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29 December - The Power Of Planning Ahead

"Unless you have definite, precise, clearly set goals, you are not going to realize the maximum potential that lies within you." ― Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." Eleanor Roosevelt

Once you have a vision of what you want and where to go, you'll need a plan and action steps to get there.

Planning helps you think through the most effective route to achieving your goals in advance, and a well-thought-out plan saves time and resources.

12-week Year planning

In the book “The 12-Week-Year”, Brian Moran & Michale Lennington encourage us to set goals for the next twelve weeks. The twelve-week plan has the advantage of enabling you to predict results more accurately. The further you plan in the future, the less predictable and accurate your results are, but twelve-week planning enables you to define what actions need to be taken each week, so there is more connection between your actions and the results.

Set twelve-week goals

With your life vision in hand, set goals for the next twelve weeks connected to achieving your overall vision.

Twelve weeks is enough time to get things done but short enough time that you will still keep up the momentum and urgency to achieve your goals. Set 1 – 3 goals for the next 12 weeks that have specific action steps to achieve these goals.

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your overwhelming complex tasks into small manageable tasks and starting on the first. "– Mark Twain

Action steps

Once you have ascertained your twelve-week goals, actions need to be determined.

The simplest method to do this is by breaking down your twelve-week goals into individual parts and a weekly plan.

Weekly Plan

While we plan for the future, we act in the day, so your daily activity must align with your long-term vision, strategies and action steps to be effective.

These actions dictate your weekly plan and daily to-do's so schedule specific actions that will need to be completed on a designated week.

Spend 15 minutes at the beginning of every week to review the past week's progress and plan for the next week.

Spend the first five minutes of each day reviewing your weekly plan and scheduling your day's activities and focus.

Example - Goal #1 - Save $1000 in twelve weeks -save $83.3 per week / $11.9cents per day

Write 3-5 weekly action steps on how you will save $83 a week

E.g. Action step – Bring lunch to work,

Make your coffee at home rather than buy takeaway,

Sell an unwanted item on Marketplace etc.

#2 Goal : Build strong relationships with my family

Action Step, e.g., Have a family night once a week

Go on a date night with my partner

Do something special with one of my children once a week.

Put the phone down and be more present when with my family

#3 Goal: Be fitter - Run 5km

Action Steps: Sign up for couch to 5km

Buy some running shoes

Follow running app and run five days a week

Go to bed 30 mins earlier.

Remember, a weekly plan covers your strategies, priorities, and long-term and short-term tasks. It will help you focus on what needs to happen every week to keep you on target with your twelve-week-year goals, which are designed to keep you aligned to fulfil your life vision.

Goals and actions steps to achieve them are powerful and hold us accountable to what we truly value.

“Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together" – Vincent Van Gogh.

It is a consistent action that turns a dream and goal into reality

D.L. Moody is a great example of the power of keeping your vision and goals before you. He is known as the greatest evangelist of the 19th Century because of his consuming passion for people to know Jesus.

Shortly after becoming a Christian, Moody resolved that he would never let twenty-four hours pass over his head without speaking to at least one person about his soul. His was a very busy life, and sometimes he would forget his resolution until the last hour. Then on realizing he would sometimes get out of bed, dress, and talk to someone about his soul so that he might not let one day pass without having told at least one person about Jesus.

One night Mr Moody was going home from his place of business. It was very late, and it suddenly occurred to him that he had not spoken to anyone that day. He said to himself: “Here’s a day lost. I have not spoken to anyone today and shall not see anybody at this late hour.” But as he walked up the street, he saw a man standing under a lamppost. The man was a perfect stranger to him, though it turned out afterwards that he knew who Mr Moody was. He stepped up to this stranger and said: “Are you a Christian?” The man replied: “That is none of your business, whether I am a Christian. If you were not a preacher, I would knock you into the gutter for your impertinence.” Mr Moody said a few earnest words and passed on.

Weeks passed by. One night Mr Moody was in bed when he heard a tremendous pounding at his front door. He jumped out of bed and rushed to the door. He thought the house was on fire. He thought the man would break down the door. He opened the door, and there stood this man. He said: “Mr Moody, I have not had a good night’s sleep since that night you spoke to me under the lamppost, and I have come around at this unearthly hour of the night for you to tell me what I have to do to be saved.” Mr Moody took him in and told him what to do to be saved.

D. L Moody knew his life vision and calling and had specific weekly and daily action steps to achieve that vision.

I encourage you to seek God as to your life vision and what you want your life to look like.

Then make some twelve-week goals to align with this vision and break these goals into a weekly plan and daily action steps to achieve this.

“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” (2 Chronicles 15:7)

“May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.” (Psalm 20:4)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

“If God is your partner, make your plans BIG” – D.L. Moody

Prayer: Lord, please help me make the most of every day and plan both long and short-term so that I can make the most of every opportunity. Please give me a heart of wisdom and direct me in the steps to take. In Jesus name Amen.

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