''If you fail to plan you are planning to fail''- Benjamin Franklin
If there ever were a group of people who need successful planning, it's the Special Air Service.
Poor planning can jeopardize a mission, and for the SAS this could mean death.
SAS- Who Dares Wins is a great read as 4 ex-SAS soldiers share their first-hand accounts of life in the special forces, all the way from the grueling selection process to bloody battles behind enemy lines.
One of my biggest takeaways is a 5-step process SAS soldiers use to plan a mission. In fact, I applied the 5 steps to one of my own personal missions (marketing my 30-Day Confidence Challenge) and found it hugely helpful for creating a clear plan of action. These are the 5 steps:
1. Determine your mission.
The first step is to get super clear on what your mission (goal) is.
It's important when capturing your mission, it meet's the following criteria. Is it:
- Specific? Is your clearly defined? Lose weight isn't specific. Be 5 kilos lighter is.
- Measurable? Will you be able to clearly measure the success of your mission once carried out?
- Timed? What time frame do you wish to achieve your goal in?
2. Identify threats.
What threats exist that could make achieving your goal difficult?
Although your threats may not be as life-threatening as the SAS member's, don't skip this stage. Becoming aware of potential threats (perhaps distractions, lack of time, negativity) will help you to execute your plan with higher levels of awareness meaning you can have strategies in place for minimizing the likeliness and impact of threats.
3. What assets are available to you- financial, physical, intellectual?
What assets are available to you? In my Coaching sessions, I ask a similar question- What resources do you have available to you? Resources could include a large budget, the right contacts, skills like resourcefulness and creativity. It's easy to overlook the resources we have available to us but by asking this question and writing down all the assets/resources you can think of, this helps to instill faith that you're not alone and without support.
4. Evaluate previous experiences.
There's no need to reinvent the Wheel. Looking back at past, similar experiences and using strategies that have proven effective before can save you time when creating a plan of action.
What if this is something completely new?
Model what has worked for others. Success leaves clues! Even if you haven't achieved this goal before, research people who have achieved it. What course of action worked for them? How could you repeat this for achieving your own goals?
5. Determine the best course of action.
Having answered the previous 4 questions, you're now in a good place to determine the best course of action.
What steps could you take to achieve your goals?
In what sequence will you need to take the actions?
Cheers for reading, let me know your thoughts by leaving me a comment.
P.S Check out the '40 % Rule', some more wisdom from the military.
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