How Do You Plan Your Future?
When you begin a new venture with solid direction and desired outcomes in mind, you are only setting yourself up for success. If you are working hard and feel like you are not getting anywhere worthwhile it is probably because you haven’t set yourself formal goals. If you want to get where you are going one of the keys to success is setting clearly defined, specific and measurable goals. Now is the time to stop clinging to tactics that haven’t been working and move forward.
Setting goals means creating a well-written plan that includes reasonable short and long-term objectives. There is more to setting goals than vaguely deciding what you want to do. It involves figuring out what you need to do to get where you want to go. The process of setting goals helps you choose where you want to go in life. It involves really thinking about your ideal future and constructing a plan to motivate yourself to turn your vision of this future into a reality.
Here are 5 simple steps to setting and achieving your goals:
1. Identify what you really want in life.
Whether it is a promotion at work, to start your own business or to get in shape you need to know exactly what you are working towards. Visualize it, be clear and be specific. A goal like “buying your first house soon” is too vague. Deciding that you would like to buy a three bedroom house within 30 minutes of your workplace by next January is much better. If you want to successfully achieve your goals, be specific and realistic.
2. Write your goals down.
Like any good idea goals need to be written down so you can refer back to them now and again. You may decide as you go to change or modify them, therefore they need to be in writing. If you don’t write them down you will be more likely to forget them. Prioritize these written goals to set yourself up for success.
3. Turn each goal into an action plan.
Break each goal down into the steps you’ll need to take to achieve it. Say your goal is to save $5,000 in the next year. That may sound daunting—but saving $100 a week for 50 weeks doesn’t.
4. Stick to it, but stay flexible.
Finding a good time to start often holds the process back. There will never be a perfect time; goals just have to fit into your lifestyle. Unexpected events can distract you and lead to procrastination, but maintain your motivation. If possible, report back to others on your progress. The plan also needs to be flexible so you can adjust it as you go.
5. Regularly Reassess.
Frequently re-examine the goal to ensure it’s still what you really want. Recognize and celebrate each small success along the way. Adapt it if necessary, but keep to your main objective. Work hard and stay focused on the result.