A Plan Without a Deadline Isn’t Really a Plan

I make plans. Big plans.

I've got an Evernote folder full of ideas. Originally, that folder was called “plans.” I've changed it now.

Now, it's called “Someday/Maybe.”

I made the change when I realized that many of my “plans” had been sitting in that folder for many months. In fact, some of the big plans in that folder had been there for years.

A plan without a deadline isn't really a plan. It's an interesting idea—maybe. But until you give it a deadline, it's not going anywhere (except that big folder).

I spent an afternoon on the phone with a coaching client a few weeks ago. We came up with an amazing plan for growing her practice. She already does $1.5 million a year. We're working on doubling that revenue. We detailed, step-by-step, the actions she needs to take to build the infrastructure to support the new clients, and we pulled together a marketing plan for taking the revenues on up.

Then we turned to scheduling the plan. I wanted to put a date next to each step of the plan. I wanted her to commit to getting the job done in 24 months.

She wasn't so sure.

When I pushed on a date for the first step, she explained that she had some messes to clean up first. She needs to get her house in better order before she starts, she explained.

I kept bringing the conversation back to setting dates, and I kept getting resistance. At some point, I realized these plans aren't ever going to get implemented.

You've got some things you'd like to change. You've got a plan. Are there dates associated with the tasks? If not, your plan really isn't a plan.

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