Theory Versus Practice – The WEDGE System
If you are the type of person who struggles to move past the planning phase, worry not. We are here to help. In this section, we will introduce you to WEDGE. WEDGE is a 5 Step System that will help you move from theory into practice.
These five steps might seem simple at first, but a great power lies within.
The WEDGE System
· What & Why?
· Establish Goals
· Decide What Matters Most
· Go with Milestones
· Engage In Reflection
While these steps may be self-explanatory, we should still break each step down, so there is no confusion.
What & Why?
What are you planning to achieve, and why do you want to achieve it.
This might seem like a silly question, but have you ever given it serious thought? Think about it. You are so busy working on your plans and theories that you might have forgotten why you wanted to plan in the first place.
First, figure out what you want. The easiest way to do this is to envision what your ideal future looks like.
· What do you want to own?
· Who do you want to spend time with?
· What is your career?
· What do you want to achieve?
Then figure out why. This step is tougher and deserves some serious thought. You can help yourself by asking some key questions like:
· Why do I want to achieve this?
· How will my life change for the better if I achieve this?
· Who else is depending on me?
· What will happen if I don’t achieve this?
Knowing what you want allows you to plan properly while knowing why you want it helps move you from planning to action.
There is a good chance you already have goals. After all, if your issue is that you are stuck on the theory side of things, you must be planning or researching something you want to achieve. However, if these goals aren't properly defined, it could be contributing to your lack of action.
For proper goal setting, you should look at what you want to achieve from the previous step and then make sure you write that down as a SMART goal. If you need a refresher, SMART goals are:
Specific – Your goals must be specific. The vaguer your goal, the less likely you will act on it. Be as specific as possible. Your goal shouldn't be "make more money." It should be "I will get a promotion at my current workplace that pays me $1000 more a month."
Measurable – Your goal also must be measurable. Setting a goal regarding your finances is easy because you can measure your progress in how much more money you are making. For other goals, you might have to get more creative.
Achievable – This is controversial because it seems to forgo big exciting goals. The thing is, you don't have to avoid big
audacious goals. You just need to make sure you also have some more reasonable and reachable goals. You should stretch your abilities, but if your goals aren't realistic, you will likely get stuck in the planning stages.
Relevant – Your goals should be relevant to both your overall vision and your core values. If you are working o goals that don’t progress you to your ideal life, you are more likely to avoid acting on them.
Time Sensitive – You should always attach a deadline to your goals. Your deadline gives you something to focus on and strive towards. When you have a deadline, you are essentially
limiting the time you have to theorize. If you don't put your plans into practice, you won't meet your deadlines.
Goals are powerful tools that help direct your actions, but setting them properly is a key step. When you set SMART goals, you will find it easier to make your plans and theories become a reality.
Decide What Matters Most
The next step is to figure out what the most important things to focus on are. This is also known as prioritization.
Prioritization is an important step when it comes to moving from theory to practice. When you know a goal is vitally important and must be done first, it encourages you to take action.
Ideally, even if you are the type of person to get lost in planning and research when you know a task is not only important - but the most important – you will be encouraged to stop the planning and act.
When you are prioritizing your goals, you should consider the Important-Urgent Matrix. This fancy-sounding concept is just weighing how important a task is versus how urgent it is. The graphic describes it well:
URGENT NOT URGENT
NOT IMPORTANT IMPORTANT
You are likely to take more action after you prioritize goals in the faction. By focusing on goals that are important to your overall vision and on urgent timelines, you should be sufficiently motivated to stop the planning and move into action.
Go with Milestones
Setting milestones is a great way to ensure you act. As mentioned earlier, many people who get stuck on the plans and theories do so because of their fear of taking action. Setting small, achievable milestones helps address your fears by making actions much simpler and easier to conceive.
Think of creating milestones as breaking your large goals into more achievable steps. For example, let’s start with a SMART goal:
Using content marketing, I want to boost my daily website visitors by 10% by the end of the month.
What are some milestones that you could use to propel yourself towards this goal?
· You could set a date to create a content marketing plan
· You could set dates to create each piece of content
· You might set a micro goal of getting just a 2% increase in website visitors
No matter how you do it, it is important to break your goals into milestones. This will encourage you to stop planning and start acting. Ideally, it will also help remove some of the resistance you have moving from theory to practice.
These milestones will become your action plan.
Engage in Reflection
Reflection is an important step in both goal-setting and taking action.
Reflection ensures you are on the right path for your goals. It also encourages you to act because checking in with your goals keeps you accountable. If you haven't taken any action on your plans, that will be apparent quickly when you take time to reflect.
Yet another bonus, reflection gives you a chance to
reload and refocus. This helps keep you on track by keeping you motivated. You are more likely to be an action taker if you are prepared and
One of the best ways to reflect is to ask yourself probing questions like:
1. How much progress have I made?
2. What’s working for me? 3. What’s not working for me? 4. Do I need toad just my goals?
5. What do I need to keep progressing on my current goals?
6. Do I have any regrets? 7. What lessons have I learned along the way? 8. My best decision was...
9. My worst decision was...
10.What are my new goals?
This certainly isn't an exhaustive list of things you can reflect on, but it is powerful. Feel free to add your own probing questions, but even just sticking to the above list will make for an effective reflection session.
The WEDGE system is not perfect, it is just one tool to help you if you struggle with getting stuck in the theory or planning phase of life. Remember that while - The more prepared person usually wins. You get credit for action, not preparation."