Plan it Well - it's easier that way
Whatever you want to accomplish, if you plan it well, it will be much easier to achieve.
Nothing worth doing was ever accomplished in a haphazard manner. There was always some planning involved.
I'm big on planning. Whether it's financial planning, business planning or planning for my personal activities, it works well for me.
Planning doesn't have to be in writing, but it's a good idea when you're serious about something.
And, it's a good idea when that "something" is very important.
Plan it well, and things usually go well.
If you don’t plan it, you won’t make it happen. If you are going to get out from under debt or build wealth, then you need to make a plan to follow.
If you're in debt now, you probably didn’t have a money management plan in place before debt swallowed you, and that’s how you got into it. Getting out of debt will require a plan. Staying out will require a plan.
Without a plan, nothing much will happen. Your ultimate goal will not be realized unless you have specific action items and dates assigned. Laying out the plan is a good way to envision your ultimate success. A plan will also provide you with a tool to monitor and manage your progress.
When I moved from California to Wyoming, I put together a little flow chart to sequence the activities properly. It helped clarify the steps in my mind. While unpacking some of my stuff in Cheyenne, I ran across my flowchart and noted that what I had planned actually happened just as I planned it.
Years ago I assembled a team to run a business and we all sat down and identified who we were, our strengths and weaknesses, and what we brought to the table. We also looked at the marketplace, our networking contacts, and ideas for products and services. If we were going to be successful, we needed to plan. We planned well, and we also ended up doing well.
Planning - the basics
Here are the basics of planning when it comes to achieving success in personal finance, frugal living, self reliance, doing things yourself or whatever your pleasure:
- Goals - the war you want to win.
- Enabling objectives - the battles you need to win in order to win the war.
- Key Assumptions - things you assume are in place and you can count on. These influence your key steps and action items, and they also speak to the feasibility of your plan.
- Potential Problems - a list of what you need to look out for while implementing the plan. If these arise, you may need to revise your key steps. In other words, "go to plan B."
- Resources - what you have to work with. This gets things out on the table in front of you to show you your strengths and weaknesses.
- Investments - what you need to acquire in order to have a full complement of resources to get the job done. This is what you need to do to make up for your weaknesses.
- Timeline - anticipated schedule for doing what you intend to do.
- Milestones - a means of measuring your progress and staying on schedule with activities. It also serves as a feedback mechanism and as encouragement when you accomplish a milestone.
- Key Steps - the sequence of activities necessary to make it happen.
- Action Items - sub-activities and assigned responsibilities to accomplish the key steps.
- Details - anything else that needs to be noted in order to clarify the plan so it can be implemented effectively.
Putting this list together is the easy part. Drafting a formal plan is the challenge. My suggestion is to take your time drafting a plan and "sit with it" for a while to allow other bits and pieces "bubble up" so you can update it.
It's worth the time you might invest. If you plan it well, you're much more likely to have the success you desire.
It's also useful to "table top" your plan. This is a walk-through of the plan in your mind and in open discussion with others so you feel like it's feasible, and you understand the approach to success.
It bears repeating - plan it well, and your chances of success rise dramatically. Fail to plan, and you'll likely find yourself in an undesirable situation.
Done with Plan it Well, back to Mindset of Frugality