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Tips to Creating and Following a Successful Plan

# Start with the end in mind. Set a deadline for your goal. Write the completion of your goal on the deadline date in your calendar. Then, work backward by putting tasks in your calendar each day or each week. For example, if you want to send out a mailing this spring, choose the date that you want the mailing to go out. Then, work backward to create a to-do list each week. If you wanted to send your mailing out on April 1, you would write, “edit mailing” on March 31, and “finish creating mailing” on March 30 and so on. Do this for each goal that you have. Before you know it, you’ll have weekly, and even daily plans laid out.

# Spend time each day planning. Take 15 minutes every day to create a plan. If you follow the example above, you’ll have a broad plan to follow. However, life is full of opportunities, and you don’t want to miss out on anything. Life is also full of things you don’t plan on – like having to get the hot water heater fixed. You’ll need to spend some time planning to include unexpected things into your day. It’s ok to change your plan, move things around, and re-arrange your schedule. It happens, and it’s ok to shift your plan to make room for the unexpected things.

# Put strong activities on your to-do list. There are actually certain things that you don’t need to include in your to-do list. The little things. The things that will get done no matter what. For example, don’t put “mail the bills” on your to-do list. Keep your priorities on your to-do list. Put incidentals or non-essential tasks on sticky notes. Once they’re done, throw the note away. Also, don’t put little things on your to-do list just for the satisfaction of having something to cross off.

Planning to succeed doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming. Simply set your goals and follow these three tips. Before you know it, the road to success will be laid out right in front of you.

Remember – any good plan needs to be put into action. It’s not enough to simply write words on paper. You must go forward and create your results.