Life Planning

My Niece put a post up on Facebook about looking forward rather than back at the things that happened.  It is my contention that if you develop a life plan you will be too busy to look back if you are focused on success in the things you do and that happen to you.  Simply put, this is my version of life I call planning. Now that I had retired, I don't use the long term planning as much but that keeps me from looking too far back or not at all.

If you start with the long range plan, you can remain a little more fuzzy in the specific but a general plan here goes a long way to directing your life.  The question you ask is where do you want to be in the future?  Pick a time at least 10 years out and set some specific attainable goals.  An example of a good goal is to graduate from the next higher level of education.  This should be directed at your career path.  A bad example is to win the lottery. 

The next level is the mid range plan. This should be 3-5 years out.  It should cover the areas of Health, education, heart, finances, housing, employment and education.  If you are out of shape in one of these areas, what would you do to correct it.  If it is your health, what year round plan do you have?  Do you walk, run. play volleyball or regularly ride a bike?  If this is a concern, get a plan together.  At this point, your success should be achievable, measurable and understandable.

The near plan is your mid range plans broken down into sub goals for the next year.  This is where you work out how you pay for the part of the plan that is achievable that year?  I recommend everyone that is having trouble with financing your life to consider Dave Ramsey's program.  It will help you guide yourself to understanding needs and wants.  He will help you build an understanding of income and outgo and how to make a budget.   He also plainly helps you understand that you either need to spend less or earn more.  He even talks about a second job to help use your time and helping you spend less and making additional income.

About once a year, you pick a date and review your far, mid range and near plans to see if you are generally directing your life towards your goals.  Each year you do this, you will get better and soon you will find that looking forward is a heck of a lot more fun that looking back at the failures of the world and yourself. I found it really helps center a relationship with your spouse if you both are on a common path.  It also give you a thing to blame rather than yourself for failures to plan.  If there is an area that you need to improve, write it down and make it a priority for the next year. 

This advice is free and is not guaranteed to give you some magic solution to all your problems.  What it will do is keep you asking what am I going to do today that is a part of my plan? 


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