If You Fail To Plan, You Are Planning To Fail

“There are two pains in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment.  If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you’ll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment.” – Nick Saban

Passion drives a vision, Position directs it and Peculiarity determines ownership, with a vision in place we are enabled to move into the action.  This is the Plan.  Remember, a vision without a plan is merely a wish…  Countless individuals have had greater and broader visions than others, yet it was the failure to execute the vision within a plan in which becomes their demise.

Maybe you have a vision to improve your fitness level or better manage your finances and time.  These are wonderful ideas, but sitting around talking about them will not bring success.  I have heard numerous men and women tell me how they ‘need’ to make healthier choices, ‘need’ to cut back on spending and ‘need’ to tighten up their schedule.  All the while they are eating a doughnut, scrolling through Amazon for a new top to add to the already twenty they don’t wear, at the same time bouncing back and forth on social media.

We’ve all heard the saying ‘talk is cheap’ which is incredibly true, but the cost is high.  We use the word ‘need’ today without consequence, what we need is to breath, drink water and eat food.  What we desire is better health, finances and more time.  Well, if you are willing to develop a disciplined mindset in your vision, it will require a suitable plan to execute, which can be broken down into three segments: purpose, preeminence and practicality.



Purpose Drawing

Purpose is defined as “the reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc.”.  One of the first questions we must ask ourselves when designing a plan is: “what is the purpose?”.  In all fairness, if this question cannot be answered rather quickly, one must stop, rethink the element in which is truly driving their vision.  Faulty visions will fuel a fire of failure quicker than anything.

Here is an example, someone wants to lose ten pounds, this would be the vision.  In order to execute this vision, they must be passionate about losing the weight, have the position in their daily schedule to perform the required exercise to do so and the desire to lose the weight must be for themselves (it must be peculiar or personal for them, not another’s).  So, again, what’s the purpose?  The answer is to lose ten pounds correct?  Yes, but to drop weight for ‘kicks and giggles’ is not a purpose, neither is “because my buddy wants to”.

Learning to be disciplined in order to execute the vision outlined in a plan first requires purpose.  In our given scenario, someone wants to lose ten pounds; herein is the vision.  The plan is to do so by taking the needed steps in healthy choices, increasing their level of fitness and maintaining the proper food and water intake. Now purpose kicks in, meaning when all the dust settles and the new wears off, there is a fire from within pushing this person to walk past the junk food aisle, get into the gym when it is cold outside and take the time to prep meals the night before.  PURPOSE! The reason for which something exists or is done.

Some good examples of purpose in our example would be, better fitting clothes, improved movements on the rig, lower blood pressure or in many cases the difference between certain diagnoses which are directly associated to being overweight.  A plan is a necessity, without a plan, goals are only words written on paper which worth less than the ink it is written with.

“Anyone can say they want success, but the one with a disciplined mindset will see it come to pass.”

So, today, search your heart, what is the purpose of your vision?  You already have the image in your mind of what you want to become or achieve.  Are you ready to make the choices today in order to attain such vision thus fulfilling your heart’s desire?  If so, your plan is beginning, find the purpose and drive onward and upward.

Plans are not a promise, they are a protection in the midst of preparation.” – (BJS)

The Plan… sounds simple… and in reality, it is very simple.  You either have a plan or you do not, however, simple things are quite often not easy things.  This is a great misconception in life, assuming simplicity is equivalent to ease, when in fact, they typically hail from opposite corners.

Within the discipline mindset, one will develop a plan with great intention on executing the vision.  Success is determined by the execution, not the vision or even the plan.  This is why and where the difficulty arises.  Take diets for example, (I really do not like the word ‘diet’, mainly because when someone hears the word it has a temporary connotation, but in truth, diet refers to the daily or regular intake of nutrients), according to the Annual Diet and Healthy-Eating Report, the average dieter follows 55 fad diets during their lifetime at a staggering cost of £30,000, which is enough money to put a deposit down on a first home.  Sadly, only one in three people will actually lose weight and just one in five feel better from the new regimes.

