Have you ever seen people looking at a blueprint? Did you do it yourself? It always seems like such a wonderful experience—analyzing the details, going from the big picture to the finer details and back again.
I’ve written about goal mapping in the past and now I’m changing my language around goals to create a plan. Why? A map will show you how to get from one place to another, and that’s a good thing, but I think a plan might be even better. A floor plan shows you what the end point will look like: the shape, size, and relative position of each room. A plane can be readjusted. It is both personal and tangible. Set your goal within the rest of your life instead of simply giving you directions to a destination.
Any GPS or mapping device will ask you a few questions about your journey: Where are you now? Where are you going? How do you travel (walking, taking public transportation, driving)? Do you want the fast route or the scenic route? There are also problems involved in creating a plan. How big will this structure be? Each room? How many rooms do I want? How are the rooms interrelated?
In this article, let’s focus on the overall structure. What do you see as the overall size and shape of whatever you’re building? This is usually called an overall goal. It is an end point. Think of this overall goal as your mental image of your finished building (project). How big is it? how many stories Why is it there? How will you use it? Perhaps the easiest way to answer these questions is to use a proven formula for setting goals: SMART goals.
Write down the most important goal you can think of, a real goal, something that will definitely expand your comfort zone. Now check it against the SMART criteria and adjust it until it is as clear and strong as possible. If you don’t have a good idea of what the finished building looks like, it will be difficult to plan individual rooms.
Here are the criteria:
S-specific – Have you been as specific as possible? Can you clearly imagine this structure? Is this a country house, a beach shack, a castle in Switzerland? Maybe you want to create the perfect Manhattan apartment with park and water views, full concierge services, three bedrooms, an office, a library, a formal dining room, a breakfast bar, a laundry room, a balcony big enough to entertain at least 6 people, three and a half bathrooms and a state-of-the-art kitchen four blocks from major public transportation. That’s pretty specific. As a business goal, it could be: Within the next 24 months, I want to build a coaching and consulting business working with high-potential, high-achieving, wealthy women who want to spend the time and energy to create their ideal lives and/or businesses and I want to have a steady income of $1 million from direct services and $1 million from passive income while working no more than 20 hours per week, no more than 30 weeks per year.
M – measurable – Can you incorporate real measurables into your goal? The examples above have measures: number of rooms, type of rooms, profit dollar figures, time figures for how much work, standards for clients.
A – Achievable – Is this something you can really do? Don’t go into details here; you will develop sub-goals and action plans later. Is this something you feel comfortable creating an action plan with? Is this a blueprint for something you can build?
R – Realistic – Can this really happen? Can you find examples of what you want to build? I have been in apartments very similar to the one I have described; I know entrepreneurs who have the business I have described. I know these are things that can, and do exist.
T – Opportune and framed in time – Is this the right time for me to work on this goal? Do I have a realistic idea of how long it will take?
If you’ve been paying close attention to the examples, you’ll notice that the first example doesn’t have a time frame, though it may be timely. Support targets (rooms in the blueprint) will need to be created before a time frame for this target can be determined. The second example, however, is timely and framed in time. This is driven by desire and research. All support targets will have time frames, so it will be possible to see how quickly this can be built. That’s a great start. You now have the general shape and can begin to complete your blueprint. In the next article, we’ll elaborate on your sub-goals: the number of rooms in your plan.