By definition planning means to design, decide on and arrange in advance. ARRANGE IN ADVANCE.
A very respected progressive in thoughts on leadership by the name of Myles Monroe once said, “Your future is not ahead of you; it is inside of you.” Meaning, our future doesn’t just happen. Dreams don’t just come true like in fairytales. We plan for them. We arrange for them to happen in advance by creating a series of tasks, assembling proper resources and executing the plan.
Planning is the only way to ensure success, even if it’s not the success you initially planned for. It may be unexpectedly better!
Here are the steps I take to plan:
1. Create A Vision Board
One of the very first things I do when planning my 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plan is create a Vision Board, like the one you see here:
2. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
I set a list of goals that are SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, ACTION-ORIENTED, and TIME-BOUND. If my goals do not meet these qualifications, then they do not make the cut.
3. Make A Task List For Each Goal
Each goal should have a list of tasks that must completed to achieve it. The tasks must be actionable items. If you cannot DO it, then it is not a task, rather only an idea.
4. Take Action!
Within step two, I have already identified the time frame for completing my goal. I, then, use this to begin the timeline for completing each task with weekly and monthly touch points to ensure I have made the progress needed. (Additional Note: Having a person to hold you accountable is an added bonus and proves very effective in goal achievement).
After all planning and execution is complete, your future unfolds before your eyes. You don’t ever find yourself waiting for anything to happen, because you are too busy making it happen over time!
I will leave you with this… “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” – Zig Ziglar