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Almost everybody has dreams, but the reality is not many of the dreams come true.
Couch potatoes only have dreams, they do not take actions and do not have plans either, which is ok, they are not reading my blog anyway, so I do not have too much value to share with them. I still wish them good luck with their couch though.
People with plan and taking actions are getting somewhere. They make their dreams come true, so they are my teachers and mentors and the ones I want to surround myself with.
In this post, I aim to share my experiences with people who are willing to take actions, but not yet have plans.
Why do you need plans for your goals?
They serves the purpose to keep yourself motivated and helps lower the chances to get lost.
I personally gave up 3 BIG times in my life and wasted literally 5 years of my life, because I constantly lost motivation in early years. Winston Churchill once said,“He who fails to plan is planning to fail”. I learned this lesson in deed. I am going to share my story here and hope my failures can help you with your future life.
In year 2000, after graduated from high school, I applied for Business Administration at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo ON, Canada, however as an international student, I was required to hand in my TOEFL score and at the time and I did not quite meet the standard. Instead of trying for another time to write the exam, I chose to enter Mathematics faculty of University of Waterloo (1st time). I then studied computer science for the first two years without liking coding programs at all and changed my major to Statistic and Actuarial Science in year 2002 (2nd time). I did graduate from Statistics and successfully passed my first two exams from SOA (Society of Actuaries) by the end of year 2003, however without a clear plan, I failed the third exam 3 times in year 2004 and 2005 and stopped looking for a job in that industry (3rd time). Overall I failed big time on my academic studies except for a very expensive university bachelor certificate. It’s not because I started with no goals, but without detailed plans, I had to end up changing my goals all the time.
I am a type of person who is easy to set up goals, get motivated, but easy to give up at the same time without plans. Eventually I realized the importance of making plans and working with them. I made myself a 5 year plan and stick to it so far pretty well since year 2010.
To make the plans working better for your goals, here are my suggestions:
– To make long term goals and also short term goals to keep you on the right track. Long term goals can be for 3-5 years and short term goals can be anywhere from 1 month up to 1 year. After setting up the goals, come up with a detailed plan. A very popular way I learned from experts is to work backwards from your goals. Basically that means once a goal is set up break the goal into smaller pieces along the way and make a plan for each piece, plus, check frequently. For example, I plan to get rid of 30 pounds off my body by the end of year 2014, so I start with this goal and figure out what kind of weight I should expect to lose every month starting from today to the year 2014. After that I lay out all the ways I can use to loose weight, running, on diet, doing gym exercise, etc. That helps me work out my schedule and keep checking my weight by the end of every month. If I did not meet my expected weight, it’s time to work harder and look for more efficient methods.
– Keep motivations alive along the way. People get lazy some times, trust me, it’s human nature and you do not need to blame that. To find efficiently way to keep the motivations fresh becomes the key. Many people choose to drink coffee and energy drink to stay awake and help stay focused, for me, these are not good solutions. Not only because they are not healthy, they are only short team solutions. I used to drink lots of coffee and energy drinks, however since 8 months ago, I found a good alternative way, taking drugs, isn’t that worse? Pardon me, spiritual drugs, I mean books. Good books help you not only on the knowledge level, but also encourage you to work harder and smarter. I come across a decent book recently and I want to share there.
This book has been on New York Time’s best seller list for quit some time and I am sure lots of you heard it and maybe even read it.
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