Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.
– Lester Robert Bittel
Many people have dreams. Few achieve them. In my short life I’ve seen both the good and bad in people’s life planning. I look back at my earliest years as a married adult and realize there was more I should have done to plan in advance for where I was headed. In my own experience, I came to the planning party late and wish I would have done it sooner. The bible is clear in “where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29:18). For several years I floundered around seeking what was next before I finally stopped, began to write some goals down, and put together a plan to achieve them. I started small but then God called me to even bigger goals. I began to dream and put my dreams on paper. More good things happened. Today, I have written down some of the wildest goals ever. Do I achieve every one? No..but I achieve many of them and the fact is I wouldn’t achieve if I never wrote them down. You might think something as simple as putting goals on paper is silly but it truly is a powerful motivator. Try this simple exercise:
- Write down a few goals you have for your own life. For me these goals generally fall into four areas; financial, personal, relational, and spiritual. See if you can identify just two goals for each area and then look at the eight goals you’ve written down.
- Now, pick three of them. You can add more later but pick three that have the most meaning to you. List them in any order of your choosing from one to three.
- Now, for each goal, list a series of actions that will help you get started in achieving them. If you’ve thought about education for your personal growth, the first step will be to go to a college and get the needed paperwork started NOW. Don’t hesitate. Whatever the goal, identify meaningful tasks for it.
- Put the tasks down on your to-do list and make these of primary importance for your day. If you pick just one action from each of your three goals, you now have three very significant actions to take today to get started in achieving them. DO THEM!
This system works if you really do it. How do I know? It’s how I started years ago. Sure, I’ve added things since then but the basics are always enough for you to get started. Fall is not too far away. August is a good month to start an annual life plan. So far, I’ve identified goals in all four areas I’ve mentioned plus a few! I’ve already put actions down and have my week’s vital actions listed. Once you get the hang of this, it becomes addicting. There is no silver bullet to achievement. You have to do the work. But I will tell you from experience that once you do, your life will never be the same.
Now, GET STARTED!