The most satisfying, gratifying and happiest future belongs to those who plan ahead and prepare for the best life possible. Planning is a mental exercise. After you’ve mentally sculpted out what CAN be, then put into action the steps of your plan, you can experience life in a very successful way. Though it is true that you will not always get your way when you plan ahead, you markedly increase your chances of getting life in the way you prefer it to be dished out.
Mentally Plan and Imagine, Then Physically Experience
When you first mentally plan ahead of physically experiencing an event, you think ahead of how you CAN experience the best outcome of your goal before you actually experience it. For example, suppose you are planning a trip. Planning ahead is like creating a roadmap of how to get to a final destination. When you have a map, especially if you don’t initially know how to get to a final destination, you greatly increase the chances that you’ll use less resources to get to that end place. Using only the amount of resources you need to use, you’ll feel calmer on your journey to get to your destination.
For example, when you plan, you write on paper your ideas of what you want to achieve, you are revealing to both brain sides what you want to do. This means your conscious and subconscious minds are communicating with each other.
When you see things on paper, you often can see you want to write things differently. This means you are incorporating change before you even spend one penny toward achieving your goal. Your main investment in planning things out is time.
By making a change on paper before you physically do what you plan to do, you spend less money, save time and can often predict what pitfalls to avoid. By doing research ahead of actually going on a trip or achieving any goal, you know answers you would probably be unaware of prior to the actual experience. This means that by planning ahead, you avoid making costly mistakes.
Without pre-successing your goal (that’s what I call it) by first planning it out you can make some costly mistakes. Some of the costly mistakes you can AVOID MAKING by planning ahead are …
- wasting time getting nowhere. When you needlessly suffer through the unknown by refusing to plan out your goal, you may be missing out on peacefully and calmly going through the goal-achievement process. Missing out on peace and calm means you frustrate yourself and often those around you. Who needs that?
- losing instead of saving time and money. Do you really have an endless supply of time and money to achieve your goal? Think about what you COULD do perfectly when you know exactly how much money and how much time you need to invest to successfully achieve a project. The best project is one that is pre-arranged to succeed from the get go.
- you make yourself look ridiculous before a group of peers. Especially in business, this can have a negative effect on your commercial reputation. When you look like you don’t know what you’re doing, you look amateurish. Do you really want to miss out on looking and acting like an expert?
- being unable to engage in ONLY the most meaningful, respectful, genuinely sincere and happy, long-term relationships. Without setting reasonable, respectful standards for yourself in life BEFORE you get into a relationship, you can miss out on truly creating the life you love. Do you really want to get involved with another person that disrespects, uses and abuses you? If you want to be involved with others who respect you, respect yourself first. Self-respect is something you achieve by first planning ahead to do it, no matter the situation.
Plan Ahead – Avoid Wasting Time Fixing Things Broken By Lack of Planning
When you plan ahead of an event or focus on how to really get what you want out of life on your terms, you don’t need to fix as many things. Instead, you avoid creating a mindset that you’re a failure, a jinx, disorganized, whatever, that all are associated with being a disappointment or being disappointed. You can avoid unnecessarily experiencing unwanted outcomes of actions, by planning ahead.
How Do I Do That?
By planning ahead, you answer the question, “How do I do that?” When you have an idea of HOW to achieve a certain goal, you make less mistakes and inadvertently waste resources. Do you really want to miss out on developing your inner genius of being an exceptionally successful person? Plan ahead and build your confidence. The simple action of planning ahead has many benefits. So, it is a great return on your time investment to plan ahead, no matter what goal you want to achieve.
When you plan, if you start out by telling yourself achieving your goal is going to be difficult, and continue on with that attitude, you sabotage your own best efforts. So, if you hear yourself say, “That’s not going to be easy…” change your attitude. Instead think about how you CAN achieve your goal.
Adopting a positive, uplifting, encouraging attitude actually can change your brain’s neuropathways to develop the success habit. You were born to succeed. So, let go of thinking in self-limiting and self-sabotaging ways. Instead FIND a way to achieve. This is what makes you a winner when playing the game of life.
