Manage With a Plan - Principle #3

Two Powerful Ways to Make Your Goals a Reality

Henry Ford had a vision that affects how you live today. He envisioned that every American would own a car.

He faced many obstacles, including the high cost to produce and sell cars. Even his own workers couldn’t afford a car on the $2-per-day wage he was paying.

To achieve his vision, he had to lower the cost of production.

He was successful. The lower costs were achieved through the creation of franchised networks of dealers that made the cars immediately available across America. Additionally, Ford created the assembly line. The result was that Henry Ford’s plant could produce a Model T chassis in ninety-three minutes instead of the more than 13 hours originally required.

Ford also doubled wages from $2 per day to $5 per day for the average assembly line worker. With this move, Ford reduced worker turnover due to the monotony of work on the assembly line, created an instant labor pool as people flocked to Michigan, and increased production time by making it possible to run three shifts. Workers could now work three, 8-hour shifts.

Ford also organized local motor clubs where people were trained and encouraged to explore their world by “taking a drive.” The story of how Ford accomplished his vision is American legend.

As Ford turned his vision into reality, he changed history. For the first time ever, the average American could afford a car.

As you focus on turning your personal or business vision into reality you will experience GREAT results. Here are 4 simple steps to help you develop a plan to realize your vision:

4 Steps to Make Your Vision a Reality

Step #1: Set specific goals in key areas.
Identify key areas of your life. For example, spouse, manager, parent, etc. Determine what you would like to do this year and beyond in each of those key areas of your life. Set goals for each key role.

Step #2: Develop a specific plan to accomplish your goals.
Now that you have clearly written, specific goals, you can develop a plan to accomplish it. For example, if your goal is to run a 10k in less than a 10 minute mile by September 30th, then you would need to develop an exercise plan and milestones to accomplish that goal. Ask yourself Who will do What by When.

Step #3: Use Pre-week planning and plan your priorities each week.
Review your vision and goals each week to determine what you can specifically do this week to accomplish your goals.

Step #4: Set milestones and measure your results.
Establish specific dates and milestones to measure your progress. This will help ensure that you’re on track or whether you need to make some adjustments to your plan.

Weekly Action

1. Choose an area that’s important to you, your team, or your family and follow the FOUR steps above to develop a plan. For example, as a business, it might be important to get your customer satisfaction rating up to 97.5%. Personally, you may want to lose weight and so you might set a goal to be at X pounds before November 1st. Whatever you choose, follow the four steps above to get on the path to making that goal a reality.

2. Read pages 39 – 54 in Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of High Successful Leaders for additional ideas and thoughts on how to set goals and develop a plan.

Two Things To Make You 90% More Likely To Achieve Your Goals

By doing just two simple things, you can increase your goal success rate by 90%.

Yet, on average, less than 10% of people actually do these things…and far less do them using the powerful Roles and Goals technique below.

While speaking with a close friend, he mentioned that he felt like something was missing in his life–despite having a happy family and financial success. So I asked him about his goals and he confessed he had never written any goals down in his life!

So we talked about some powerful goal setting techniques and he decided to give them a try. He came up with five goals he wanted to accomplish that year, one of which was to run a 5k in less than 30 minutes by July 31st.

Amazingly, he accomplished every single one of his goals that year. He said, “I never would have accomplished a single one if I hadn’t written them down and shared them.”

The two powerful tips you can use, just like my friend, are to 1) Write your goals down and 2) Share them with a person you respect.

You can use this extremely powerful goal-setting technique called Roles and Goals to further help you achieve your annual goals.

Here’s how it works:

1. Review your vision.
All your goals should support your vision and help it to become a reality.

2. Determine your roles.
One of your roles could be “personal.” Other roles might include: Parent, Spouse, Son/Daughter, Citizen, Caretaker, Employee, Church Member, and so on.

3. Write down your S.M.A.R.T. annual goals.
Effective goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Specific (SMART). An example of a SMART goal is my friend’s goal to run a 5k in less than 30 minutes by July 31st. Contrast that SMART goal with a poorly written goal such as “exercise more” or “get in shape.”

4. Share you goals with people you respect.
Choose a couple of people who you admire and who you trust. Send them your goals and tell them you’ll report back to them in one year.

By using Roles and Goals, you will be much more likely to accomplish your goals. Invest a minute and do the weekly action items below to help you set your goals:

Weekly Action

1. Download this Word Document:
My Roles And Goals.docx

In the Word Document, fill out and customize your own Roles & Goals using the 4 steps in this e-mail.

