A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish

Where do you want to be five years from now? Can you describe what you’d like your life to look like then? More importantly, do you have a plan in place that will get you there? As the saying goes, a goal without a plan is just a wish.

You need a good plan

A good plan includes both the end goal (your clear vision), midterm goals (milestones), and the most immediate steps (what you need to do right now before you can do the next step).

Problems with this are usually twofold:

  1. You may not know what you want the future to look like, or
  2. It may seem so different from the present that you have no idea how to get there

Luckily, both problems can be solved.

Stumped about the future?

If you don’t know what you want the future to look like, it can be helpful to start by thinking about what you like and dislike about the present.
That’ll get you thinking. Also consider what kind of things you enjoy in general.

Once you have an idea of part or all of where you want to be, working backwards can help you get from “I have no idea where to start” to success.

Go from vague dreams to specifics

For example, if you want to be a homeowner five years from now but aren’t sure how to go about it, you could start by thinking about the typical home-buying process.

Many people use a Realtor when they’re ready to buy a home, so probably you’d want to contact one of them. And what’s the first thing a Realtor is likely to ask you? They’ll probably ask what price your price range is, and what features you want the house to have. So, what features do you want the house to have? And how much do houses like that typically cost? What steps would you need to take to afford one? Things go on from there.

Write all your questions and answers down, and at the end you’ll have a path to your goal.

When you don’t know the answers

Chances are you’ll come across questions that you don’t know the answers to. Use those as an opportunity to take action.

For example, maybe you have no idea how you could possibly afford a house. Make finding someone who has done it already your action step, and find out what it took. Once you get your answer, take the next step too.

Reaching goals is mostly a matter of dedication and taking one step after another. Figuring out which steps to take helps turn your wish into reality.