Levels to Achievement: Lesson 2 (Weekly Action and Getting Clear)
During the first Levels to Achievement lesson we introduced the levels concept and gave a system for creating levels with an end vision in mind. Let’s hit a quick recap before jumping into the action of Levels Lesson 2.
Define your vision in one of two ways—it’s either an Event or a Cumulative build up. Events are one big happening whereas Cumulative visions are step-by-step process creations. Which one you choose at a given time depends totally on you and what you’re trying/need to accomplish.
Once you have your vision penned, it’s time to break it into levels. The levels are incremental steps that take you toward your achievement—and they usually build on each other, growing in difficulty as the process continues on. (Think video game/systematic desensitization.)
It all sounds nice and simple, but this process can actually be tough. Creating a vision and then blazing a path to achieve it can seem daunting, and it’s often tough to just get clear.
There’s also the course of action that accomplishes each level. How do we handle that?
We’ll tackle those issues for the remainder of this lesson. And we’ll start with the week-to-week action that accomplishes each level.
What to do from Week to Week
Ok, let’s say that you have your vision crafted and your levels laid out. Everything seems ship shape—your vision seems clear enough and your levels build on each other in a way that makes sense. But then you’re like, “Holy damn! I don’t know what to do to actually achieve each level! What in the grand poop do I do now?”
Never fear the grand poop. Just take it. (Eat your heart out, Nike.)
The simplest thing, and likely the one that seems obvious to you, is to break the levels down further into week-to-week mini levels. Each mini level is One Thing that you’re going to do that week to move yourself closer to level achievement. To get that weekly One Thing, start with a brainstorm.
What are all the possible, productive things you could do that would take you closer to achieving the level at hand in relation to where you are now? Write them down. Once you have them all out prioritize them. Using a technique like 5/3/First helps with prioritization and starting action.
Once you have your priorities, or sequence, set, fill in your One Thing from week-to-week, starting at week 1 and finishing with week 4 of the level. You can also do this at the beginning of each week as you reassess where you are at and set priorities. Either works.
Now that you have your One Thing settled for the week, it’s time to create an action plan for getting it done.
One Thing Action Plan
Heads up—this is the exact weekly planning process that we use with the Strength Faction In-Depth coaching clients…and that I tried out on myself for a while before bringing it to our coaching. (My mentor, Bill Hartman started the process with me.)
So, you’re settled on your action item that’s going to take you one more rung up the ladder, one more step up the stairs, one more dance move toward being the flyest ever.
Now you need to consider all of the things you need to get it done: schedule, resources, accountability, obstacles, and a strategy for overcoming the obstacles.
Schedule—just when are you going to get it done?
Resources—is there anything you need to help you get it done?
Accountability—how are you going to hold yourself accountable to getting it done, or is there someone that can hold you accountable?
Obstacles—what could get in the way of you getting it done? (Hint: there’s ALWAYS something, so really think about this.)
Strategy to Overcome Obstacles—what can you do to keep the potential obstacles from keeping you from getting your one thing done?
Get it written into your schedule as you consider resources, accountability, obstacles and strategies. Then do.
What if Things Aren’t So Clear?
Let’s consider the possibility that your levels, and your vision, aren’t ginger-skin clear to you. Which is tough, by the way, because that’s severely clear—and burnable.
The best-case scenario is that you have a crystal clear vision of what you’d like to accomplish with levels perfectly plotted out to help you make that vision a reality. And this happens. But, more often than not, it happens after we’ve acted enough to learn about ourselves—to gain an understanding of how, in reality, we go about getting what we want.
What do you do if you’re not totally clear on your vision and aren’t sure about your levels? Something. You do something. But, before you do, here’s something to think about.
Keep in mind that it’s practice. Even if you’re working toward something that you deeply want, the process of getting there is practice and it’s all about reveling in the process, learning what works and what doesn’t. When you can frame the process with that, it takes some pressure off. Besides, at least you’re doing something, right? The only time to truly be disappointed in yourself is when you resign yourself to the sidelines as you watch your days slip by without doing anything that takes you farther in your life.
Here’s a little something else to think about—we imitate, rehearse, and act before we have any real cognitive concept of what we’re actually doing. That’s true for how we first explore the world as children, and how we map our lives as adults. Think about the last time you encountered a strange culture, or, shit, just went over to someone’s house for dinner that you didn’t know very well. You checked out the scene, imitated what everyone else was doing, and then started to gain context before you really had a complete concept of what was going on and what you were doing.
The same thing happens when we regard ourselves in the face of a new situation—or a new situation we’d like to create. We have to get some kind of forward movement going before we can truly conceptualize where it is that we’re going and what we need to do to get there. Action gives us information to examine in context. It gives us the chance to observe ourselves.
So, that means do.
Even if you’re not totally clear on your vision, write something down. Even if you’re not totally in love with your levels, write them down anyway and start strategizing on how to get to them. There’s a chance they’re going to change as you become clearer on your vision and what you deem as the best action steps to accomplish it. But you’re not going to know unless you get it all down and start doing something.
Doing and forward movement become the absolutely most important things when we are confused or unclear. They tell our brain that we’re gaining momentum and they give us the chance to learn.
If you’re not totally clear on your vision, write something that you think you’d like anyway.
If you’re not sure about the levels to get to that vision, plot them out anyway. Then start planning to accomplish them and acting on that planning.
If you find you start to get clearer through your course of action, well, then course correct. Re-write your vision and your levels, and then keep doing.