Many of us are on occasion inspired to take on new and exciting opportunities, or to change something that's not working for us and focus on something more satisfying and appealing. In order for those wonderful new challenges, ideas and concepts to become reality, in order for us to live the dream we have to find a way to turn our thoughts into feasible stepping-stones to success. Planning ahead is the key to that result.
Let's look at the 3 main advantages of planning ahead:
– It's important to take time and decide what is required for us to achieve our desired outcome. Whether it be physical travel, a personal goal or a business venture there has to be a breakdown of the various elements required to take us from where we are now to where we want to be. There has to be an action plan. What skills are required, how much time or money is essential to support it, is it a straightforward or more complicated plan, is outside help needed or available on occasion. All these factors help to identify individual stepping-stones and ensure that the plan becomes a well-considered guide to success. Once this has been asserted, realistic decisions can be taken that support our commitment to the goal and allow us to be clear as to where to start and the best way to progress.
– Planning ahead allows interim goals to be established. This enables each stepping stone to be enjoyed and celebrated as a success in its own right. It also allows for adjustments to be made to the larger picture if and when required. New, previously unconsidered options may have arisen. Having interim goals allows the opportunity to consider whether a potential new option is viable or perhaps even more appealing than the original goal. Planning ahead provides a master plan which allows a forum to consider other options whilst not losing sight of the original, bigger picture.
– Contingency planning is important when planning ahead. Keeping time to practice, rehearse, explore other ways of doing things is vital as a way of encouraging new ideas, creativity and innovation. Time can be allocated for the known and considered elements of the project, while giving some latitude for unexpected factors cropping up or things not going to plan. Also time should be scheduled for rest, breaks and fun. An additional benefit is that planning ahead that provides confidence in the project's viability; It starts to take shape and become more than a figment of imagination or something on our wish list. Wherever possible, anomalies have been addressed during the planning stage and a clear goal has been given definition.
Planning ahead allows us to become so familiar with what we intend to do that we are able to be confident in our chances of success. As a consequence, it allows us to tackle any issues that may arise in a calm and capable manner, knowing where to go to find solutions, dealing with any problems positively and effectively.