Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. ~Proverbs 24:27 (NLT)
Preparation is the key to a smooth transition and less stress. When you have communicated your goals (to yourself and to others), it helps everyone to know the desired path and expected outcomes. When everyone is in alignment, the momentum has greater impact and is more cohesive. Whether it is a relationship, a community gathering, a team, group, or organization, it is imperative to prepare for the path ahead. This requires knowing the problem you solve, the achievements desired, or the vision to attain. Preparing the path includes identifying roles, holding people accountable, having check ins for a status, and knowing when to ask for help, or pause for a refresher. Preparing also includes learning and expanding knowledge and skillsets to not only broaden thinking, but to expand your reach and have the capacity to explore more paths to the desired destination. Being prepared requires putting in time to train, grow, and be committed to the end result. Being prepared, involves discipline and focus on your destination, vision, or goal and a path on how to get there. When you prepare for it, not much will catch you off guard.
Planning includes walking through the scenarios discussed in the preparation phase. In walking through these scenarios, questions receive answers, new scenarios are discovered, and new knowledge is gained. Again, whether in a relationship, a community gathering, a team, group, or organization, a plan is imperative. Without a plan, there is no map to the desired destination. Without a plan, how can you pay off the debt, save thousands of dollars, take extravagant vacations, build your business, become CEO, CIO, Director, or Partner? Without a plan, the preparation can get lost. Use the plan to take the preparation to the next level and identify a detailed course to the anticipated destination. When you plan for it, the preparation is executed in theory, exhausted in possibility, and proven in reality.
Prioritization is essential for a successful execution. Most people don’t get married without first getting to know the person. You shouldn’t sign a contract without reading it first. Most people research the neighborhood before they buy the house. Some things are easier to prioritize than others. Before you can pay off the debt, you must know what all the debt is. Before saving thousands of dollars, you must determine the areas you can cut back in. During the planning phase, you create a map of various paths to get to the desired destination, and within those paths, you discover there are some things that are dependent on other things before you move to the next step. You can’t drive the car if it doesn’t have any gas in it. You can’t paint if you don’t have the color paint available. Prioritizing helps the journey have less stress and result in a greater sense of accomplishment. Too often, priorities are re-routed by other people’s opinions, thoughts, or ideas. While this is sometimes a good thing, let the established goals in the preparation phase be the gauge. Are the priorities aligned with the established goals and desired destination? If not, then it is probably not as important as some other priorities that support the determined outcomes. Prioritize based on the goal, not the ease of the decision.