‘If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail’
Harsh but the truth is you need a plan. Luck will only get you so far.
Equally life throws so many competing priorities and pressures at us these days. At some point you are going to need some direction. That doesn’t mean a 50 page business plan necessarily but some sort of road map or framework will give you the best shot at getting what you really want.
We see it all the time with clients when we ask why they are in business. The answer is usually very different to what they are doing and what they are actually getting.
So stop it. Take the wheel.
Start with working out what is your why. Why do you do what you do? This should be a 2-parter:
1. What motivates and drives you? I.e. where does your job satisfaction come from?
2. What are you ultimately looking to achieve out of it? This is things like money,lifestyle, flexibility, power, notoriety, fame, etc. Whatever it might be just remember you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
Your why becomes the true compass in your day to day decisions. If you are saying you want the flexibility to spend more time with the family then are your decisions day by day allowing that? Or are they making you busier and taking you further away from that.
Next start setting some goals in line with your why. Part 2 of your why gives you a long-term goal. But what are the short-term goals along the way to build towards that?
These short-term goals are targets which ensure you are keeping on track with your overall goal. Make sure you always have targets throughout the year even if it is just one of your goals for the year broken down into chunks.
I.e. you might have a goal to get a pool by the end of the year. So the smaller goals might be clear a credit card or personal loan by a certain point in the year and then savings targets at other points throughout the year.
The smaller targets should not only give you a measurement of how you are going against your goal. They should also become your reward system. The fuel that motivates you to keep pushing forward or to make up the ground and get back on track if you aren’t hitting them.
Important things to note with the goals:
1. Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific,Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely). If they aren’t then how can you tell if you have hit them or worse how can you tell if they were even worth hitting?
2. Have some accountability. No point having pipe dream goals that it doesn’t matter if you hit or don’t hit. All you are going to do is miss the mark and demotivate yourself. Personally I love hearing my clients’ goals and helping them push towards them.
It doesn’t matter where you are at in your journey it is never too late to start planning.