A Success Plan for Life

Looking at the calendar on my wall, instead of just seeing the days filled with things to do, if I step back a bit, I see we have already ended our first quarter of the year. Who snapped their fingers & made it so?

39 or 39ish. How many of you can guess what this number means? It is the number of days until CHRISTMAS (depending on when you read this article). Again, someone snapped their fingers & time had flown by. There is a meme going around which says something like this:

Walmart wants me to do my Christmas shopping in a Halloween costume & eat turkey, all at the same time. That about sums up this time of year.

As busy as we all are personally, Toastmasters adds to the mix. We have contests, training, Circles of Gold, Area Visits, and special events (anniversaries, etc.), not to mention our own development through delivering speeches, participating in club meetings, & receiving a plethora of requests for help. Does it ever end?

The simple answer is ‘Yes’ – when you’re dead. As long as you’re alive, you will have people & organizations vie for your time. If you’re anything like me, you want to remain in the land of the living for as long as possible. The question then becomes how to make the merry-go-round of activities or requests for help stop.

Creating a Success Plan

Let’s follow the lead of Toastmasters. We gently & constantly remind the clubs, areas, & divisions to develop a success plan. (This is not nagging; this is encouragement.) Creating a Success Plan is how each level knows where they’re going & how to get there.

As individuals, such an activity can also help you, so here’s a thought: Create a success plan for your life.  Think about what a Success Plan could do for you. Some people are overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a long-term plan. Then don’t.  Create a plan which is doable for you. Perhaps it’s a month, maybe three months or even a year. The point is to start. Some guidelines for success planning:

  1. Reflect on your strengths—write them down; as more come to mind, continue to add to the list as you recall more. Perhaps you could share this with others you are close to. They may see some strengths you haven’t considered.
  2. Consider your opportunities—write them down, and continually add them to the list. Again, share with someone else. As they say, two heads are better than one.
  3. Articulate your aspirations—write them down, refine & be specific as you go. For instance, saying I want to travel is not as effective as “I want to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower”.

Then create an action calendar; set a time frame to accomplish both small & large steps. As time goes by,

  1. Analyze your results—have you accomplished what you wanted? If not, carry on. Deadlines are artificial concepts. You can always change/extend the timeline for a goal.

Just like a Success Plan for a club, an area, or a division, your personal Success Plan will create a roadmap for your life, both immediate and future. It does not matter how young or old you are. This is but one of the keys to maximizing your potential. Use it to enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

Bev LeBlanc, DTM
District Director 2022-2023

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