Plan Your Course Before You Begin

Recently I asked a client “where are you going to be in five years?” His response started this way, “Well, I’d like to be …”

Do you see the difference? Where you would “like to be” or “hope to be” are only dreams. You need to decide where you “are” going to be and then come up with a plan to get there. Every successful journey begins with a destination. Then comes the plan to get there. If you do not have a plan for your life, you are going to be very surprised where you end up five years from now. And it won’t be where you had “hoped” to be.

Can You Answer The Question?

So, I ask you, “where are you going to be five years from now?’ What is your five-year plan? If you don’t have one, it is time to start thinking about what you want your future to be. You either have a plan or you are part of someone else’s plan. Which do you choose?

Your plan has to have certain elements. It has to be specific. “I want to be rich” is not specific. If money is part of your plans and goals, then think in exact amounts. You can modify your goal if you exceed it. So if your goal is to have a million dollars in your investment portfolio in five years and you achieve that in two years, adjust your goal upward.

You Need a Specific Goal

If you don’t have a specific goal you are probably not going to have any more money in your investment portfolio in two years or five years than you have right now. Most people have a “comfortable cushion” in their financial dealings. There is an amount of money that makes them subconsciously comfortable. When they have that amount, they lose their motivation to save more. Without a goal, that amount stays the same without even thinking about it.

Being specific is just one element of the plan. So start thinking now about where you are going to be five years from now. Write it down. I’ll talk more about a good plan to get there in my next installment.

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