Getting Started with the Success Framework

The Success Framework is a continuous cycle of planning, action, and reflection. It is designed to provide structure in a flexible way. The structure reduces chaos, while the flexibility reduces stress.

Plan

Suppose you take a spontaneous road trip. You go hop in the car right now and start driving. Where do you go? What do you eat? Where do you sleep? Without a plan, these questions are answered randomly. You don’t know until it happens, which means you have no influence on the outcome. This road trip could result in some really interesting stories … or it could result in danger, anxiety, financial ruin, or worse.

Planning allows you to think about your ideal road trip and the desired outcomes. It allows you to prepare with money for lodging, a cooler for meals, and a list of sights that you actually want to see.

Spontaneous adventures can be quite enjoyable if you have no goals in mind. For the purpose of the framework, though, we will assume your success depends on hitting certain milestones.

Act

This is the enjoyable part. Imagine you have mapped out your road trip, packed everything you need, and are ready to set out on the open road. You have a plan, and all you have to do now is follow the plan. The plan gives you structure, remember? But what if you experience delays due to road construction and miss your dinner reservation? No big deal. You can either improvise on the spot or you can execute your backup plan if you felt it was valuable to make one in advance. Because you are flexible, you can make decisions along the way that differ from your original plan. You just have to do so responsibly.

Reflect

Continuous improvement is vital to most people’s success. Improvement does not imply incompetence. Even the best of the best can always improve.

Continuing with the road trip analogy, imagine your first day of the trip went off without a hitch. At the end of the day, you replay the events and try to find something that could have been better. Maybe your morning coffee was served in a flimsy paper cup that was hot on your hand. You can choose to purchase a reusable cup that is better insulated or simply research the cups used at the coffee shop before placing your order. The point is that your day could have gone better, so you make small changes toward a better tomorrow.

Iterate

I’ve made it sound so simple, but it actually is that simple. You simply plan, act, and reflect over and over at intervals that work with your desired rate of progress, your ego (which may deplete and lead to burnout if you don’t pace yourself), and your busy schedule.

The framework is simple to implement because we are intentional about making it simple. We do not aim to plan every aspect of our entire life in one planning session. We are flexible about when and how we plan … and even about which aspects we plan. We realize that even the most sound plans are often thwarted by life. We can dwell on the setbacks or we can pivot our stance and keep moving forward. Here is a hint: the latter is usually preferred.

What’s Next?

The first thing you should plan is your first planning session. This is our entrance to the cycle. Simply set aside a block of time to plan. This can be 15 minutes at lunch, 30 minutes before bed, or a randomly chosen hour. The action here is to use the block of time to plan something. Then, a day or two later, reflect on how your planning time went. We will explore what the first planning session might look like in the next post. Until then, feel free to read this one multiple times and contact me if you need help understanding the aim of the Success Framework or how it might impact your life.

Help

We now have limited availability on our schedule for “Success Sessions“. These are one-on-one sessions focused on you to get you started immediately. It’s a bit of discovery, a bit of accountability, and a bit of celebration. We would love to set aside some time with you. Why not start now by scheduling a session?

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