Take Flight – Plan Your Flight

On this 185th episode of my Monday Morning Pep Talk, I will discuss the planning and action steps necessary to make your "destination" a reality. If you commit to the planning process I am teaching today, it's not a matter of "if, but when" you reach your 3YV (3 Year Vision). I'll cover the "periodization,” the process of breaking goals down into smaller chunks, outlined in the book The 12 Week Year written by Brian Moran, the book that has become my operations manual for goal attainment.

Before we get into these details, I want to review the last few weeks of content. On our tour through the "cockpit of the aircraft,” we covered:

  1. "The Mind" and the crucial need to understand how it works and impacts your life and business. If you've not listened to this episode, it's a must listen. Revisit Episode # 182 here.
  2. The need to go through an elimination process prior to any detailed focus of on your life and business. Go back and listen to Episode #183 if you've not already.
  3. Vision. You have to have a destination for your "flight.” If you don't know where you are going, then what's the point? I covered that in Episode #184.

Take Flight builds on itself each week. What I present in each session is a simple 20 minute module. I'm using these MMPTs to show you the process, step-by-step, of how to build your business and improve your life. It's common for a broker/entrepreneur to want to skip these 3 areas and jump right into action but I have case study after case study of major personal and professional breakthroughs that happen by focusing on the areas covered throughout this set of essential episodes.

So, what is the “The 12 Week Year?” Let's do a quick review of the business and life planning strategy based on the book.

  1. Create and commit to a 3 Year Vision. Your goals are your goals. Do not focus on others and what you feel other's expectations are of you or what you feel the industry's expectations are for you. If you haven't created your 3-year vision, (3YV) start there. Dan Sullivan has this question: "If we were having this discussion 3 years from today and we were looking back over those 3 years, what would have had to happen in your life, both personally and professionally, for you to feel happy with your progress?" Great question. This whole process is about answering that question.
  2. Develop an "Annual Theme" that will be the focus of your quarterly initiatives for the current year. (This is an addition I've made to the 12 Week Year process.)
  3. Identify a word or words that describe your vision. Words such as consistency, stability, respect, elevate, execution and mastery are all words I've seen used with effectiveness.
  4. Create your first quarterly initiative that supports your Annual Theme and 3-year vision. What is the low-hanging fruit?  More on this in a bit.
  5. Take your quarterly initiative and break it down into 12 separate "to do's.” One for each week of the quarter.
  6. Commit to winning the week. Develop a tracking mechanism to make sure you execute on your weekly promises to yourself.
  7. Execute. Your weekly initiative could be as simple as making a 15-minute call or it could be a 3-hour time block to put deep work into a specific project.
  8. Identify an accountability partner(s) and have a "WAM" (weekly accountability meeting ) every week.
  9. Each quarter has a 13th week. Take the last quarter of every quarter to celebrate your successes that quarter. If you've not read The Gap and the Gain by Dan Sullivan with Dr. Benjamin Hardy, read it. Learn to measure backwards. You'll also take this week to finalize your initiatives for the next quarter.

Throughout all of the Take Flight sections and modules, I will be linking back to this episode because this strategy is that important. Don't question these concepts, just execute. They work.

If you are identifying your quarterly initiative and are stuck, consider the following:

  1. Start with elimination. Eliminate the anchors.
  2. Once you've eliminated bad habits - issues that are getting in your way of high performance, lead generation strategies that don't work, etc. - move on to opportunities. Many times, those opportunities are productivity habits and rituals and database/relationship management strategies that already work for you. Commit to more of that!
  3. Improve your skills. Read, network, talk to others, test new strategies. You do not wade into #3, until you've done #1, and then #2.

Does it seem difficult? It shouldn't. Many of you think that you have to experience severe "pain" to be successful. If I've learned one thing over the last 15 years, I've been amazed at how simple success in your life and business (your definition) can be if you have a plan, follow the plan, and then sprint and celebrate. You just have to get up every day and execute. What's interesting is that many avoid this process because they think it is too much work… all the while, working away on things that don't matter, ultimately wasting a lot of time and energy.

This week's guiding principle:  Plan, execute, track, celebrate, repeat.

If you haven't started the 12 Week Year process, consider taking the full next quarter to implement it. Start by reading the book.

Check out my Instagram for a picture of me 3+ years ago. My message in the caption is that today’s version of me would essentially give the advice to that earlier version that “people overestimate what can be accomplished in 1 year and underestimate what can get done in 3 years.” If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that this phrase is 100% true.