The importance of planning ahead.
9th November 2010
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“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.”

This quotation is from the late, great Jim Rohn.

Have you achieved all of the goals that you set yourself at the beginning of the year?  Did you have a set of clear, written goals?  Did you refer to them?  Have you taken the necessary action?  Time and again, it has been proven that people with clear, written goals and the ability to act on them achieve much more than those without them.

However, the written goals won’t achieve themselves; they are merely a catalyst to give your brain something to focus on.  The real achievers in any area are the ones who have the ability to focus their attention on those goals and to take daily action towards their achievement.

The fact is, many people find it difficult to decide on what they want, never mind writing it down.  Life is obviously more than just business and work.  That’s why, in our work with clients, we help by asking questions about key areas: family, health, home, friends, hobbies, education, work and community.  We all have different ideas about what is important.  So, what’s important to you?  If a goal isn’t important to you then it’s probably less likely to happen because you may give up at the first hurdle.

Once you’ve worked out what’s important, start writing down your goals, with timescales for their achievement.

Next, write down what would need to happen for you to achieve your goals.  There are likely to be a number of steps and these steps will form a plan.  Again, make sure you have timescales for the completion of each step.

Once you have your plan, look at it regularly.  Opinion is divided on how often you need to refer to it.  For some it may be monthly, for others it may be daily.  My view is to look at it often enough to keep your attention on your goals.

Next, the most important step: action.  The written goals create the focus, the plan maintains that focus but it’s the action that brings the goals into reality.

Finally, remember that in life, in business, obstacles will appear in your way.  Trends will change, the economy will change.  So, you need to be flexible enough to change your plan to enable you to steer round those obstacles.

None of this is new.  You may have heard it all before.  Many people have but only a small percentage of people act on the information.  So, where will you choose to be one year, five years, ten years from now?  If you decide what’s important to you, have a plan to achieve it, focus on that plan and take the necessary action then you’ll have a great chance of seeing your ideas become reality.

Simon Yates is a Director, Certified Financial Planner practitioner and Independent Financial Adviser at Yates & Co Financial Planners in Chester.  He specialises in Lifestyle Financial Planning, helping people to identify, achieve and maintain their lifestyles.

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Chester word of mouth specialist, promotes and markets the best businesses in Chester. Passionately supporting local businesses, organisations and events.

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