Executing Your Plan: Lessons from a Water Bottle

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By: Carter Williams, Xperience Director of Coaching

By: Carter Williams, Xperience Director of Coaching

And just like that… January is over. If you’re like me, it seems like we just wrapped up the holidays and here we are with roughly 8% of the year already behind us.

I trust that you came into the year with goals. In my experience, most people set really big goals for themselves, their teams, their family at the beginning of each year. In fact, most of us have goals that, when we hit them, will create a record smashing year for us. Our goals are to have the best year ever!

So, given our BIG goals and the fact that January is almost complete, it’s time to check in and ask yourself: “How am I doing toward… executing my plan?”

That’s right, ask yourself about how well you’re executing your plans. You might have thought I would suggest checking in your goals. While that is totally fine to do, that’s not where the real story is. Goals, in of themselves, really have no meaning. Gary Keller said in a recent interview that goals, when executed correctly, simply provide a metric by which we create and execute a plan to achieve.

This is where the water bottle comes in.

I’ve had a “goal” for sometime to drink more water. I’ve even had an idea about how much water that I would like to drink each day. Yet, I’ve not ever realized that goal on any consistent basis. Why? It’s because I never executed a plan that resulted in me drinking more water. And, I could not ever create an environment to help me get any better, either. So, there I was, with a worthy goal and not coming close to hitting it.

What I realized is that I had to do something different than I have ever done. Without first doing something different, nothing was going to change.

I asked for and received the Hidrate Spark water bottle as a Christmas present. Many of you have heard of this brand and I’m sure some of you use it. Essentially, it’s the “fitbit” of water bottles. It tracks the amount of water that you drink throughout the day and reports it on an app. I have a goal for the amount of water to drink during the day. And the app creates a plan to execute throughout the day to put me on a pace to achieve the daily goal. It’s them my job to execute the plan and drink water at rate to hit the daily goals.

And the bottle lights up to tell me when I’m behind. When I see it lighting up, it’s a signal to say “hey, dude, drink up!” By introducing this bottle to my environment, it created a change enough to set me up for success in drinking more water throughout the day.

In the month that I’ve been using it, each day that I’ve had the lights turned on, I’ve achieved my water goals! What’s more… many days I drink water faster than the plan calls for; thus, the bottle doesn’t light up for me. That tells me I’m actually developing a habit around drinking, not just making a knee jerk reaction to a blinking bottle.

This bottle is yet another example of how creating a different environmental change, can be the catalyst to executing a plan that allows for goal achievement.

Let’s take this to your business.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. If you have the biggest goals of your career, what are you doing differently to help you reach them?

  2. What is the plan that you’re executing to achieve your goals?

  3. What environmental change have you made to help you execute those plans?

  4. Are your new actions becoming a new habit?

If you have solutions to these questions and you’re seeing results… awesome! Keep going down your path. If you’re not able to answer these questions, consider looking at your environment to see how you can help yourself execute your plan.

Let’s look to the water bottle for inspiration… 

You can:

  1. Set Alarms on your phone throughout the day

  2. Create meetings in your calendar for blocking time (with reminders!!)

  3. Work from a 411 – Do it, post it and look at it constantly throughout the day & week

By creating an environment that helps you execute the action items in your plan, you put yourself on the path to achieve your goals, which allows you to build the Xperiential Life that you deserve. And that is something worth toasting… with water, of course. According to my bottle, it’s time for a drink.