For regular readers of our blog, this list may be familiar. Unfortunately, the strategies listed are all too familiar and, given the time of the year, we thought it a good time to share once again.
Here we sit in January with all the promise of a new year ahead of us, convincing ourselves that this is the year that we will make “X” happen. Don’t get me wrong, I love that kind of optimism, but I also want you to take an honest assessment of whether or not you have built a plan that will make “X” happen. In terms of your plan, there are a couple of ideas I would like you to keep in mind.
First, while you certainly need to clearly know what your end goal is, your daily focus should only be on the next step towards that destination. While the distance to that goal may seem paralyzing, find confidence in knowing that you can always take the next step.
Second, don’t give up too soon. All too often we give up when our efforts don’t produce immediate results. Instead of making necessary adjustments to our plan, we jump off one horse (often too soon) and on to another, and then another, and then another, and…well, you get the idea.
However, there are times when your horse is dead. As hard as it may be to admit it, it’s time to get off the horse and move on.
The following “dead horse” strategies (original author listed as unknown), no matter how perfectly executed, will not produce desired results.
- Buying a stronger whip
- Changing riders
- Threatening the horse with termination
- Appointing a committee to study the horse
- Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses
- Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse
- Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed
- Donating the dead horse to a recognized charity, and deducting the full original cost
- Doing a time-management study to see if lighter riders would improve productivity
- Declaring a dead horse has lower overhead, and therefore performs better
I’m sure as you read this list you chuckled a little at the absurdity. However, I’m also guessing that the list may have made you a little uncomfortable as you see a bit of yourself in some of these strategies.
My challenge to you is:
- Define your destination
- Identify the fewest and simplest steps to get there
- Commit every week to the next step you will take
- Once a month or once a quarter, review your progress to your final goal
- As GPS Mayhem says, sometimes you need to “recalculate” your plan
- Go back to step 3
By the way, if you’re paying attention, you should never find yourself on a dead horse.
Photo by Micky Aldridge.