Think about a personality you admire. This is a person who confidently assumes and presumes he/she CAN do anything he/she sets her mind to doing. Become that person by talking like that person. FEEL into your body the confidence this person exudes. When you FEEL in beliefs that catapult you to achieving goals the way that is easiest for you to do, THAT is the result you experience. Achieving life success all begins by including planning in your process of BEING a lifelong success.
Think, “I got this!” at the beginning of your planning session. Carry that attitude all the way through. Let nothing intimidate you into putting your goal aside. When you get derailed a little bit along the way, dust yourself off, get up and get going again.
Starting Your Plan Ahead Session
Schedule in a daily planning session for your goal, whatever that goal is. Adopt a supportive attitude assuming a “Let’s get started” position in your mind until you move and act in a forward direction toward your goal. Each baby step gets you closer to your objective. Celebrate instead of criticize your successes.
Starting to achieve a goal begins by taking that first step toward physically doing activities that move you closer to actually getting to where you want to go. One step forward, then another, then another keeps you up and going.
What Does Everyone Want?
Most goals involve other people. By getting feedback from those who will most likely be affected by you physically doing what you want to do, you can discover the “why” that motivates and inspires others to support you in achieving your goal. Align with their why when appropriate to keep going.
Getting started to achieve your goal means first doing research by talking with others who have already successfully achieved the goal you want to achieve. When you interview these people, ask them about the mistakes they made along the way. That gives you valuable input to know so you can avoid needlessly making those same mistakes.
After Getting Research, Improve On Your Version of Achieving the Goal
Time is the one thing everybody has the same amount of in a 24-hour day. When you strategically do your research first, use that feedback to improve upon how you CAN achieve the goal. Ultimately, this reduces stress, reduces costs, improves productivity, reduces the chance you will involve the wrong people on your journey, saves you from believing in the wrong things and a host of other benefits.
Additionally, getting input and doing research at the beginning of your journey can help you think through better how to achieve your goal. You don’t want to miss out on taking the time to do research to get things the way you want them the first time you actually do them, do you?
Figure It Out In YOUR Way
Each of us is the author of our own life. As you figure out how this goal-achievement story will unfold, use your own actual abilities. Don’t try to figure things out in a way that doesn’t make sense to you. Just think things through in a way that you can understand. Of course, getting training to learn techniques helps you grow in your abilities. Remember that by investing in training, you avoid missing out on what might be possible.
Once you have your research all written out, and you know what mistakes you want to avoid, and you have some idea of how to effectively move forward, figure out how to get a result appear in the way you want it to appear. This may include adapting and accepting a situation you initially did not want to accept.
Accepting that things are the way they are does not mean you condone or support that it happened or that it is the way it is. You are simply working WITH the way things are. When you work WITH the way things are that you actually can NOT ever change or control, you come up with solutions that DO get you to your goal.
Make Something New and Different
Would you want to eat oatmeal for every meal? Even if you like to eat oatmeal sometimes, it can bore you to eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. People like things to be new and different. This is what inspires us and motivates us to enjoy life. So, whatever goal you are in the process of achieving, or whatever trip you are planning to travel upon, incorporate the new and different in your journey. That makes what YOU do stand out from the way others have done it. Also, doing it different oftentimes makes it better.
Write Out HOW To Make Something New and Different
Consider what you want to do AND refer to relevant feedback you’ve gotten from your research. Create a rough outline of your ideas. Also include pictures, which can be rough pencil sketches of how you want each step to appear. Even if you just draw very amateurish looking stick figures, your brain will have a better idea on how to help you figure out the WAYS needed to make your goal become real.
Make things simple. Let ideas pour out on paper on HOW to make all the steps toward achieving your goal appear in your physical realm of reality.
ACT out the personality you want to take on to be the VOICE of your goal as it is realized. Think about your favorite personality. Do your rendition of the voice of your most admired personality and the way he or she would make your goal happen. All these things help your brain hemispheres communicate with each other. When you include your brain’s neurological abilities, it will spontaneously create new ideas to get your idea up and running.
Benjamin Franklin Close
Benjamin Franklin knew how to solve problems. He created a simple technique to close a business deal. Closing a business deal is essentially figuring out how to make the right decision in virtually any situation. Here’s how this works.