Why?  Because their vision was not OWNED by themselves, therefore the plan was faulty at the first.  Herein, is where CHANGE must take place, a renewed mind; with a mindset of discipline taking ownership and responsibility for our life, understanding the personal choices made are OUR decisions and not another’s.  Just because someone around us has made bad choices in their life does not mean we have to follow suit.  We can and must break the mould and move onward to a bigger and brighter future.  We are responsible for our own decisions and must hold ourselves accountable for poor choices as well as wise ones (yes, you can reward yourself for doing right).

How? This is our second segment involved in executing the plan, which is:


Hands holding a doughnut and an apple

Preeminence is defined as “the state or character of being preeminent” with preeminent meaning “eminent above or before others; superior; surpassing”.  In other words, if something is preeminent in one’s life it takes priority above and beyond other things.  It will outshine and stand out in our hearts and mind thus influencing us to make wise decisions in life.

This is true in our dieting (daily and regular intake of nutrients), time management, financial budgeting, relationships etc.  Making wise decisions based upon a vision within an established plan with a purpose must take preeminence in our life in order for success to be prevalent.

This is how new behaviour is established, by making planned choices, which in turn develops into a habit.  We have often heard it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, however, there are flaws in this statement and science has proven so.  First off, many of the self-help gurus in the world have taken such information by partially portraying the statement of Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon in the 1950s, who began to find in many of his patients, it took “a minimum of 21 days” to adjust to their new image.  The ‘Tony Robbins’ of our day removed “a minimum of” and ran with the  ’21 day’ promise, giving people the sense of assurance they would be a new person in less than a month.  It is quite possible for this to work with certain folks.  However, if this was a definitive truth, we would not have ‘dieters’ jumping on and off 50 different fad-diets in their lifetime.  More recent studies have revealed it takes more than 2 months before a new behaviour becomes automatic, 66 days to be exact, and in more comprehensive research we found it has taken anywhere from 18 to 254 days for people to form a new habit.

What does this mean for us?  It means new behaviour and the developing of positive habits are dependent upon a person who has more than a desire for change, but rather a drive.  A drive to fulfil a plan with a purpose, based upon a realistic vision, placing it at the forefront of their day, thus making choices giving it preeminence in their life.

“If it was easy, everyone would do it… Simplicity doesn’t always equal ease, and ease quite often isn’t very simple.”

As we enter into the final step of the plan we will walk into the disciplined mindset of our goals.  Prior to doing so there is one final point to address.  The reality is our plan must make sense, it absolutely is required to be sensible.  So often, we get excited about change and begin to take on a new approach to life, which is commendable, because the cold hard fact is if you make no changes, you will get the same results!  This means the plan must be:


A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow” – George S Patton

The word practical is defined as “relating to practice or action”, but commonly refers to good judgment in an action, conduct, and the handling of everyday matters.

steps towards your goal

The same applies when it comes to developing plans for success, especially since it leads to establishing goals.  The discipline mindset is one of power and passion, it will produce positivity.  But alongside such great benefits, there is an excitement which comes with envisioning the outcome.  It is at this moment when practicality plays its most prevalent role by drawing the vision and plan into the realm of sensibility.

You cannot reach what you cannot see, goals must be achievable, attainable and applicable.  If there is anything you come away with from this article, let it be this statement, allow it to be indelibly written in your mind.  It will be the one thing, keeping you disciplined in the establishment of goals, it is the practical side of success and winning.

No one has ever woken up in the morning and said, “I cannot wait to lose today.”  The act of losing is unnatural and uncomfortable, even though it is a destined event in every aspect of life (i.e. we lose friends, competitions, games etc.).  Having the practical part in the disciplined mind will keep us from setting expectations in which we will only meet with failure.  This does not mean by any stretch of the imagination we should settle for mediocrity, it does mean our plan needs to meet reality.

A practical plan brings about goals which will complement and build upon one another and in many ways function symbiotically as a whole rather than individual measures and marks.  Ask these questions concerning our plan: Does it have a purpose?  Can I give it preeminence?  Is it practical?

“You cannot reach what you cannot see, goals must be achievable, attainable and applicable.”

Coach BJ Stagner

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