By Lydia Beasley
Planning is needed in every aspect of our lives and should be viewed as a necessity. We often say, "I plan to do it", but never take action on establishing steps. Because there is always so much to do, proper planning cannot be ignored; especially, when you want to succeed.
You have every reason to make planning a part of your routine. Would you say "I have too much money so I don’t need to plan?" or, "I don’t have enough money to follow a plan?" Neither scenario makes sense. There is always room for a plan, no matter what stage of life and regardless of age. A five year old will likely develop a habit of planning simply by having a scheduled routine everyday. Starting young, of course, establishes a great foundation.
The Magic of Planning
We all know we need a plan, however, we also know that things do not always go “as planned." But, here is the magic of planning—when circumstances change, you are able to make adjustments much easier than just “winging it” from nothing. Review, Reset and Move Forward- Pivot!
Get Excited About Planning Your Life
Write it down! What a difference a few sheets of paper can make! It can get pretty exciting when you start to lay it out. Planning will give you more benefits than I can list, both personally and professionally. It helps you create strategies instead of just letting things happen.
Creating a Plan
Think about where you want to be in 2-5 years. Next, what do you need to do in the first year to get started? Now, scale back to what you need to do in the first month that will set you on the path to achieve your five year goal. As previously stated, do not forget to write it down! The key is to stay focused. When distractions interfere with your plan, get back on track as soon as you can.
When making plans for your business, be sure that the company’s financial statements are reviewed at least quarterly and especially before year-end. Prioritize review of the company’s business plan annually. Seek advice to make sure you have the correct type of business entity; find out where you stand compared to industry standards. Determine the accuracy of estimated taxes, and whether you are correctly recording business transactions. Identify the ideal time to acquire a retirement plan, etc.
Get Started Now
Starting your plan now in preparation for the year-end and next year ensures that you will start each year in action! Begin with a simple outline and add levels as you discover more of your interests and goals. Don't just write it down, keep moving; allow your plans to change and evolve but always stay on the path.
Get maximum results by conducting planning meetings through-out the year, outlining your strategic plans. Contact professionals and mentors that can offer guidance. Have an agenda, allow for honesty, take ownership, delegate, be open and remember...sometimes veering off the plan may be effective; avoid being too strict.