Have you ever heard of the phrase, failing to plan is planning to fail ? We often heard our school teachers repeat this phrase at the beginning of every school year; they were trying to show us the importance of creating daily timetables and organising our most valuable asset, which is our time. When we followed this simple, yet effective principle, many of us witnessed great improvements in our grades, our stress levels, and our productivity. If planning and organising time works for school children, then why can't this work for students at all levels as well as doctors , engineers, lecturers, entrepreneurs and parents ? This principle can work for everyone.
A person without a plan is like a leaf being blown by the wind with no control, no direction, and no sense of purpose. It is time to take control of your life and decide how you want your life to end; failure or success?
Before you can plan your life, you must have a vision for your life. What do you want your life to look like? What do you want your business to look like? What do you want your family and friendships to look like? What is the ultimate purpose? It is time to take a break, reflect, and meditate on your life to identify your vision. Unfortunately, many of us are too busy and distracted by the worries of life to just sit and reflect on our lives. Remember that if you do not have a desired outcome, you are like the leaf which does not have a destination or purpose.
Once you have your vision, write it down and make it plain. You may have an amazing business idea (or vision), but if it cannot be understood by others who must be involved then it is likely to fail; it must be translated into a format and language which others can work with. How can a builder build a house without first understanding the architectural and structural drawings ? Will the house be detached or semi-detached, how many windows will it have, will it have 3 floors? Before a builder starts working on a project, they already know the answers to these questions. Make the vision plain, so others can help build towards it with you when needed.
For the vision to come to life, one must have realistic goals. These goals are like pieces to a big jigsaw puzzle; they are small, simple pieces which fit together to create a complete picture. What do you want to achieve in a day, a week, a month, a year, or 10 years? Your goals keep you focused on working towards creating the vision (the big picture).
For example, if your vision is to help people by being a medical doctor in the UK, your goals could look something like this:
Achieve good grades in the GCSE’s and A-levels (medical schools usually accept students with a background in maths and science) to study medicine.
Graduate from medical school with at least a 2:1 and qualify with an MD (e.g., Bachelor of medicine).
Complete a Foundation Programme.
Complete specialised training (this can take 5-8 years).
Continuously seek professional development by doing online courses, attending workshops, seminars and receiving mentorship.
Within each of these large goals, there are smaller daily, weekly, and monthly goals which make the process easier.
After receiving the vision and setting goals to create the vision, you must organise your life into a daily schedule and develop good habits. Meeting your goals is almost impossible without repetition and organisation.
The key to creating the vision is the compound effect: small wise choices or steps consistently repeated over a long period of time lead to significant long-lasting results. Your daily routine, habits and choices determine your level of success in the future. Successful people do not leave their lives to chance, they make good use of their time through meaningful activities. For example, reading personal development books and listening to motivational podcasts for 30 minutes a day may not create significant changes in 2 weeks; but being disciplined and repeating this good habit every day for 6 months will result in significant shifts in your mindset and personal growth (in knowledge and wisdom). This change will translate to success in other areas of your life such as your education, relationships, career, health, finance and faith.
1. Choose to sleep and wake up early,
2. Discipline yourself to cut down your screen and social media time,
3. Make time to exercise regularly,
4. Make time to read and invest in your mind,
5. Consistently invest a percentage of your income every month into building assets.
You may not see immediate fruits, but they will compound into significant changes in the long run.
Therefore, if you successfully plan, you plan to succeed. Set yourself up for success, have a vision and when needed, make it easily understandable for those who can get involved in building it, set periodic realistic goals that will keep you focused on establishing your vision; develop good daily habits and schedule your time wisely. Finally, a vision will remain just a vision if you do not take action; no one is going to do this for you, take immediate action and have faith that you will surely succeed.
Student, BA in Politics & International Relations