Last week this post talked about how we should use our mental power to think something into existence. The first step is to come up with the thought, the idea, the notion. I will use a joke I heard to illustrate the next step.
Five birds were sitting on a telephone wire and three decided to fly to Florida for the winter.
Q. How many birds are left on the wire?
A. Five, deciding to do something is only the first step, you have to take action to make it happen.
Coming up with the thought is a hard thing. It is not easy to think of good things to do. It is hard to think! But, as hard as it is to come up with an idea, to think of something to do, it is just the beginning. Once we get an idea we have to figure out how to go from thought to completed deed. So, the next step is to plan. Everyone has heard of the old cliche, "those who fail to plan, plan to fail." In order to think the thing into existence, you must figure out how to get from the thought to the completed action.
So, we need to be SMART in our thinking. I will use my plan to run the Philly Marathon this year as an example.
S specific, your plan needs to be specific. This means you must specifically state what it is you want to do. It must be a clear and unambiguous idea that you can clearly state to anyone. So I specifically state, I want to run the Philly Marathon in November 2012.
M measurable, you must be able to measure success or failure of the idea. This means there must be a way to measure if you have completed the idea. In my case, either I am at the starting line in November with my sneakers and a paper number pinned to my shirt or I am sitting at home making excuses.
A attainable, this means you must be able achieve the idea, this is not the time to dream the impossible dream. In my case, it means I have to be able to run for 26 miles in less than 7 hours.
R realistic, this means you must think of something that has a basis in reality, either presently, or by way of the action you are undertaking in order to carry out the thought. In my case, when I started the plan, I could run one block. However, part of my thinking involved the work of me getting up and running more and more each day.
T timely, this means that you must think of a way to get the thought to completion before it is to late to be worth doing. In my case, that means that I must plan to run the 26 miles by the middle of November. If the plan I come up with means I will not be able to run 26 miles until December 2012, the plan is not a good one.
To sum up, firsts we must think of something. We must conceive a plan. Next we need to be smart with our thinking in order to achieve the plan. Next week we will talk about how to be specific in our thinking.
So the question for this thrilling Thursday is, what are you going to use SMART thinking to achieve?