While some might argue that life is way more fun if you just go with the flow and see what may come, I believe, based upon my past experiences, that life-by-the-seat-of-your-pants can be less rewarding and certainly, sometimes, a bit underwhelming. Why do I say that? Because I believe that having a plan means that you have goals, and goals give us focus and direction, not to mention, something to look forward to and celebrate.

In my book, It All Comes Down to W.E. work ethic I talk a lot about goals, focus and follow through as key steps to finding and building work ethic in your life. The reality for me, is that these are my passion. My panache for planning and sticking to the plan, have been the template for my life’s success. While I’ve not had a plan for every situation and choice I’ve made—those decisions tend to come from a gut feeling, an instinct— once I’ve made a choice, especially one that I have interest in and motivation for, almost nothing keeps me from putting my heart and soul into it. I think for me it comes down to having given every endeavor in my life all of my focus, effort and passion. I have typically never done anything half-heartedly because I always see those efforts as having a reflection on me and my character.

So planning, on the surface, may appear simple and basic, but it isn’t if it is done well. However, the best methods and efforts for successful planning have to include your personal foresight, vision and motivation. Let’s talk about what I am talking about when I say that planning has to be “personal” for each of us.

Planning that is successful looks like this…

• It is personal because it reflects your level of motivation and the drive for success that you have.

• It is personal when the reason you strive for your goal has meaning and consequences for you.

• It is personal when you embrace how much your success means to you and why you want it so badly.

• It is personal when you have internal pride in the efforts, contributions and successes you’ve made.

• It is personal because you have a stake in your future, and in a way, you leave a legacy behind you.

I talk about these personal characteristics because anyone can say that they want something, but not have the fortitude or drive to actually make those steps happen. It doesn’t matter what it is that you have passion for, be it sports, culinary, fashion, engineering, charity or whatever, what matters is the effort you put forth and the follow through that happens to ensure your success. Finally, follow through for me means doing all parts of a job regardless of how boring, tedious or annoying it may be. It means completing your work in its entirety and meeting your promises, goals and objectives. It also means cleaning up all of the messes you’ve made all along the way. It’s never about leaving unfinished work or failing to clean up when you’ve finished a job.

I learned very early on in life, from my parents, to take pride in a job well done and to be proud of the work I’ve done because it was valuable and it was completed. That feeling of pride in my work is strong in my life. Even today, when I make a contribution, I always pause for a moment and think about all the contributions that that effort has made to those that I am serving. I have found in my heart, that a job well done for me is more than just pride, it is a feeling of satisfaction that what I’ve done has contributed to the happiness of those I serve, resulting in happiness and well-being for me. In closing, best wishes on your plans now and into the future!

HR Question of the month: Please send your HR questions and concerns, or share your thoughts on your human resources challenges via email to the following address. Send input to vegaslinda89129@yahoo.com. Your comments, questions or concerns will help determine the direction for my next month’s column and earn you a copy of my book. Include your mailing address when sending your responses.