Galvin and Associates

Posts Tagged "planning"

A lot of people use the New Year’s holiday to make a list of personal projects they would like to accomplish. For example, I have a house project that needs to happen in the first half of this year. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I have been putting it off for four years now. I’ve wanted to work on it, but couldn’t quite find the time, didn’t have the help I needed at key points, and hadn’t talked in detail with Kathe about what she thought the final product should look like. I have really, really wanted to work on this but it hasn’t happened yet.

We don’t procrastinate on personal projects because we don’t want to do them, we simply don’t have enough time. Other people in our life need us and rely on us. We have other pre-existing commitments in life that we must fulfill. We have too many demands, needs, and habits that grab for any free time we might have. Our weekly routine leaves us stuck in a rut.

It takes more than good intentions to break through this inertia and get a personal project launched and completed. It also takes a pen and calendar. Research shows that those who write out their plans are 30% more likely to accomplish them then those who plan it in their head. Perhaps you also have a project that you’ve been putting off and this is the year you want to make it happen. If so, here are five steps to help you tackle your project.

Visualize it
Think about what your room or yard is going to look like when you’re all done. Envision it in detail and draw pictures of what it could look like. Use paint chips to explore color. Imagine how you want to feel when you see the finished product.

Break it down
Write out a detailed action plan with all the key steps and sub-steps listed. In general, the more steps you write down for your project the more likely you are to spot potential problems and experience success.

Enroll others
Talk to other people who will be impacted by your project. This may involve members of your family or even a group of friends who won’t be able to see you for a few Saturdays. Explain your plan to others and ask for their assistance on key steps. Those who get positive peer pressure working for them are more likely to accomplish their project.

Calendarize it
This is the hard part for me. Just making a firm commitment to work on the project over the winter is doomed to failure. I need to estimate the number of days this project will take, sit down with Kathe to talk it through, and block out specific afternoons months in advance. If your schedule is difficult to control because of your current conditions, block the time and feel free to move the blocks around as other things come up. Just don’t erase them.

Expect problems
As you work on your project you will experience setbacks. Because we live in a fallen world, almost no project goes perfectly smooth. A certain tool breaks when you need it or it rains on the day you are going to be outside. Simply make adjustments and keep working on other steps in the plan.

As we begin this New Year, what key project do you really, really want to tackle?