“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” The truth of this popular saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin extends from sound business practices to personal goal setting. At Glass Doctor®, we’re always at some stage of planning, executing a plan or looking back to see how we’ve done.
Many people work and strive for years and reach retirement without having ever felt a sense of accomplishment in a job well done. We think that through some simple planning and goal setting exercises, you can look clearly through the glass of your life and know confidently that you are framed for success.
In recognition of February being Expect Success Month, here’s some suggestions to help you get started visualizing a clear, successful future:
Create a mission statement. Think about what you want your future to look like. This may or may not have anything to do with a career; it may be broader themes such as financial independence, being debt-free, or being a world-renown philanthropist. Who do you want to be? What do you want to leave as your legacy? Be succinct in your mission statement.
Set strategies with deadlines. When you do want to be debt-free? Write it down along with the steps you’ll need to take to reach that goal. Along the way you’ll need to review and assess where you are and whether you need to tweak your expectations. If you have a setback to a short-term goal, don’t let it kill your whole plan! Learn from it, make the necessary adjustments and keep plugging away.
Write it down. The act of writing something down creates a bond; a responsibility and a pact between you and your goals. Putting your future down on paper is taking an active step from thinking and dreaming about it, to action.
Create a visual board. Go through magazines and images on the Internet and cut out or print pictures that represent your goals and aspirations. These can be pictures or key words that challenge you to keep working and not losing sight of your end-goal. Then, paste them onto a poster board.
Don’t file it away. Whether it’s a sheet with your written goals or your visual board, refer to it often. Share it with a friend who can hold you accountable to keep plugging ahead. Better yet – challenge your friend to visualize his future success as well and help him with the goal setting steps. Helping someone else succeed will be tremendously rewarding.
Don’t be an over-the-top control freak. Be aware that not everything can be mapped out. A death in the family, an economic recession that takes a bite out of your savings or forces you to back up the dates of your end-goal. While these things can’t be controlled, you can plan ahead for challenges. Visualize today how you will deal with hardships or setbacks. Plan ahead of time to be an overcomer in a challenging situation.
Read. A lot. Read books about successful individuals you would like to emulate, whether it’s in finance, personal business, health and fitness, or parenting. Write down quotes or action plans you learn from biographies with an eye on how to integrate those practices into your success.
Clearly, intentionality is the key. I think ‘ol Ben Franklin may have been on to something.