The moment you begin taking actions to achieve your goals you’re no longer planning. You’re DO-ing! And that’s a whole new ballgame.
Lesson: The Apollo Spaceflights
Before lift-off, before ever leaving earth’s orbit, the Apollo astronauts had a ‘plan’ for their mission to the Moon. It indicated where and when the astronauts would be from lift-off to touch-down. But their flight plan could never anticipate all the things that could happen. That’s why they made ‘minor corrections’ — a 2 second engine ‘burn’ here, a 5 second ‘burn’ there — throughout the mission.
Historically, the astronauts were on their ‘flight plan’ only about 2% of each flight! But, by regularly evaluating their position and taking corrective actions as needed, they always achieved, in the end, a successful flight.
Evaluation is Diagnosis . . . Done After ‘Lift-Off’
You begin your planning process by assessing where you are, now. As you implement your plan, you want to assess how you are doing ‘now’ at regular intervals over time. You want to compare your ‘actual vs. planned’ results. As you find discrepancies (trust me, you will!), you can use a problem-solving process to help you take actions to correct the situation. Eventually, you will achieve your larger goal because you’re making corrections ‘in-flight’.
Periodic evaluations and corrective actions . . . lead to SUCCESS!