Monday, December 19, 2011

Plan Ahead

In 1997, at Oxford University, they needed to replace the huge wooden beams in the ceiling of one of the old dining halls.  The gigantic oak beams had begun to show signs of rotting, so the replacement was a matter of necessity, not just beautification.  University officials, however, were concerned that they wouldn't be able to find lumber large enough and strong enough for the project.  Then the forester of the university explained that there was no problem.  When the dining hall was built five centuries ago, the forward-thinking university administrators of that day had planted a grove of oak trees specifically for the purpose of replacing those beams when the time came. - Now that’s good planning. 

The acrostic PLAN AHEAD provides a formula for good planning. 

Predetermine your destination.
            Good planning requires that you predetermine where you want to be    
in the future. 

Lay out your goals.
            Lay out your goals after determining your destination.  Goals are not the final destination. They are the stepping stones to reaching your destination.

Adjust your priorities.
            The moment you determine your destination and lay out your goals, you’ll need to adjust your priorities.  If your priorities do not help you reach your desired destination, you will never arrive there. 

Notify Key Personnel
            Bring key people around you.  These would be key influencers in your area.  Those who support you and can help you.

Allow time for acceptance
            Allow time for questions.  Allow time for people to ask the needed questions. 

Head into Action.
            Now you can get moving in the direction to reach your desired destination. 

Expect Problems.
            Planning does not eliminate problems.  Motion causes friction.  Planning can help you attack problems effectively but it will not eliminate problems. 

Always point to your successes.
            There are always those who will point out all your failures.  To counter this, point to the success in your life. 

Daily review your plan.

Remember: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.