Plan, Prepare, Make Progress (365 Days of Spirited Living – DAY 68)
“The will to win is worthless if you do not have the will to prepare.”
— Thane Yost
There are some things in life that we don’t and can’t plan for, like emergencies. But much of life is pretty straight-forward. The more we plan and prepare for in advance, the better results we will receive. It has been said that most people do not plan to fail; they fail to plan. Failing to plan is a common source of frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed with life’s daily pressures.
Some of us don’t like to plan. We prefer to fly by the seat of our pants and land anywhere at any given time on any certain day. This is especially true for the artistically creative crowd. The way of not planning suits them nicely, but in many cases, productivity stalls and progress becomes almost invisible. Whether you are artistic or not, you are largely responsible for the direction in which your life goes each day. The more organized and orderly you are in your head and on paper, the more you can accomplish with your time.
If you have goals you want to reach, take time to break those goals down into specific, daily tasks. Set deadlines to accomplish each task. Follow up with yourself and track your progress at every step of the way. Over time, you will find that your life is more manageable and your goals are more accomplishable. Goals cannot be reached all at once. They take time and commitment to finish each task that make up the whole goal.
Celebrate small victories. Every day you accomplish a small task on the way to your goal or meet a deadline, pat yourself on the back. This is personal motivation to accomplish the next task or meet the next deadline. You will find that each day you do this, the tasks that are accomplished become larger than the tasks left to do. You will feel empowered to keep moving forward and making progress.
Careful, realistic planning minimizes the daily decisions you have to make each day. This does not mean you will not have to make decisions, but if you plan what you’re going to do and prepare for what you intend to do ahead of time, you will have less decisions to make when the opportunity comes. The salary you want to earn by a certain age, the debts you want to pay off, the book you want to write can be done by breaking it down into attainable, possible, and doable tasks. All of your impressively high goals and dreams can be reached if you simply plan, prepare, and make daily progress.
“Life is like a combination lock; your job is to find the right numbers, in the right order, so you can have anything you want.”
— Brian Tracy