One of the most important steps you can take toward success is to make a plan. You must know where you’re going to determine how to get there. You must have a written plan so you can modify what’s working and what’s not and to be able to see the difference.
Get started today. Write out your goals for the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. Doesn’t have to be fancy. Just dream. No, you won’t know the “right” answers because you don’t have a crystal ball. But dream. In 1 year do you still want to be at your same job? In your same home? With the same person? In 3 years? In 5? When do you decide that what you’re doing now is/isn’t working?
What year do you think you can be financially free? When I did our first outline, I put 15 years = retired. If you don’t write down what you see today, you won’t know (1) if you hit it accurately (2) if you’re able to move faster than you anticipate (3) if you’re not moving fast enough and need to make adjustments.
Once you’ve thought some things through and written them out (your partner should be doing their own), sit down together and discuss. Just like when planning for marriage – where do we want to live? are we going to rent an apartment or buy a home? do we want kids? how many and when? – future goals need to be discussed and a plan laid out. Are you and your partner on the same page?
Write out what you want to accomplish in the next 12, 24, 36 months and then a vision for 5, 10 and 15 years from now.
Once you have the vision, you can break it down into small steps to get there.
This is exactly where we started. We had never written, discussed, and laid out a plan. We’d talked about doing it; we believed it had power but, slack, had never done it. WRITING IT OUT IS SO POWERFUL! And it showed us our strengths and weaknesses. As I’ve written before, we accomplished our 1, 3, and 5 year goals in the first 6 months! Since we’d never done it before, we had no idea what we could accomplish in a year. We’d never measured and tracked it.
This also gives you opportunity to celebrate accomplishments instead of missing them in the rush of daily life.
If you have, or wish to have your own business, then next is the business plan. After you’ve completed writing out your goals for the next 15 years, start working page by page on a business plan. We did a very detailed, in depth plan which we worked on A LOT over a period of 3 months. We even plugged in the numbers it asks for. (We purchased a plan online through BuisnessPlanPro.)
All of it was speculation because we had no idea. But, it really made us think things through and we asked ourselves and each other a lot of questions we would never have known to consider if we weren’t doing this exercise. This business plan was and still is the foundation of the company we now have. Many things were missing from that original plan – I/we never expected buying houses to turn into a real “business”, we have no mention of an out-of-the-home office, we have no mention of employees, we have no mention of coaching students, we had a vision but no crystal ball.
This is actually a very fun exercise as you will see when you get into it. You gain so much clarity of intention and are able to really focus on your outcome when it’s done. Raise your focus to a successful path and make it happen!
Let me know what you’ve done and how it works out!