Although it may sound very dull and definitely less than spontaneous, making life plans is very important.
So often you will hear talk of setting goals and dreaming big, but without backing this up by action planning how are you going to achieve anything?
Consider if you were going on holiday. Would you just turn up at the airport without any preparation at all? It is highly likely that you would have considered where you want to go and why, and what you want to do when you arrive. You will have put into action all the necessary detailed planning to ensure you were suitably prepared for the holiday, such as checking your passport is valid, getting the right clothes and packing them, considering the risks such as sickness or bugs and ensuring you have access to enough money for all eventualities.
Even if you prefer to plan less than others, there will be some basic action planning you will do before you go.
Our first few years in life are planned by our parents and those in authority. We must go to school, we move on to college and possibly university or into training. Yet, few people plan further than this. There may be a vague notion of having your own place before you are 25, being married by the time you are 30, but often many of us drift through life and then suddenly wake up one morning, wondering where our lives have gone.
How do you go about making life plans? It does start to have set yourself some SMART goals. These provide you with a target to focus on. Once you have set these, you need to work out how you will achieve them.
Consider what needs to be done to achieve a goal, breaking it down into simple steps. For example, you set yourself a SMART goal of owning your own property within the next two years. If the goal is SMART you have already considered that this is attainable and realistic, so now you just work out the steps you need to take.
- Find a suitable property for sale within your budget
- Make an offer
- Raise the appropriate finance
- Complete the sale
- Move in
By defining these steps you will realise you have other tasks to do, so you then take each step and break it down further. Using the first step, the breakdown could be:
1a) Define the budget
1b) Define the criteria of a suitable property
1c) Contact estate agents (realtors)
1d) Visit properties
Each of these tasks may or may not need to be broken down further. They may also depend on other things or people and they may mean that you have to go back to your original goal and re-define some aspect of it.
This is a practical example. It is important to consider your attitude to making life plans to ensure you get the most out of life. Think about your childhood dreams. Have you planned how you will achieve them? Whether it was to travel the world or write a book, if you don’t take steps towards it, you are unlikely to ever achieve it. So go on and start making your life plans now.
Find out how to work through your real priorities.
Set your SMART goals.
Use this step by step program to fulfil your plans and make your dreams come true.