Imagine you were in a business class of one of the leading airlines in your country.
“Attention ladies and gentlemen, this is flight AX3247. Fasten your seatbelt, as we take off from our runway through to Heathrow airport. Though presently, there’s no approved flight plan, our experienced pilots are capable of ensuring a safe and sound journey. Enjoy yourselves and we believe God will grant us a safe trip. How many people will wait in that kind of plane? Even the control tower will not clear a plane without a flight plan. A plane without a flight plan is a disaster going to happen.
Unfortunately, most of us do that every time with our lives as the cycle of time rolls year in year out. We look forward to each year with great hope and dreams. Most of us have wishes, but then they call them resolutions. A little after the month of February, most of the goals are already forgotten. A lesser percentage have goals, while a lot lesser proportion of people have plans to achieve the interests and goals they have in mind.
Every enterprise is built by wise planning, becomes strong through common sense, and profits wonderfully by keeping abreast of facts… Prov 24:3, 4 (Living Bible)
One of the most important lessons is to understand that goals rarely work without a plan. Most of us have a backlog of goals and wishes we have in our minds, without a single plan to achieve it e.g. stopping a habit, writing a book, reducing your weight e.t.c. The realization of every goal or dream is in planning. Planning entails breaking down goals into realizable chunks and pieces. If every piece or sub-goal is achievable, the ultimate goal becomes a deliverable. People must see your sub-goals and must not be in doubt about your intention about where you’re headed.
Pro 24:3 Through skillful and godly Wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established [on a sound and good foundation],
Pro 24:4 And by knowledge shall its chambers [of every area] be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.
Pro 24:5 A wise man is strong and is better than a strong man, and a man of knowledge increases and strengthens his power; [Prov. 21:22; Eccl. 9:16.]
Pro 24:6 For by wise counsel you can wage your war, and in an abundance of counselors there is victory and safety.
PRACTICAL GUIDE TO PLANNING:
? Set a definite goal: Setting something like ‘reducing weight’, it does not inspire action, it doesn’t drive you. Once you set up something like ‘reducing my weight to 59kg in one month’ – yes! There’s a personalization to the goal. Be more specific about the financial goal, check out the size, colour, cost and specs of the car you want to buy.
? Write it, sing it, and paste it: Write the vision and make it plain… Hab 2:2. Even if some people have goals, a lesser percentage have never thought of putting their thoughts to paper. Take an action towards your goal. Write something, tell someone, sing it, mime it, let it be in the tablet of your heart. Others will, see it- they will comment, but you’ve crossed the bridge of doing nothing about it. Every time you see your goals, you remind yourself not to forget!
? Set a deadline: Putting a deadline on your goals, gives you the inspiration to run ahead. Every time you remember the deadline, you are inspired to run faster because you do not have the whole of life to achieve you aim. Once you set the deadline, the whole of your mind and body are geared and coordinated to achieve the goals within the time. ‘ Getting 500 tickets sold in one week’, adds a different dimension to selling tickets – the one week ensures you do not lax, it makes it a certain reality that you make use of every opportunity and time you have to achieve your goal.
? Develop a plan to achieve your goal: This is where most of us begin to fail to achieve our goals. It is a common saying that failing to plan is planning to fail. Common, put down a paper, write a step by step plan to achieve your goal. Every goal can be broken down into bits. If you hope to get a car in one year, you can set apart how much to pay out of you salary in a year EVERY month. By the end of the year, you have your money. Some of us just hope to wake up at the end of the year, and the goal manifests, you know… I want to be 64 kg by June, but you consume everything in sight from January to May.
Breaking a lifetime goal into yearly goals helps you come closer to the goal every year.
? Determine what achieving your goal requires (what will you give in exchange): When you do this you come out clear about what your goal will require. Setting a goal for an ‘A’ in an exam for example means reading and preparing more thoroughly and early enough for the examination. It also helps you gauge if you have what it takes to achieve that goal. The people of Israelites saw the people of Canaan and sentenced themselves out of the goal because the thought they did not have what it takes to achieve the goal of subduing the land.
Depending on you, you can set different kinds of goals
ü Career: Reading books, not just magazines. Enhancing your competence at work. Listening to spiritual and personal development messages, getting a Walkman, car stereo to make use of traffic or waiting moments (I just started that!).
ü Health: Halting bad drinking habits, exercising your bodies, and encouraging safe eating habit
ü Family: Not forgetting your life, get a plan out for your family. Making out time for your wife, family, kids. Visiting long lost friends and relatives
ü Financial: Usually when we think of planning we think of financials. Setting money aside for capital projects. Settling outstanding debts and recurrent, bills, tithe.