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How To Succeed In Your Plans: Write Them Down - Make Them Plain

Pad of Paper & PenAn old flame once told me that I lived life larger in my mind than I did in reality. I couldn't argue the point. After all, I do have a penchant for writing. And I definitely have an overdeveloped imagination. But she raised a very powerful point. In my own mind I knew that sooner or later I'd be doomed if I stayed in my head with my dreams.

I don't remember if it was in church that I learned to write down my plans or if it was advice given to me by someone else, but by the time I was 25 I had a house filled with notebooks and journals of day-to-day plans, monthly and annual plans. Before I realized what I was doing, I was amazed that most of what I was writing was coming to pass. I didn't know then that I was calling it into reality and making it even more concrete by writing out a road map for myself to follow.

At the end of the month I'll be coming up on my 39th birthday. This year is a special year for me, not because I'm one year shy of forty, but because at 23 I wrote a plan of action for myself that spanned 16 years. It included a tremendous amount of self-discovery and the associated pains that come with it; it had warning for me to warn others that might get involved with me that the ride would be nothing less than rocky, in fact I didn't even factor in a loved one until the age of 36 with the idea being that I'd be coming out of the worst of it by then.

But at the age of 36 I was already married with children. Just like life, marriage and everything I've never met a plan that was perfect. But having a written plan does wonders for the soul. When you write out your goals and aspirations:

  • You have a document to consult and run self-check ups with.
  • You get to see with your own eyes the plausibility of what you're trying to do.
  • The more you write the more direct, succinct and specific you will be with your goals. (The method by which you wish to become rich vs. "I wanna be rich.")
  • You can change, adjust, adapt your plans for the changes, hurdles and hiccups life puts before you.
  • You have a written document that you can submit before God for approval.
  • You have a written document you can share with your spouse/significant other. (Don't go overboard sharing this with everyone else as they may discourage your plans.)
  • When you start to feel frazzled, lost, out of focus or begin coming down too hard on yourself, you can check back to see if you're still on the same page with yourself.
  • You have a measure by which to gauge your maturation. Ultimately you may decide your plan is not adequate for where you are now and you can scratch the whole thing and start over new.
  • It gives you the opportunity to reconnect with a younger you on those days that you feel old, dispassionate or just need to revisit where you came from for inspiration.

My Bye, Bye Backfat Saga was written down on my calendar long before it showed up here. When I don't write my plans down I lose focus, get blown around a lot by life and definitely begin to embrace the "woe is mes". But each person is different as are their needs.

If you believe you may need a little more focus or some redirection you should make the time to try it. If there is something you want to do, write down in a special journal or pad, not on a piece of scrap paper and make it plain for you to understand and reason with. You'll be surprised how the things you want (barring breaking the laws of physics or practicing magic) get you centered on your goals.

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Photo Credit: Tonya Evans

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