Overcoming setbacks: 7 steps to take when your plan fails

by coachingpositiveperformance

When you are setting goals and attempting to improve your life, you will spend time developing plans to help you achieve your objectives. Many times, these plans will prove to be effective and will lead swiftly to the achievement of your goals. Every so often, your plan fails and you suffer a setback. Setbacks happen to everyone; knowing how to react when your plan fails is an essential aspect of achievement. There is a simple little process which you can work through whenever your plan fails which will help you to adapt and get back on track without any great stress.

7 Steps to take when your plan fails

When your plan fails to achieve its objective, you can implement the following 7 steps to create a new plan and way forward. The end result will be an effective plan which builds on the positive aspects and overcomes the failings of your initial plan.

1. Clarify what the goal was

When your plan fails, the first thing that you need to do is to clarify what exactly you were hoping to achieve. You need to understand how close you came to accomplishing your goal.
Realism and accuracy are important here to help you avoid overreacting.

 2. Clarify the outcome

Once you are clear on what you were trying to achieve, it is imperative that you understand the outcome you achieved. It is rare that absolutely everything goes wrong, so take the time to determine both the positives and the negatives.  Ask yourself ‘What went well?’ and ‘What did not go so well?’ You will need to make some changes but it is important that in making those changes, you do not undo some of the good work that you have already done.

 3. List the things that went wrong

Build on the previous point by making a list of everything that went wrong. Try to capture every little detail. If others were involved, ask them for their thoughts. Remember to focus on the goal. This is not a moaning session; you are trying to identify the things that prevented you from achieving your goal. If people want to talk about other issues, leave that for another time.

 4. Divide the list in 2

When you feel that you have captured every detail, you need to divide the list in 2. When a plan fails, not everything which caused it to fail will have been within your control e.g. bad weather. Therefore, you must name your 2 lists – ‘things which I can control’ and ‘things which are outside of my control’. Review each item on your initial list carefully and place it under the appropriate heading.

 5. Chuck away the list of things you cannot change

Often, when a plan fails, people choose to curse and moan about the things they cannot control. If you focus on the things which you cannot control, you will soon find yourself banging your head against a wall (metaphorically speaking).  Instead, chuck this list away and resolve to focus solely on what you can change. When you focus only on the areas where you can make a difference, you will achieve greater results at a faster rate.

 6. Make an action plan

Now that you are left with a list of things which you can control, you need to develop an action plan for making the necessary changes. Action plans are not effective when they are focused on avoiding the negative. Your list is a list of things that went wrong. You now need to determine what you would want to happen in each of these instances and make plans for making this happen.

 7. Take action

When your first plan fails, you must not waste time wallowing in despair or self-pity. These things happen. At this point, you have now conducted a review and created some action plans for changing the situation. You need to set the wheels of change in motion at the earliest opportunity. Identify an action which you can take to get things going and take that action as soon as possible.
Learn to set effective goals that will take you from where you are to where you want to be with the Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting.

You may put a great deal of effort into planning and creating your ideal life. This is a good thing. There will be times when your plan fails and you do not achieve the goal you were aiming for. This is natural part of life. It is not a cause for despair. Rather than getting upset, you can review the situation, identify the changes which you can make and get back on track to achieving your objectives. Setbacks happen to everyone so, if you want to achieve your objectives, you have to learn how to deal with them effectively without getting too caught up in the disappointment that comes with them. If you follow the 7 steps outlined above, you will be able to deal with the majority of your setbacks without losing stride.

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