Today is the 25th of December! It’s chrismas day! I remember what today stood for growing up as a child. It was a high point in the year worth looking forward to. Not only would we get new clothes and eat anything at home, the whole neighbourhood became our restaurant, and the best part was that the food was free. I can clearly remember discussing back then with my playmates about how many bottles of fanta or coke we had taken that day alone. We were welcome in as many as the 300 homes in our neighbourhood, and it was a taboo to answer “thank you”, when you were offered food. If you don’t want to eat there, don’t go there. As you can bet however, things are a lot different with me now :). December 25 is still a day of celebration of the birth and purpose of Jesus Christ, that hasn’t changed. What has changed is, rather than moving from pillar to post, I now spend my Chrismas days introspectively, trying to draw out clear paths and plans for the coming year. If you haven’t, it’s a good time as well, to ask yourself, what is my plan for the coming year. Remember, what doesn’t get measured, rarely gets done!
You can use the following principles and thoughts to plan for yours. Our wishes and dreams only become reality when we wake up and engage ourselves actively for their fulfillment. We can build castles in the air, they will remain in the air, until we get active in the process of building the foundation. If you want to have a great life next week, next year or next 5 years, plan for it. Great structures are not built on rough sketches they are built on carefully drafted architectural plans.
1. Plan Ahead.
“The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.”-Sun Tzu
The value of planning and preparation can not be overemphasised. The more the planning and calculation ahead the more the guarantee for success in the battle. Proper planning and prepararation prevents poor performance. Don’t wait till the year starts and demands pile on you before knowing what you want to work on, set out time this season and plan for your year ahead. The wisdom of the ant, is in it’s ability to think ahead now, and make plans for the inevitable. Do it head, he who fails to plan, plans to fail.
2. Review your past.
“In order to plan your future wisely, it is necessary that you understand and appreciate your” -Jo Coudert
“Those who don’t know the past are bound to repeat it”, this is one of the laws that I have learnt about history. I also understand that a man is forever a child until he comes to terms with the things that happened before him. It is always a vital step to understand how you performed this year before you start planning for the next. All your failures as well as successes are very good teachers in your plan for your next season of opportunities. Don’t just discard the past and start with the new, look out for what worked, what didn’t and why? Next year is meant to be better than this year, the only way this will happen is if you learnt well from the last.
“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities” – Napoleon Hill
3. Write down the plan.
“Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.”- Napoleon Hill
Your wishes cross over into desires the moment they are well articulated enough to be pursued. Don’t plan it out in your brain, document it. Here are my suggestions for basic things you must cover. Your activities can be divided into roles, in each role you have responsibility areas. Your plan should clearly state your goal in each of these areas and your idea of the current best way to achieve these goals. For example, I use an excel sheet. Where my role could be Project Manager, a project I’m responsible for could be my website -deoluakinyemi.com, my goal for 2007 could be to increase the number of montly hits by 500%. I would then develop a plan and strategy for how I want to achieve this. For this to be workable, the activities I would need to engage in would need to be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART). If you are really interested, I could send you a template that I use (if the demand is alarming, i’ll work at making it downloadable from this site). Your plan should cover all aspects of your life too, that includes, family, business, personal development, finance, relationships, society, ministry, projects, e.t.c.
“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” -H. Stanley Judd
4. Review it from time to time.
“It’s an ill plan that cannot be changed” -Latin Proverb
You need to look at your plan regularly and make alterations if need be, or at least update to see where you are versus where you are going. Believe me, this takes a lot of discipline. I tried in 2005 when I entered all my daily financial transactions into a template I had developed, it worked for a few months, and it really helped me know what to focus on and what I wasn’t doing well. Your plan must be a tool that helps you to say no and ofcourse yes to opportunities that come your way.
Do your plan today, and if the new year starts before you read this, do it anyway. It’s better late than never!Planner