Fail to Prepare – Prepare to Fail

Starting a new Academic Year – School, University, College: Don’t fall into this trap … Set goals, co-create plans and #MakeitYours!

Old Military Saying …

It might be harsh to say that if we fail to prepare – we should prepare to fail but is it fair? As we approach significant transitions in our lives we would be naïve to think we can just ease through them. This is the time of year when young people (and teaching staff) face a new academic year. This can be a very stressful time – recent studies indicate unprecedented levels of mental health issues in young people [1] and worrying trends in numbers of teachers ‘dropping out’ [2]. It doesn’t need to be that way!

Prepare to Succeed

If we can approach such transitions with a ‘change presents opportunity’ mindset and we prepare for the transition to our new life with a co-created plan and a set of goals, we can be far more confident and secure.  We can set ourselves up for success and we can grow in confidence and keep ourselves on track by monitoring, recording and celebrating progress.

Make it Yours enables YOUR success …

The web application – the Visual Success Map (#VSM) makes this possible.  Watch our animations to understand more: Intro and John’s Story of Transition

If you want success: share your challenges, opportunities and your goals and Make it Yours!  

#EnrichingLives: Get a friend, a coach, teacher, parent, buddy or ‘Family Angel’[1] and discuss the transition you are facing or going through.  Demonstrate the courage to share your goals and the humility to ask for help.

Ask the right questions – get the right answers!
  • Be honest: how are you feeling?
  • What are the ‘Proud Stories’[2] you can draw upon to give you confidence and strength?
  • Visualize the future you want for yourself. Be aspirational (it gives you energy and focus) and get yourself ready!  Build the picture of your new life along a timeline which suits you best; e.g.  in a year’s time I have achieved the following … I have overcome the following … I have a reputation as … I have helped … I am proud of myself because..

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”   Michelangelo

  • Set your goals in all aspects of your life (Use positive – ‘toward goal’ language.):
    • What are the stepping stones to your Vision of success:
      • Academically – what grades do you need/want? How will you approach work to ensure you do the best you can?
      • Non- academically: Sport, art, drama, music, Duke of Edinburgh’s etc
      • Making a difference volunteering/helping other?
    • How do you want to develop personally?
      • To be a better person?
      • To be a better leader?
      • To develop a current strength and make it better?
      • To deal with a vulnerability, like becoming more confident in public speaking?
Success is in your hands if you set goals & follow through! Co-create a Visual Success Map & #MiY!
  • If you’re off to University, you have other practical things to consider, like budgeting, accommodation, making and sustaining new relationships which enrich and nourish.
  • See the Template VSM below, copy it and Make it Yours when you subscribe to the Make it Yours Web Application.
  • Keep it close – on your phone, tablet or laptop and monitor progress regularly.
  • Record your progress and achievements with video, photos and other supporting evidence – so building a record of success and where change has been necessary your learning and new plan. The 21st Century CV?

    A Visual Success Map for A Superb Transition to University/College: For a ‘starter for 10’ go to:
  • Populate your Visual Success Map – using the various boxes to provide detail of what actions you plan to take and when. Make emotional connections with You Tube videos including motivating music and posts, add photos to inspire and relevant documents in DropBox to keep everything you need to achieve your goals in one place.

    Add connecting links to motivate and / or record progress
  • Check in with your support team regularly – encourage challenge; let them enjoy your success and help as things change. Your VSM is dynamic and flexible to change if required.
  • Stay focused on your Vision and enjoy every step of the journey.

Pimp up your VSM!

Add background images, thumbnails for stepping stones and your selection of photos and videos to:  Make it Yours!

A Call to Action

If you are really serious about your goals then you have a significantly better chance of achieving them if you subscribe to Make it Yours and co-create your Transition and other goal focused Visual Success Maps.  This Blog has focused on getting you into a new academic year.  Get a better understanding of Make it Yours and how you could use the Visual Success Map app to plan and record your success in many other aspects of your life at:

And please help others – #Enrichinglives – theirs and yours!


[1] ‘Family Angel’ – It’s often difficult for parents and children to have the most intense and important conversations.  Who, in the family network, could have such a conversation with your son/daughter who you all completely trust, respect and value?  This is your first ‘Family Angel!’

[2]  ‘Proud Stories’ – things you’ve achieved/things you’ve overcome; situations when you have been kind/ generous/helpful to someone; times when you’ve felt strong and at your best – all of which you have a sense of pride in.