Make a Plan. As the year ends and you look back, one of the most important steps you can take toward future success is to make a plan. You must know where you’re going to determine how to get there. You must have a written plan so you can modify what’s working, eliminate what’s not, and to see the difference.
Get started today. Write out your goals for the next one, three, five and ten years. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just dream. You won’t know the “right” answers because you don’t have a crystal ball, but dream. In one year, do you still want to be at your same job? In your same home? With the same person? In three years? In five? This is the perfect time to decide if what you’re doing now is or isn’t working.
What year do you plan to be financially free? If you don’t write down what you see today, you won’t know:
- if you hit it accurately
- if you’re able to move faster than you anticipate
- if you’re not moving fast enough and need to make adjustments.
Discuss! Once you’ve thought some things through and written them down (your partner should do their own), sit down together and discuss. Just like when planning for marriage – where do we want to live? are we going to rent an apartment or buy a home? do we want children? – future goals need to be discussed and a plan laid out. Are you and your partner on the same page?
Write it down. Write out what you want to accomplish in the next 12, 24, 36 months and then a vision for five, ten and fifteen years from now.
Break it down. Once you have the vision, you can break it down into small steps to get there.
This is exactly where we started. We had never written, discussed, or laid out a plan. We’d talked about doing it; we believed it had power, but we had never done it. What we learned is that WRITING IT OUT IS SO POWERFUL! It showed us our strengths and our weaknesses. As I’ve written before, we accomplished our one, three, and five year goals in the first six months! Since we’d never written it out before, had never measured or tracked our performance, we had no idea what we could accomplish in a year.
Track it. Tracking also gives you opportunity to celebrate accomplishments instead of missing them in the rush of daily life.
Purchase or create a professional plan template. If you have or wish to have your own business, then next is the business plan. After you’ve completed writing down goals, start working page by page on a professional business plan. We did a very detailed, in depth plan which we worked on A LOT over a period of three months. Due to our lack of experience, it was necessary to guess at a lot of the numbers our plan asked for. (We purchased a plan online through BusinessPlanPro.)
All of it was speculation because we had no idea. However, it made us really think things through and we asked a lot of questions of ourselves that we would never have considered if we weren’t doing this exercise. This business plan was and still is the foundation of our company. Many things were missing from that original plan – i.e., we never expected buying houses to turn into a real “business”, we have no mention of an out-of-the-home office, we have no mention of employees, we have no mention of coaching students. We had a vision but no crystal ball.
This is actually a very fun exercise as you will see when you get into it. You gain so much clarity of intention and are able to really focus on your outcome when it’s done. Raise your focus to a successful path and make it happen!
Have you written plans and goals before? Please, let me know what you do and how it works out.
Here’s wishing you tremendous success!