my debt for me. That could be another solution too. A caveat in this step is to focus on what needs to be done in order to solve the problem. Don’t focus on how for now. You are not asking how you might pay the debt. Rather, you are asking what must be done for me to go from debt to debt free.
You don’t have to necessarily be correct in your diagnosis of the problem or the solution at this point. You are simply making a plan so you can take some kind of action that will place you closer to your goal.
Here’s another personal example. Back when I was a student, speaking in English fluently and freely was a problem for me. And I wanted to free myself from worrying about speaking English with others and confidently speak in the language. I didn’t ask myself how I can speak English confidently or how I might be free from worrying about English. Rather, I thought about what I need to speak English with confidence. For me, the solution was daily practice.
The third and last step in making of a plan is to come up with the first small step. What would be the minimum step that needs to be taken? And more specifically, what can I do about it?
The first step in your plan must be easy to do and it must involve your action. In other words, what is one tiny thing that you can do to get to the solution. Break down your solution into tiny bite-size doable tasks that you can do in the next hour or so.
To get $100,000, what is one tiny thing you can do personally in the next hour or so? Break down $100,000 into bits and pieces. Can you work the next hour to get $10 or $15? Although it’s a small step toward your goal, $100,000, you have taken one tiny step towards your goal! Congratulations. And as you move forward, you will have to make tweaks here and there to update your initial plan but you did something rather than nothing. And you are that much closer to your goal.
To practice English daily, what is one tiny thing you can do personally in the next hour? I may not be able to speak fluent English in one hour but I can work on speaking this paragraph fluently for one hour. Great. Start there. Whatever your tiny first step looks like, begin.
Don’t worry about how long it’s going to take. Don’t worry about how small your first effort looks like. It’s better to start now. And it’s better to start small rather than not starting at all and waiting for what may or may not come. The important thing is that you are doing something to get to your solution.
- What’s your problem and why is it a problem?
- What is your solution?
- What is one tiny step YOU can take?
In the next article, we’re going to examine what makes a good plan and how to follow through.