Chapter 6: Set out plans
Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.
The next step after goals is to plan your life on your terms and in your time frame. What you do in life is up to you. This is called free will. You run your own race, make your own decisions, and make up your own rules as long as they don’t interfere with the free will of others. How you design and live your life is up to you. You have the power at any given moment to choose a new direction and steer your life to a new destination.
How do you plan?
The best way to plan your future is by looking at your past failures and learning from them. Are you happy or unhappy with your current destination in life? Do you wish for things to be different? Do you understand that where you are right now in life is the result of your past plans, decisions, and actions? By first looking back in our past, we can see the errors we have made and adjust our plans, decisions, and actions to put us on the road to goal achievement and dream realisation.
Start today to track your days by keeping a journal. Days are quick and soon forgotten, weeks fly by, and months tick on. Seasons change and birthdays come and go. Time whistles on by to a person who fails to capture the events of the day. Keeping a journal is one of the secrets of successful people. You write your days in a journal not only to track your activities of the day but also to come to an awareness of what you actually achieve and don’t. I have been keeping a journal for over a decade, and there is nothing better than reading about what I got up to last year, the year before that, and the year before that. Life changes, you change, and your actions change. To study your own personal growth, and change is a massive motivation to stay on the journey of your dreams.
Your journal will be your starting point for planning. Once you establish the habit of keeping a daily journal and writing the events of the day, you will soon be able to plan out your tomorrows, weeks, months, and years successfully. You will be able to direct your actions to the activities you need to take to make your dreams become a reality. Another secret of the most successful people in the world: ‘Planning your future activities and acting on your plans daily.’ Learn to get from the day by translating your daily experiences, thoughts, actions, and ideas on to paper for you to review. By cultivating this one habit of daily journaling, you will start the process of conscious life change and growth. It will change your life.
Once you have captured a week in your journal, review the week and do a weekly wrap-up on a Sunday. Write down the experiences you had, the things you did, and write down the tasks you need to complete the following week. You should be setting mini goals for yourself for the week. Break down your goals into tasks, and start scheduling them into your schedule. Remember: goals only start becoming real when we start scheduling them and taking action.
Now that you have the habit of daily journaling and weekly planning, you can start on monthly planning. It’s the same principle as weekly planning. At the end of each month, write down the experiences you had, the goals you achieved, and those you did not. For the following month, write down your top five WIGs (wildly important goals) you need to take action on and achieve.
At the end of the year, take some time out of your schedule to plan the upcoming year. Review your past year, and write down the significant experiences you had and the major goals you achieved and goals you have yet to complete. Write down the top 5–10 goals you need to achieve in the upcoming year, and schedule the action steps you need to take to achieve them.
The payoffs you will receive from the habit of systematically planning your life and time are endless. Benefits include overall clarity and peace, focused action, more time, less stress, mindfulness, and an alertness of how precious a day is. Take the time to plan your life. Grow through life instead of just going through it.
- Plan your life on your terms and on your time frame.
- Plan your future by looking at your past failures and learning from them.
- Track your days by keeping a journal.
- Plan your future activities and act on your plans daily.
- If you don’t plan your life, you will work for someone else’s plan.
- Planning reduces future failures.