On New Year’s Eve, I was grateful I had the chance to reflect on my year. There were a lot of ups and downs, but sadly, there were many things I didn’t accomplish. I wanted to go here and there and do this and that. I did very little. I wondered why.
At first I wanted to give myself an “out” and say it was because I was working all the time. True; I WAS working all the time, but I could have taken time off. Then I wanted to say it was because I didn’t have the money. But then I thought about some of my money decisions and realized, that, no, I couldn’t blame it on lack of money.
I was coming up with alibis left and right, and none of them were sticking.
So I decided to dig deep. I really wanted to know so that I would not repeat the same mistake(s) in 2016. And when I dug deep, prayed, and meditated, I realized the answer. I HAD NOT PLANNED ONE THING.
If you really intend to do anything, you make plans to do it. You decide what, when, where, why, how, and with whom. You write it down. You put it on your calendar, in your smartphone. You put a deadline on it. You allot money for it. You research it, if needed. You do what’s necessary to make it happen. You take action that will move you towards it. Anything less is just a pleasant thought, much like a daydream. Daydreams are good, but you need to decide, just like I should have decided, if you want to dream about it, or if you want it to happen.
Now that I know where I went wrong, I am actively making plans for this year. I’m taking Spring Break off and leaving the Continental U.S. I’m going camping at some point as well as snowboarding in the winter. I will finish my next book. And my list goes on.
So, I urge you–if you haven’t reflected on last year yet and decided on how you want to improve your life this year, go ahead and do it asap. If you don’t, this year may end up just like last year. Are you okay with that?
Tips for planning:
- Write it down. This makes it become more real and strengthens your intention for it to happen.
- Attach money to it. Once you spend money towards your goal, you are less likely to back out. This could be a down payment, making payments, or paying the whole kit and caboodle. This is a demonstration of your commitment. Most people, unless they like throwing away money, won’t waste money and will go ahead as planned.
- Tell someone you respect about your plans. This will help to hold you accountable. Unless you are totally immature, you won’t want to appear “slack” by not going through with your plans and you will do what you can to make it happen. You won’t want to chance losing the respect of people that you respect.
- Tell your kids. Assuming you’re a good parent and want to set a good example for your kids, this is another way of making yourself accountable and successful with your plans. You will want to teach your kids the value of planning and making things happen. And if they are anything like my kids, they will jump right in and help you with your planning. Then it becomes a family affair and this is a great way to have quality time with your kids!
I’m doing all of the above now; I’m actively “practicing what I am preaching.” I hope the same for you and look forward to hearing all the good stuff you have planned.
Here’s to a Happy and Successful New Year,
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