One of my all-time favorite Saturday Night Live skits is the “Fix-it” skit. A quick recap of the original version of this skit goes something like this, “Identify the problem. FIX IT! Identify another problem. FIX IT! Repeat as necessary until it’s all FIXED!”
Sounds simple, but is it really? Well, maybe not quite as simple as a two-step skit but let’s try five steps to making things happen.
1 – Identify your goal
What do you need/want to accomplish or achieve? What is the desired result? You must first identify this in order to understand where to direct your efforts. You should never “ready, fire, aim.” It should always be “ready, aim, fire.” Identify your goal.
2 – Have a game plan
Now that you have your goal, you need to come up with a game plan. How are you going to direct your efforts to put you closer to that goal? This game plan typically comes in many small steps.
Think about dominoes falling. You stand one domino at an angle so that it can hit another domino and so on. When you look at all of the dominoes from above, they form an image, but individually they are simply transferring energy from one domino to the next, once placed in motion.
Map out your game plan full of steps that will put you closer to your goal.
3 – Have more than one game plan
Now that you have your game plan, make a variation of that game plan. Create minor tweaks in the plan that create a different path but still lead you to the same goal. This is beneficial for two reasons. First, if things don’t go just as you had planned them in your first game plan and you have a second game plan; chances are likely that there is still a solution somewhere between first plan and second plan. Second, things rarely go as well as we hope in our first game plan. Having a second game plan helps you to keep moving forward toward your goal.
4 – Be fluid
Keeping your goal identified and in your sights, and at least two game plans at the ready, when situations arise or things begin to change outside of the plan you will be more likely to create a fluid reaction bouncing from one plan to the other and back again. While the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, life does not work that way. We have to be able to adapt and change. There are people who are the opposite of fluid. They’re very rigid. If plans do not go exactly as mapped out, these people toss in the towel, scrap the whole project, etc. That doesn’t put you anywhere nearer your goal. Continue to be fluid with your progress.
5 – Get creative
The more obstacles that are tossed our way or the further we deviate from the game plan may mean that our creativity gets a chance to be exercised. Get creative. Sometimes that might mean doing extra work. Sometimes that might mean going outside of your comfort zone. Sometimes that might mean simplicity. Creative doesn’t always mean harder, but it may be something different.
Want to make things happen? Identify the problem. FIX IT! (By making game plans, being fluid, and getting creative.)
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