Planning for the year ahead


Why it’s important to plan ahead and how you can do so

As the saying goes, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Many of us never achieve our dreams because we don’t set concrete plans in motion to work towards them.

The New Year always brings with it hopeful possibilities. The possibility of change. The possibility that the year ahead will be better than the last. That you will get rid of bad habits and cultivate good ones. That you will achieve some of your dreams.

Unfortunately, many of us start out with high hopes only to run out of steam as the new year kicks in, and we slip back into old habits and wander through the rest of the year, disillusioned and aimless – simply because we have not set ourselves on the path to achieve what we hope for.

How can we plan ahead realistically and effectively?

Dream – As the Cheshire cat told Alice, if you don’t know where you want to go, “it doesn’t much matter which way you go.” If you want to get somewhere, start visualising it. Don’t be afraid to dream big. All big accomplishments start with a vision, and are achieved by many small steps along the way.

Set Goals – For goals to be effective, they must be measurable and achievable. Define exactly what steps you need to take to get you to where you want to be. Break it down into realistic and achievable chunks. And decide how you will track and monitor your progress.

Consider Your Resources – Everyone is given a set amount of resources, but it’s not so much about what we have as how we use it. As basketball coach John Wooden puts it, “Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.” Work with the time, priorities, commitments, and finances you have. Dreams should not be not worth sacrificing your family or getting in debt for.

Do it: Take some time to write down some dreams and goals for 2012. Set realistic goals to achieve them, keeping in mind the resources you have.


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