There is the saying that “A poor plan is better than no plan at all”. That’s true. A person with a plan is one step ahead of a person with a goal but no plan. That person is also ahead of a person that has a dream; this person is also better than a person with a wish and a person with a wish is better than one who knows not what he wants. But the best of them all is the one that acts on his plans bit by bit till it’s accomplished.
What’s the difference?
You have something in particular that you want to have. You know exactly what it is; when you get it, you’ll know your wish has come true. Even though you want this thing, you do not necessary think or feel you’ll have it. It’s all just a fantasy. For instance, I wish I had $10,000,000.00
You have something in particular in mind. You want this thing and you feel you deserve it. You expect to have it in the future. You don’t know exactly when or even how, but you know at some point you will have it. It’s your dream. You expect it to come true. Example: I want to own a business when I grow up.
A dream becomes a goal when you mark it and put some restrictions on it. Mostly, goals are written and deadlines are given. Also, there’s a clear sense of what you want. You may not necessarily have a plan to achieve it but you’ve pinned it down and expect to achieve it by a set date. I will be worth $500,000.00 by 31st December 2020.
Plans usually move with goals. So you’ve set a goal, then you have a plan to help you achieve that goal. Let’s use the goal above. Now let’s plan. 1. I will save 25% of my salary at all cost. 2. I will invest 50% of my savings after every six months. 3. I’ll go for a loan of $3000.00 and set up an ice cream shop.
Between Goal and Plan, lies idea
Ideas will make your dreams come true, only if you act on them. Ideas may come as you think of how to achieve your goal. Most of these ideas, you may feel the urge to brush aside because it’s easier to remain in your comfort zone.
Action is the fire
You may have clearly stated your goals, kudos! You may have clearly spelt out plans born out of a very brilliant idea, but without taking your first small action, nothing will happen. It’s like gathering firewood, adding dry leaves, adding a bit of kerosene. It’s all set to be lit but without the fire, it’s useless. Action is the fire that starts small at the corner of that dry leave and grows bigger till the gathered firewood is lit up.
Having a goal is like making up your mind to build a particular type of house. Having a plan is like having the blueprint. You need to start laying the blocks; one on top of the other. Without that, the house will remain on a paper.
Stop planning and re-planning
Usually when we plan to do something, we try to anticipate all the things that could possibly go wrong. It’s good to make room for mistakes but to constantly adjust your plan due to an unseen problem ahead of you, will keep you going in circles. You may never even face that problem, or you may face a bigger one than that. You may even face an entirely different problem than you anticipated. The point is, you need to start acting, then re-adjust your plan when they fail. Don’t continually adjust it without doing anything first. Once your plan has taken form, stop re-planning and ACT!
What actions do I take?
In order not to make this post an all-talk post, let’s take a look at what I mean by actions. First of all, you need to have a goal that you want to accomplish. If you don’t, think of something you really want, write it down and put a deadline on it like the example we saw earlier. Plan how you’re going to achieve that dream. Sit down quietly, stare at your goal, think, pray, meditate. Do whatever you can to bring out a plan from within you. Note that your goal must be believable. Your mind should accept it else you’re wasting your time. Don’t make a wish, write down a goal you believe in and make a plan for action.
Now, break down each plan into actions. Monthly, weekly and daily actions. What will you do each day to effect your plans? What will you do each week? Write it down. Break it down till you know what you’re doing each day to move a step closer to your goal. Even if it’s making a phone call, writing a proposal, drinking a glass of water in the morning, whatever it is, it should be an action that moves you a step closer to your goal, an action that’s in your plan and in the end all these little actions will make you achieve your goal!
Action is everything!