I read an article recently that was talking about how a plane is off course 99% of the time. Yet it still gets to its destination exactly at the time it planned. It is off course because it is buffeted by unexpected things like upstreams, downstreams, storms etc. But the plane's computer and pilot are constantly making little corrections as soon as the plane goes a little bit off track. And that is why it still gets to its destination on time.

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How to stay on track to achieve your goals

Achieve your goalsI read an article recently that was talking about how a plane is off course 99% of the time.

Yet it still gets to its destination exactly at the time it planned.

It is off course because it is buffeted by unexpected things like upstreams, downstreams, storms etc.

But the plane’s computer and pilot are constantly making little corrections as soon as the plane goes a little bit off track.

And that is why it still gets to its destination on time.

The computers and pilot never let the plane get really off course before taking action.

This is a great lesson for how you can stay on track to achieve your most important goals. By checking and correcting constantly you can avoid things taking you way off course.

Setbacks and obstacles happen. But like the plane, if you are constantly making little adjustments and corrections there is no reason you still can’t stay on track to achieve your goals.

The trick is to be reviewing your progress regularly. Set up a regular schedule for reviewing all your most important goals.

During your regualr review, ask yourself these questions:

  • What went well and why?
  • What didn’t go well and why?
  • What changes do I need to make?
  • What potential setbacks and obstacles do I see? What action will I take to avoid or minimise them?
  • What support do I need?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • What do I need to start doing more of?
  • What do I need to start doing less of?

Once you have done your regular review, identify the actions you need to take to make adjustments and corrections to keep you on track to achieve your most important goals.

Keep in mind that being off course isn’t the problem. Doing nothing about it is the problem.

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  • Thanks Kaitlyn. For me, it gives a clear visual of what we need to be doing if we want to achieve our goals. It is also a reminder that having goals and action plans aren’t enough on their own to achieve the results we really want – we have to be navigating the journey every step of the way.

  • Kaitlyn

    Great analogy. 

  • Love the “planes are off-course 99% of the time” analogy. I run a startup called Viibrant, and as an entrepreneur I can definitely verify that success never follows a predictable, linear path. Thanks for this post Ali, I hope your blog continues to improve people’s lives.

  • Yes – so important to remember that success isn’t a linear path. Helps us to deal with the setbacks and obstacles that are an inevitable part of the journey with a better mindset.
    Thanks for dropping by Grant.

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  • Great advice, Ali!

    Reviewing goals only monthly is definitely too late. We could go too far off-course in a month’s time. I’d recommend daily review if that goal is your highest priority in life.

  • Ali Davies

    Hi Harry,
    Totally agree that frequency of review can play a very important role. The method I use, and also teach to my clients, operates on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual planning and review cycle. However, when people are just getting started that can feel challenging to jump straight in to that so I think it is good to get started with something that feels manageable and increase frequency from there as people create new habits and depending in the goals they are working on.

  • You’re so right and I too love the analogy. Sometimes though, I find the constant course correction exhausting, even though the movements are small. Suggestions?

    Anita

  • That is really interesting Anita. It might be worth looking for ways to adapt, upgrade and change the approach so that it feels less exhausting. There are many ways to implement things like this. The key is to adapt it to something that inspires us and fills us with energy.