A few weeks ago I wrote a post on setting SMART Goals and Milestones. If you recall, I talked about the need to set them in bite size blocks to give yourself motivation. A secondary reason to set bite size milestone goals is to aid you in planning and implementation. You see goals don’t just get met, you have to plan for and then execute your plan to achieve those goals. No Plan likely means failure.
Near or Small Goals Versus End Goals
Smaller milestone goals make it easier to plan as you can then sub divide your plan by each goal. The reality is getting to each minor milestone may involve actions that are different than the last but they also need to build on each other to reach your larger goal. If you don’t plan for both the near term goal and build towards the long goal you may find it impossible to reach your end destination As you plan you need to be able to think about what each set of actions you can utilize both separately and together.
This Post as Part of a Plan
To give an analogy, take this post. Each paragraph pertains to a distinct idea. That idea is planned in the context of the paragraph in order to get the paragraph’s intended purpose. However, think of that in the context of the bigger article. If you build this paragraph only to convey a single idea it won’t make sense in the context of the previous or following paragraphs. As such you need to plan both how to write this paragraph and how it fits into the overall article at the same time, before you start writing yourself into a corner.
This Post as Part of a Larger Plan
Which brings us to my goals around page views, the longer term goal. Getting to 10,000 views likely involves driving traffic to a site via basic communication on other blogs and a few good articles. You could deliver this goal quickly by simply writing a salacious post that angers everyone and their mother. That post alone might get 10,000 page views in a month, but you might never have another visitor thus killing your blog. You could also jump around subject areas for every post, and you might hit a single post that does very well on google. However, if you have no common theme it is unlikely you’d grow an overall audience to your content. The key is to build to the 10,000 views with an eye towards what comes after the 10,000 views. In the context of the SMART framework some businesses reference this by adding an R to the end of SMART Goals, to represent repeatable.
Parts of a Plan
The key parts of a plan you need are : Who, what, where, when, how, and cost.
Whom is going to take the action? It might be you or you might outsource it. In this case I write all my own posts and my wife edits.
What are you going to actually do? In this case I’m going to post on the topic of personal finance tied together by some common threads.
Where am I going to do it? In this case we’re talking about my blog.
When am I going to do so? In my case for the first milestone I will write content 3x a week and participate in the personal finance community.
How? Using my personal experience/education combined with various new research,articles,blogs, and books I might read on the subject.
And Finally Cost? 3.95 dollars a month for hosting from BlueHost and my personal time.
So enough about my example of the plan for this blog. You should have plans for most aspects of your life. Some really important ones are retirement plans, Investment plans, and Wills. Beyond those there are many more types of planning: Budgets, Health and Fitness, and Career to name a few. Basically anything where you have a goal should have a plan.
What are you planning and how? How have you found planning pivotal to achieving your goals? Speaking of Plans, surprise this is a 2 parter. On Friday I will give you tips on creating an investment plan.
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