There is so much written on planning these days that it’s hard for nearly anyone to argue against the value of planning. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, either way you’re planning. The question I ask you is, “which one are you doing?”
Some people like to live by the “seat of their pants,” and no one would argue that a little spontaneity is great to have in life. But unless you plan something at some point, your life will simply be one reaction after another. The non-planner will end up taking no proactive action to improve her life, and will usually end up in a less than desirable place. The planners tend to be the most successful people at reaching their goals and are definitely motivated to accomplish them.
Everyone needs a vision, I believe that God has given each of us a glimpse into what could be in the future and is now in the supernatural. Do you have your vision or master plan? Do you know where you’re going and what you want? A master plan should include long term goals, short term goals, and objectives. You may want to build in some rewards to motivate you to accomplish them as well. Let’s look at each item that should appear in your master plan:
Lifetime goals: The first things you should include in your master plan are your lifetime, or dream goals. These are goals that you want to do at some point in your life and they shouldn’t be dependent on money, time, or skill. Some know this as their ‘bucket list’. If you’re afraid of heights but have the goal of someday being a professional pilot, write it down! Create a long list by finishing this sentence: “If I had unlimited money, time and skill, I would …”
Short term and Long term goals: Once you have your lifetime goals list, break them down into things that you can realistically do in the short term and in the long term. Short term goals might be anywhere from the present to the next five years. Long term goals are likely anything five or ten years and beyond. (Don’t worry yet about the exact way you’ll accomplish them; God’s Spirit inside of you will guide you, if you are tuned-in to listen). Put them in order from the things you want to do sooner to the things you want to do later.
Objectives: Once you have developed your goals, create smaller objectives or benchmarks for each one. Objectives are the steps or strategies that you’ll need to take to reach your goals. If you’re afraid of heights but want to be a professional pilot some day, your objectives might be to…
- Overcome your fear of heights
- Ride in an airplane
- Take flying lessons
- Get your commercial pilot’s license
- Buy an airplane.
You might look at this list and say “easier said than done!” but by breaking down all of your goals into smaller objectives; it does become easier to do. You now have some small steps to work on to get you to the next level.
This applies to both your profession and personal life. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur, you may set a long term goal to have financial freedom. Building your business might be one of the objectives to reach that goal. Within that “main” objective of building your business will be the smaller objectives that must be reached to do the building. The more you break down the steps that need to be taken, the easier it will be to reach your goal.
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