“What Do You Really Want? The key is living with awareness and intention.”
— Helen S. Rosenau
Do you have a plan for your life? How intentional are you about achieving your vision? Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.”
Every year I ask myself if my action plan is helping me become the person I’m designed to be, and leading me to fulfill my life’s purpose? Worthy dreams require intentional planning, living, and personal development, because it’s about who we become in the process that makes that dream worth pursuing.
Personal development is intentional, not incidental; you must be intentional to own your vision, you must take responsibility for what your planning and how you intend to grow through the stages of your plan.
It’s an interesting fact that more than half the billionaires in the world today are self-made. Another interesting fact is that before they were billionaires, they developed and stayed with a well thought out action plan, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
No sports team would believe they can win without committing to a game plan, and no one ever developed a highly successful business without a business plan. No one achieves natural security without a financial plan. Why would anyone believe they can achieve their dream without a plan?
Writing out an action plan is simple, it’s the commitment to it that’s challenging. I believe the acronym PAD (Preparation, Application, Dedication) can help with the daily commitment. Keep in mind that your personal growth must be a part of your action plans for your dream to become a reality.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
— Abraham Lincoln
Preparation helps you sort things out beforehand, and it gives you the advantage of being “in the game” before it begins. I’m saying when you know your purpose and adhere to your values, your preparation will give you a high probability of success.
Effectively planning for tomorrow enables you to visualize doing it today.
Anticipating possible challenges and delays now helps you to calculate the time allotted for those responsibilities.
Writing out a life plan is empowering applying it is the challenge.
Lawyer and politician Frank Clark said, “What great accomplishments we’d have in the world if everybody had done what they intended to do.” Your commitment to the preparation and planning stages lay out your priorities with good intentions; effectively applying your action plan is being intentionally good. Make quality commitments then manage those commitments every day.
Be clear on their priorities, assess your responsibilities in the light of your purpose. Be careful about what grabs your attention, learn when to say no, and know what you need to do now. William James said, “That which holds the attention, determines the action.”
Focusing on values and strengths produces higher quality outcomes.
Prioritizing getting the right things done first minimizes anxiety.
Delegating what’s outside your purpose and strengths saves time.
Highly Intentional leaders dedicate themselves to their purpose one day at a time. In his book, “Make Today Count”, John Maxwell describes managing his life daily, according to the following “Daily Dozen.”
Just for today…I will choose and display the right attitudes.
Just for today…I will determine and act on important priorities.
Just for today…I will know and follow healthy guidelines.
Just for today…I will communicate with and care for my family.
Just for today…I will practice and develop good thinking.
Just for today…I will make and keep proper commitments.
Just for today…I will earn and properly manage finances.
Just for today…I will deepen and live out my faith.
Just for today…I will initiate and invest in solid relationships.
Just for today…I will plan for and model generosity.
Just for today…I will embrace and practice good values.
Just for today…I will seek and experience improvements.
Just for today…I will act on these decisions and practice these disciplines.
And, then one day…I will see the compounding results of a day well lived.
“Intentional living is the art of making our own choices before others’ choices make us.”
— Richie Norton
*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co. ***