I’m preparing for our next Planning workshop.  

As I prepare, I’m thinking about all the things I learned over the years to create goals that work.   The Map was one of the biggest things I learned, and I shared this tool in the blog called “The Map.”  

Essentially, the Map is about breaking your goal into actionable steps.  Each step is plotted on the Map by week. This way, you know what you need to do week by week.   I go into detail in the past blog. 

As I got thinking about the Map, I realized that there is more than one way of creating the Map.  The one I have found that generates the best chance of success is reverse engineering. 

I’m a logical thinker.  Hence, when I first started using the Map, I would start with the first step and then add the next step and the next until I got to the end.  I got good success.  

Then I learned about reverse engineering.  This is where you start with the end in mind.  You imagine what the end result looks like – picture it in your mind.  How do you know you are at the end?  What is the last thing you did before realizing that you met your goal?  What did you do before that?  Before that?   Keep going until you get today. 

More than once, I have heard people express difficulties with reverse engineering.  Mostly I have found that the struggle is because they don’t know exactly what they want.   That is the first step in reverse engineering.  You have to be clear about what you want and where you are. 

When I reference where you are, I don’t mean physically – although that helps with the vision.  I mean where you are as a person.  Consider:

  • Why do you want this goal?
  • Who do you need to become?
  • What do you need?
  • What do you need to know?
  • What skills do you need? 
  • How long will it take?

When you are clear about these questions, the rest becomes easy. Just keep asking yourself what is the step just before that.   If you are still struggling, ask yourself what 3-4 big steps to take to achieve the goal.  Then for each of those steps, list everything you need to do to accomplish that big step.  

The goal is to know ALL the steps, not just the next one.  

When we start from where we are, we just focus on the next step and stop.  If we start from where we want to be, we tend to see all the steps and build our Map with clarity.  

DTry reverse engineering for your 2022 goals, and I know you will see a difference.      

Reverse Engineering is the way forward.  Set your ambition first and then just align every action towards realizing it.

Yuvraj Human