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Let's make something clear

A few months ago, I was visiting Vancouver and I decided to explore the Lynn Valley. I took a bus from downtown Vancouver all the way to Lynn Valley and then stepped into a path leading into the forest. This, I later realised, was a part of the Baden-Powell trail.

I knew I had three hours before I needed to leave to be somewhere else. I knew that I had to take a bus back to downtown from a certain place.

But what I didn't know was how to get there. And the lack of a working GPS in the forest and signboards at every five hundred metres that warned 'Watch out for bears' didn't make the situation any better.

We thinking setting ourselves ambitious goals is enough to propel us towards them. We think that visualizing the end state is going to motivate us to get there.

It will help, but it takes a lot more than that to actually get there in a timely manner.

I knew where to take the bus and at what time, but I hadn't given any thought to how I would manage to get myself there in time.

I did this with some of my goals this year. I had visualised what I wanted to do and I had written it down. But I didn't have any clarity on how I would get there. And over the course of the year, this lack of clarity ensured that I was way off course from hitting these goals.

While it is important to set clear measurable goals, it is equally important to think through how we will achieve them. It need not be a full fledged plan detailing every aspect of the journey, but it should be enough to guide us along seamlessly.

It would have been the equivalent of me ensuring I would have GPS or a map of the track before venturing into the forest.

While I managed to refer to maps pasted along the way for unprepared amateurs like me, increase my pace and run the final few yards to make it to the bus stop on time, all without encountering a bear, I put that all down to sheer luck.

The whole purpose of planning is to rely as little as possible on luck. So, I'm spending more time this year end thinking through and articulating not just my goals for 2019 but also how I intend to achieve them.

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