Your Plan – Your Guide

Empower This Tool and Avoid Getting Off Track

Discerning what you need before you need it

We have seen in, 2 Processes You Can Use To Increase Your Opportunities, that adequate planning starts with your goal and then defining the steps required to attain your goal. Determining the steps or milestones depends at least in part on what you are hoping to achieve.

Perhaps you are anticipating a career change.  Or maybe you’d like to learn a new language.  Maybe you simply want to be able to more comfortably ride out the next extended power outage in your area.  Planning solutions for each of these scenarios would identify different sets of needs–different steps.

If a button falls off your shirt, it would be clear that you need a replacement button or to find the button that fell off.  That’s enough of a goal IF you only want to get a button.  If, however and more likely, your goal is to have the button replaced on the shirt, you may have different needs, such as, someone who can sew it on for you; training so you can sew it on yourself; a needle and thread and etc.

This overly simplistic example is meant to highlight the importance of understanding why you are planning.  The why helps you discern what else will be required to fulfill your goal.

Once you have a plan, that plan should help you stay on track towards your goal.  It can be helpful to picture your plan as a guard.  You have done the work of planning.  You know what you must do.  But life situations come up, people who mean well seem to discourage us, or some other “new opportunity” comes up that “you must get involved with” presents itself.

Were you to act on each of these your path will become much longer, have more twists and turns, and you may be in danger of never reaching your goal. Your plan’s role is to protect your path towards your goal—to act as a guard, a protector of your plan.

In other words, the plan helps you filter out anything that comes up in your life that would disrupt or dissuade you from your path.  Additionally, it allows any assistance (resources, mentors, education, opportunities, etc.) that would support, enhance, or otherwise encourage and keep you on your path.

This guard, your plan, can quickly show you if what you spend time on, whom you spend time with, and how you manage your resources are in line with your accomplishment of your identified goal.  Your plan filters out the distractions and filters in the assistance you need.

Develop your plan and recognize this tool’s role as guard with a mission of protecting your path.

Author:  Paul LaPointe is host and frequent contributor for

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