Planning for success
No athlete gets a gold medal just by turning up on the day and hoping for the best. Before they even get out on the track, they put a lot of time, thought and effort into their training plan.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to making plans that will lead to success. It might sound complicated now. But trust us; put your first moves to work over the next few weeks with the help of your planner and a notebook or diary and bouncing back will soon feel like a normal part of your routine.
Make your plan
If you’re not sure how to make a plan, here are some questions that will help you:
- What is the specific thing you are going to try?
- How will you know you've been successful?
- Who might you need to involve to make it happen?
- Is what you're aiming for realistic and achievable? Can you do it?
- How long do you think this will take?
Talking to someone you trust and who has some experience could help you answer any questions you’re not sure about. And using a notebook or diary will help you remember your plan.
Make your move
Put your plan into action
Once you’ve made your plan you need to put it into action. We’re not going to reach our goals in one big leap. It’s going to require lots of small steps to get us to the end. But you need to stick to it. It might feel complicated, but your plan will help you get there.
Keep looking ahead
It’s always good to have your eyes ahead so you stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve in the longer term. So as you work through your plan, give yourself time to think about:
- Is this move helping you with another one?
- Which move is next?
- How long will it take you?
- What’s the move after that and do you need to start preparing anything for that now?
Don’t attempt everything in one go, but plan in time to experiment, reflect and add to your plan as you go along.
Plan for setbacks
Making a new habit stick takes weeks. You need to keep trying. If you aren’t making progress or feel your motivation starting to wane, try changing the level of challenge or your approach.
- Accept setbacks. They’re normal! The only thing that makes a resilient person different is that they don’t feel defeated or beat themselves up. They pick themselves up and try again.
- We don’t want to be pessimistic but, as you’re planning, have a think. What could go wrong? What obstacles might there be?
- Is there anything you can do to reduce these risks, or prepare yourself to overcome them if they do happen?
Allow time to learn from success and mistakes
Keep track in your journal! Think, 'What did I do? What happened? How did I feel? What do I need to improve?'
Talk to someone about how it’s going – making a commitment increases the chances you’ll do it.
Check in regularly to reflect on your progress:
- What did you aim to do?
- What actually happened?
- What went well?
- What could have gone better?
- What shall you keep doing?
- What shall you try to do differently?
Our plan won’t really have an ending. Even adults need to keep practising how to be resilient, so we’ll actually be doing it for the rest of our lives. Luckily, by starting now, it’ll feel a lot easier by the time we get old and grey.