Making a Plan

This post is being written in January around the time of the year when people make plans for how they will achieve the ambitions they have for their year. This is just a guide to help you make a plan. it’s not just something that works for January, the principles here will work for just about any sphere of life.

A plan essentially is a road map to achieving a dream. When a plan-depending on the detailing- is looked at, it gives the viewer a play-by-play strategy of how the author intends to move from where they are currently to when they desire to end up it could be physically, emotionally, professionally, or financially. everything that can be achieved can be planned for. What are the important steps you must take in making your plan;

  1. Simplify the goal.

A lot of goals/dreams/ aspirations suffer stillbirth because they are amorphous, convoluted, or sketchy at best. Make the destination simple; I want to live healthier means nothing why not make the goal- I want to eat healthier, I want to have regular exercise, I want to lose Xkgs by august- that way what you need to do becomes very uncomplicated and your options reduce significantly. Instead of I want to have more money say- I want to earn a raise, I want to reduce my frivolous spending habits, I won’t begin a side hustle, or learn a new skill that will earn me more money. If you need to explain the goal in more than one sentence it probably isn’t simple enough.

  1. State the duration and scope of this plan.

even though you can work on two strategies for the same goal, eat right and exercise more, for instance, ensure that you are not burning the candle at both ends, also give yourself logical deadlines so your goal isn’t open-ended and keeps being rolled over till Q4.

  1. Resources

What would you need to achieve your goal, a budgeting Application, a meal plan, some books by authors addressing the problem area, subscription to a course on your topic of interest, a dedicated time for study, rearranging your schedule to be able to sleep earlier, read more, exercise more-what ever it is you must understand what are the resources needed to achieve those plans and this activity will let you know if your plan is achievable or if the timeline needs adjusting?

  1. Steps

Break down the activities that you need to do to arrive at the desired destination; e.g. download your account statement to see how your spending went over the last year, pay/sign up for the personal finance course, draw up the financial plan including the target savings and the reduced spendings. It’s important to know that the steps in your plan are thought through. So, it’s ok to rearrange the steps as you understand more. Be sure to mark milestones so you can see how far along you’re coming. This is also where it is valuable to ask questions of mentors, leaders, and people who have to do the same or similar things for their opinion on what worked and what did not in their own lives. Lastly, review your plan, you might need to review the plan when you implement it as you get more intelligent and see opportunities to take side steps that improve your eventual outcome.

  1. Start

In the words of Brian Tracy, ”Eat that Frog” (which is an excellent book by the way) there is absolutely nothing gained by making a plan if you’re never going to start implementing it. This is why many new year plans die by February- there was a plan to do everything but do anything. It is important to start but if you start without a plan, you’ll have nothing “scheduled” to happen after the first step has been taken. This is why some people have a lot of “abandoned projects”.

It could be beneficial if you can, to have an accountability partner; someone who has already achieved your current goal or someone with whom you’ll attempt achieving the goal with, “…If you want to go far go with someone…”  comes to mind. If I have one more piece of advice it would be to document your process, you have no idea what journey will be THE JOURNEY so get a note and journal all you do good and bad, and don’t forget to create little islands of pleasure to reward yourself as you reach each milestone.

Achieving a goal often spurs you on to take on another challenge before you know it, you could become a serial winner. Wouldn’t that be something?

Till the next one

Dr. Efobi

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