New Year objectives

Rod Davis knows a thing or two about motivating people. As well as being a world-class sailor himself he has coached many sailors to Olympic success. Here are his thoughts on how to motivate yourself to achieve your goals: it doesn’t matter if you want to be get to the Olympics, shed a few kilos, or fly to the moon, he says, here’s how to put your New Year objectives into action.

Objectives > Gameplan > Execution

This is Rod’s mantra. Objectives > Game Plan > Execution. In that order!  Each aspect is as important as the next and they must be taken in order. That order is key, and is the most common mistake when it comes to achieving what you ­originally set out to do.

Objectives need to be clear, definable, realistic and thus achievable. Once you have objectives, write them in big letters and put them up on the wall so that everyone can see them. Kind of ‘this is who we want to be’.

Next comes the gameplan, the mechanics of achieving the objectives, including a timetable of milestones. If the objective relies on other key people then you need to get them involved right from the beginning. Don’t blindly believe the first gameplan you come up with will be robust enough… or the best. It might take version five before you are really happy that it is the best you can do to achieve those objectives on the wall above you. Don’t rush it; think it all the way through to the end. Then write up the gameplan (this is really the blueprint of how you are going to meet your objectives) on the wall under the objectives – smaller font but easy to ready from anywhere in the room. That bit’s important.

Situations may change, so gameplans may have to change. If the situation has shifted enough to modify a well thought-out gameplan it will be well worth repainting the new plan for all to see and play towards.

Finally, we are down to execution: roll up your sleeves, the hard part is about to start. Namely taking that flawless (at least no flaws we could find!) gameplan and making it happen. Nothing left out, nothing left on the table or discarded, and make it happen within the agreed timetable. The bigger the objectives are the more you rely on others, and the slicker you need to be – communication, motivation, monitoring progress, delegation, trust, ownership and all that stuff book upon book are filled with. The best gameplan always fails miserably without great execution.

Although the three are equal in importance Objectives > Gameplan > Execution; in terms of effort, it goes Objectives 30%, Gameplan 40%, Execution 100%.

Adapted from an article by Rod Davis in Seahorse magazine


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