Five Master Steps for Planning an Extraordinary Life
Most people are stressed because they’re keeping all the things they need to do in their heads. So they buy planners or download apps to get organized, and it’s a “eureka” experience because the simple action of capturing to-dos relieves stress initially.
But without a true system, a process of turning action items into the results you desire, the stress will ultimately return. To create a fulfilled life in which you’re achieving your goals, you’ll need the five master steps of planning:
Step 1: Capture Your Ideas, Wants and Dreams
Document the ideas, meetings, communications and results that need to be accomplished. In this step, you’re simply getting the ideas out of your head and onto paper (or into your computer or mobile device) quickly. When you first do this, it feels good. But if you stop here, you’ll just end up with a large to-do list—and stress will start to build up.
Step 2: Create a Results-Focused, Purpose-Driven, Massive Action Plan (RPM)
To create an RPM plan, ask and answer these questions:
1) What do I want? What’s my outcome? What’s the specific result I’m after?
2) Why do I want it? What’s my purpose?
3) What’s my massive action plan to get it done?
The secret to effective planning is to create the focus and emotions that produce results by organizing your objectives into specific results. This is your RPM plan. You’ll likely generate a small set of results you’re committed to achieve for the day or week. Next, take the items on your to-do list and organize them underneath each result (e.g. outcomes related to your health, business, family, etc.). Your focus will shift from the many action items you need to do to the four to six results that you’re committed to achieve.
Step 3: Commit
Now create blocks of time to work on specific outcomes. You might say, “7–8 AM, I’m working on the result of creating health. 9 AM–noon I’m working on the result of increasing my sales 5%.” This is key: If you don’t block out time for these things first, other distractions will take over.
Step 4: Schedule
It’s only after you’ve committed blocks of time to your important results that you should schedule things that must happen at a specific time, like meetings, classes, doctor appointments, etc.
Step 5: Complete, Measure and Celebrate
Now it’s time to take action: Complete the tasks needed to achieve your result, measure whether you’re on track, and celebrate your outcome. (If you don’t celebrate your results, you’ll lose the motivation to keep following through.) Instead of focusing on what you did today, focus on what you achieved!