How to take a crazy idea and make it happen!

It starts with an idea!

Have you ever thought of a crazy idea? Or something that you’d like to do but that you just don’t think you could ever achieve it?

Many people do. Perhaps it is some idea you would do if time and money were no object, or maybe it’s something that you would like to do but just don’t quite know where to start. It might be a side hustle or the fulfillment of a long held but not voiced dream.

I’m the same. There have been things I wanted to do but just didn’t think I had the time, or maybe it was something that I felt passionate about but the last time I’d tried to do it I hadn’t been able to achieve it.

Some of my ideas

Over the years I have had a varying amount of success at achieving some of those goals. Three of my crazier ideas have been:

Complete an Ironman — I have now done four

Write a novel — I had tried this before but my last attempt was unsuccessful. It is now written and I am in the process of editing it. I have started a second one as I enjoyed writing the first one so much.

Create a presentation skills program using the skills and knowledge I have gleaned over the past twelve years as an executive trainer. I did this one last year when I started my own company. Creating my own company was also a part of that goal.

Take an idea and make it a goal

The great thing about these goals is that they were all important to me, but not completely outside of my abilities. To do them meant putting myself out there, investing time and energy in a project only I really cared about and of course there was a possibility I could fail.

But I felt they were important enough that the risk of failure did not outweigh the possibility of success. Or that even if I failed I would still be able to learn something from the experience.

Because of that I was able to take them from an idea to completed action. None of these were easy to achieve and as a result the sense of accomplishment I felt at their completion was enormous.

Steps need to achieve goals

As a trained executive coach and communications skills trainer, I had a lot of resources that I leveraged in order to complete all these goals. I also feel that having worked through the process of achieving these goals I have given myself a better understanding of the coaching process from the other side.

Set Clear Objectives

To me the first and most important objective was to take my thought of “I’d really like to do that”….and make it into an articulated and achievable goal.

I took “I’d like to do an Iroman someday” to “I will complete an Ironman distance race in December”. In my novel example it was moving the nebulous idea from a long held desire of “one day I’d like to take this idea and actually make it into the story I want to read”. To, “I am going to write this story over the next month”.

Add a date to complete

Once I had created my objective I set a date around it. By putting a clear finish date it helps to give you a clear sense of your timeframe.

Review your environment and SWOT analysis

The next step was to look around my environment and do a SWOT analysis. I did this before I started to make my plan because I needed to clearly understand what gaps I had to close and what strengths I was working with.

For my Ironman event I spoke with a lot of people who had completed the distance. I sought an honest opinion from those who knew me whether they thought it was possible or not. Some people actually didn’t believe I could do it. Gaining a deeper understanding of the reasoning behind their opinions really helped me to create a better plan for myself.

Once I had a clear understanding of myself .

Create an action plan

I was then able to write a more detailed plan of how I was going to achieve my goals.

For my novel it was simply to write one chapter of 3000 words per day. I also spent some part of each day attending online writing classes and trying to incorporate the lessons I learnt into my writing that day.

So armed with my objective and SWOT analysis, I set out to write down an action plan with activities, tasks and milestones. The length of these plans differed widely because the shortest was a month long target and the longest was a nine month target.

Create accountability

Once I had my detailed plan I then had to make sure that I stayed focussed on the nitty gritty details whilst not losing sight of the end objectives. To help me with this I ask people around me who I trust to help keep me accountable. For my Ironman goal I had accountability with my husband and some close friends who were also training for an Ironman.

Where a coach can help you

As I was coaching myself I leveraged those around me to help me do many of the jobs that a coach would do.

With my novel, my Sunday cycling crew are my accountability buddies. They ask regularly how I am going with my writing. Knowing that they will ask means that I will often make a last minute push where I might not have otherwise.

What is your crazy idea?

If you have a crazy goal or idea that you would like to make a reality and you just don’t know where to start, a coach can help you. Just by saying out loud what you want to do they can help you to look closely at the idea. By working through exactly what it is that you want to achieve, what is in your SWOT, and how you can break it down into manageable pieces.

I would love to hear from you if you have a crazy idea. Let’s see if we can work together to make it a reality.

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