“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”Alexander Graham Bell
Before GPS, you had to spend a lot more time planning your trips. This included determining your mode of transportation, how much gas you would need, which route you would take, areas to refuel and rest, etc. For the best opportunity at having a successful trip, you had to plan ahead of time. Now, picture your goals as a destination. Why do you want to take this trip? Think about what you need to get there. Do you have the resources you need? If not, how can you get them? Do you know what route is the easiest to take?
In most scenarios, we must plan to achieve success in the best health with the highest quality of life and enjoyment. Yes, we can reach some goals with little effort. But, what sacrifices have you made or will need to make? If we take the time before taking a journey towards a goal/destination, we will be better prepared for any obstacles. We can also save time, energy, and resources.
Everyone will plan differently; however, I would love to share how I plan to give you some motivation.
- Determine what you are planning. Depending on what your goal is you may only need a journal, a vision board, a wall calendar, a personal calendar, or all of the above. At baseline, I use a paper and digital calendar for my day-to-day and yearly planning. In my paper planner (I am currently using RoteRunner, and I have an Agendio), I map out what goals I plan to focus on for a set amount of time. It can be monthly, weekly, quarterly, yearly, or longer.
- Determine your why. I always hold dear to me a sermon I heard in 2012 from Pastor Mike Jr. at The Rock City Church (Birmingham, AL). He said that it is important to know why you are praying for certain things. I also apply that to planning. First, because it adds motivation to you achieving your goals. Secondly, I like to pray over all of my goals and ask God if they align with God’s plans for my life.
- Determine your deadline. If you do not establish a deadline, you can work on something forever. How would you measure your success? I changed my views on deadlines because it used to give me anxiety thinking I would not meet them. A deadline, if you are resiliently pursuing it, helps you determine if you are over or under estimating the time it takes to complete a task. We often do not give ourselves enough grace and become disappointed. Those thoughts of disappointment can lead us to label ourselves as failures, when in all honesty, we did not accurately determine the time needed for the goals. I have also learned that we often take on missions that others have not explored. So, we are often unable to gather a good estimate of time. Which leads me to my next point.
- Make smaller goals. Having smaller goals helps motivate you to keep going. It also helps with the previous point of estimating the right amount of time to accomplish a task. If you need more time to complete the initial tasks, maybe you need to extend your deadline. After time, you will learn how you work, how life impacts your progress, and what it takes to motivate yourself to keep going. All of these things will give a better estimate on how much time you need. Plus, you get a rewarding feeling each time you complete this smaller goals that will lead to your ultimate goal. It also helps you focus on what is currently going on. Which leads me to my final point.
- Be present. When planning it is easy to get caught up in the future. However, the joys in achieving a goal is often during the journey. You are learning and evolving from each stop along the route. Also, if you only focus on achieving the goal, you are missing out on so much life. Most likely, you will celebrate reaching one goal by going after another. It is possible for you to be present and ambitious. It is possible for you to focus on achieving your goals while living in the moment. It is all about finding your life’s harmony.
I hope this blog encourages you to plan your next goal and expect success. Remember to live in the moment and take your time.