2. Read pages 39 – 54 in Becoming Your Best: The 12 Principles of High Successful Leaders for additional ideas and thoughts on how to set goals and develop a plan

This simple process has literally changed my life and thousands of people I’ve had the chance to associate with through the years.

Two Powerful Ways To Make Your Goals A Reality

An age old axiom states, When you fail to plan, you plan to Fail.

This is more true today than ever! Good plans are vital to turning your vision into a reality!

A key part to any good plan is having effective goals; particularly annual goals that drive you to achieve your greatest potential. Consider these examples as illustrations.

As you read these examples, consider this checklist for managing with a plan:


  • Is there a goal?
  • Is the goal SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time driven?
  • Is there a plan to achieve the goal?
  • Is there someone to be accountable to?

Example 1: As an administrator of a new local private school, you have a vision of becoming the most prestigious and stable private school in the city. To accomplish this, you write down the following goal:

  • Increase enrollment of students 25% by August of next year.
  • The plan is to develop a strategy this month that includes investing $10,000 per quarter in marketing campaigns that will increase our presence online and in the community.
  • We will set milestones and measure our progress, then report to the board monthly.

Example 2: As a middle-age, hardworking individual, you have a vision of being more fit and agile. You write down the following goal:

  • Run a half-marathon by July 30th, of this year.
  • I will set milestones and plan to attend the gym every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
  • Also, I will set my phone alarm to ring at 6:30 a.m. on those days as a reminder to go to the gym.
  • I will share the plan with my spouse and be accountable to him or her each weekend.

These are good examples of how to manage with a plan. Think about how many people have a vision about something, but never develop a plan to achieve that vision!

However, those that manage with a plan turn vision into reality! Henry Ford had a plan and revolutionized the way the world moves. Ernest Shackleton saved his stranded team of men from Antarctic because of a well thought out and deliberate plan. Think of all you can achieve by taking some time to plan your future now!

Weekly Action

1. Set goals. If you haven’t written your annual goals, review the list I mentioned earlier and take a few minutes to do so. If you already have annual goals, take a few minutes to review them and make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant to your vision, and time driven.

2. Develop a plan to accomplish your goals. Take a few minutes and develop a detailed plan to accomplish your goals. What are your milestones and who are you accountable to?

3. E-mail us and tell us specifically how you’re applying this principle this week. Respondents will be entered into a drawing to win a 30 minute FREE coaching session at the end of the quarter.

Have a terrific week and enjoy the process of setting and reviewing your goals!

What Are Olympian's Goals?

Swim 1+ miles, bike 56 miles, and run 13 miles as quickly as possible! That is the vision for a triathlete.

Every good vision also needs a plan. About 16 weeks prior to competing, a triathlete usually develops a plan in order to achieve their physically demanding vision. That plan likely includes such things as daily workouts, healthier eating, and more sleep. This plan will help the triathlete be prepared come race day.

Goals should be an integral part of all plans. I am continually amazed by how few people have and use goals. A recent study by Virginia Tech found 80% of Americans don’t have goals, yet those who regularly write down goals earn nine times as much over their lifetime. Regardless of where you are in life, goals can help you have a solid plan and excel at what you do.

3 tips for setting good goals:

  1. Determine whether or not the goal aligns with your vision.
  2. Ensure the goal is SMART—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Specific.
  3. Share your goals with a friend or family member. Report back to that person.

One Olympian’s Plan to Break the World Record

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 medals! He openly credits much of his success to his goals and ability to consistently work towards those goals.

One of his goals was to earn eight gold medals in each Olympics that he participated in. To achieve that goal, he developed a plan that included at least six days of intense training a week. Each day included anywhere from two to five hours of training. Regarding his training plan, Michael said, “If you don’t put the work in, you can’t really expect to get much out of it. I’m more than willing to put the work in so I’m swimming fast at the end of the year.”

Weekly Action

1. Set goals that will help you achieve your vision. Ensure any goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Specific) and that you share your goal with someone you can report back to. Write down your goals in your Thoughts Book.

2. Identify whether or not your goals align with your vision. If not, they should be adjusted or eliminated. For example, if part of your organization vision is “to have the most unified and proficient workforce,” every aspect of your plan should be assessed to see if it achieves unity and proficiency.

3. E-mail us and tell us specifically how you’re applying this principle this week. Respondents will be entered into a drawing to win a 30 minute FREE coaching session at the end of the quarter.

I wish you the best this week as you strive to further align your plans with your vision.