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Lesson Nineteen — Your Plan

Your plan is going to be the roadmap to achieving your goal or goals.It also should be detailed and realistic.Your goal might be to get an A in Western Civilization, and your plan is to spend three hours per day after school memorizing the textbook.This might be realistic if you did not have other classes to study for, loved Western Civilization, and had no other life, but for most of us it would not be realistic, and therefore, not achievable.One hour each night might be enough and is surely realistic.It might be more than enough if you normally do not devote any time to it.

As I said in the last chapter, your plan should be in writing.Writing things down helps you to think them through.It helps you identify any gaps or missing pieces.Are these steps realistic?This helps you to determine whether or not the actual goal is realistic, or needs to be revised.

Your plan should include the element of time.Some would call this “setting milestones.”Let’s say your goal is to save $2,000 to buy a car.That should be no big deal.However, when do you want to buy the car?If you want to buy it in time for the fall term, you are going to have $1,000 saved by August 21st.This means you are going to have to save $125 per week between now and then.This means you are going to have to work 10 hours on Saturday and six hours on Sunday each week from now until then, and give up that extra slice of pizza for lunch.

If you forget to include the element of time in the form of milestones, and write those milestones on paper, and review them frequently, and revise them when necessary, and check them off when you achieve them, your goals might just as well be dreams, because they are just going to slip away, and never be achieved.

Suppose your goal is to make the varsity tennis team next year.What should you do about it?You have a goal, but now you need a plan.Wishing and hoping and really, really wanting it are not good enough.Write down your goal, and you plan.Sign up for lessons.Get an after-school job at the indoor facility.Lift weights three times a week.Play at least three times a week.Take one hundred practice serves twice a week.Write it down.Put it on the calendar.Check them off.

So, write down your goals, write down your plan, break your plan down into mini-goals, and write them down, too.  Add dates to the plan, so you can keep on track.  Check them off as you go so you can get that sense of accomplishment that is so important to all of us.

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