When starting out in a new endeavor, it's worth taking the time to think through what lies ahead of you. This applies whether we’re talking about a new job, new role, new organization, new project, or even a new sport. Putting first things first will help you move forward with focused energy and renewed purpose.
I think about it this way:
- Why am I doing this? What do I intend to accomplish?
- How am I going to go about it? What are my various options available and what different paths might I take to get there? Will one approach be more fun, or fruitful, than another?
- What gaps in information, resources or training do I absolutely need to fill, in order to enhance my likelihood of success? “On-the-job training” is great, but sometimes it's simply an excuse for lack of preparation.
- Take skydiving, for example. Do you just climb aboard any plane and dive out the door when told, or do you get some instruction on the fundamentals before bailing out? Some of us might even try a tandem jump first……In any case, you'd better consider what you're going to do when you're out there in thin air, before you get there!
- When I'm fully engaged and making it happen, what defines success? Am I committed to the outcome? Be very clear and succinct about this aspect, since it defines what you set out to do in the first place.
- To complete my prior example, floating back to earth and achieving an upright safe landing in the target zone, without broken bones, might qualify!
Boiled down to the essence, begin with the end in mind. Then put first things first. Enjoy the Journey!