You get out a piece of paper. Draw a line down the middle of it to make two columns. At the top of the paper write out the intention or goal you want to achieve. Then, over one column, write the word “advantages.” Over the other column, write the word “disadvantages.” Through each step of your planning process to achieve mini-goals within your entire goal, write out one thing you want to do.
Then, write out the advantages and disadvantages of doing that one thing. Your subconscious mind will consciously reveal specific answers that can sometimes be amazing. Usually, the column with the most answers is the one that shows you either that doing that one action is advantageous (and the right way to go) or disadvantageous (and the wrong way to go).
For example, suppose you want to take a vacation. You are unsure if you want to go to a certain different location from your home or make your vacation a staycation. This is the first decision you want to make.
On your problem-solving piece of paper, at the top of one page, write the word “staycation.” Underneath that word, draw a line down the middle of the page to create two columns. Above the first column, write the word “advantages.” Above the second column, write the word “disadvantages.”
Now that you have two columns, for all who may be affected in the decision, ask for input. Write down the advantages and disadvantages everyone shares. Keep writing until you start to repeat what was already written. This exercise may take more than one meeting session. Let your subconscious mind keep triggering new ideas. You may want to set a time limit of 24-hours for answers. Setting a time limit can reduce the chances of obsessing and getting stuck in analysis paralysis. Analysis paralysis is where you keep collecting date but never make a decision.
After the time limit, gather everyone together again and discuss the findings. Typically, when everyone sees the results, a decision that satisfies the needs of all concerned can be made.
Keep What You Like – Leave Out The Rest
As you are creating what you want the end result of your goal to look like, keep what you like and leave out the rest. As appropriate, share what you’re doing to achieve your goal with others. It might just stir imagination in them to do something they want to achieve, too. It also might give you further feedback from views different than your own that can reveal more advantages to choosing to go ahead as planned or to modify your plans to improve things even more.
Get More Input
When you keep moving forward, remember to ask more people what they think. Sometimes using this newly gathered research and input can be used to spark even greater ingenuity that improves things further. If you wonder whether a new idea or new input is right to add to your mix, go back to using the Benjamin Franklin close. Again, setting a time limit can be helpful. Remember, you can always schedule any additional planning modification sessions if new research reveals information that changes the originally planned ideas.
Redesign Things Using The Added Input
When our family was growing up, I would always recommend using the “F” word; flexibility. It got to be a funny joke for us which still brings laughter when going through change. If, while you are planning or incorporating the steps to experiencing your goal, you see things changing, use the “F” word – flexibility. That way, you can grow and work well with what’s happening. If you really want to be successful in life, flexibility and sometimes going back to the drawing board and redesigning and rethinking what is best can help you naturally reduce the stress that can accompany life success.
Flexibility and change means seeing the situation from a different angle. How can you see your specific situation to achieve a certain goal in a new light that improves things once again? Write out those ideas and adapt and adopt new and different ways into the mix. I LOVE the Benjamin Franklin close for many reasons.
Note of awareness when planning: If it turns out somebody else’s idea seems to improve yours, give credit where credit is due. This inspires and encourages more people to contribute. Also, do not let your ego get in the way and tell yourself there’s something wrong with you because somebody else came up with a more improved way of doing things. That is self-sabotaging and doesn’t help you feel good about you.
Planning is all about revealing how to effectively and efficiently arrive at the best decision to achieve a goal. Businesses hire consultants regularly because the company owners know that no one can know all the answers to all life situations. Think about that when needing to change and modify original ideas. It’s all part of the planning process.
Make Other Associated Things Renewed and Improved
When you incorporate flexibility and adopt change, you can affect other people, places and things. This is all a part of improving life. As you plan ahead to be successful, think about how you might share the wealth of what you’ve learned with others. After all, when you are successful and share that success with others, you open up entirely new worlds! These new worlds can become the new “normal” for others or become classic traditions for the futures that sustain the test of time. Imagine being that force. And it all begins when you plan ahead!
Remember, your future happiness belongs to you when you plan for it. You can still be spontaneous without planning. If you don’t think planning is necessary, just ask Ben Franklin. Look at all he accomplished in his life. Just follow his creativity spirit. It’s in all of us.