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Importance of A Plan

How to Map A Course to Accomplishment

By CM Strawn 8/22/2021

The best way to get something accomplished is to make a plan and follow through.

         There is a saying that goes something like – the road to the abyss is lined with good intentions. I think that everyone, myself included, intends to do things that never get done.

         The Lord, Jesus, cautioned us to make our yes, yes and our no, no. In other words, to say what we mean and mean what we say, as some old-timers would put it.

         If we say that we’re going to do something, it is in our best interest to make sure it gets done. The best way to make that happen is to write it down so that we don’t forget it.

         By writing down things that need to get done, we have made a plan. We have planned to do a certain thing that we have written down.

Decide what you want to accomplish.

         Be specific. Generalities will ensure that nothing will happen. And if it something does get done, the effort may be only half-hearted.

         Know for certain what needs to be achieved so that there is no confusion as to what actions need to be taken. You will have a clear picture in your mind of what you need to do. The more detail the better.

         The clearer the picture, the better the understanding. A clear understanding will help you get a clear picture in your mind. It’s a circle.

         If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to do, anything you do will be like casting leaves into the wind. There is no structure or pattern. (There are some who say that even randomness has a pattern. But I digress.) If you know what you want, you must have a strategy – a plan – and do the things necessary to get it. That will give direction and purpose and meaning to your effort. It’s a beautiful thing.

Plan how to accomplish the goal.

         A plan is like a roadmap. You know what you want or need to do and with a plan you have a route to get it done. If you’re starting out on a trip, you should know where you want to end up.

         Thinking through the details of what needs to be done will prepare your mind to take the steps necessary to reach the goal. You know where you are going and now you know how to get there.

Reward yourself when you have accomplished your goal.

              After you have done all the work necessary to get the thing done, reward yourself for your effort. Having something to look forward to makes the effort involved worth the doing.

         Some work may seem pointless, but with a reward at the end of the work, it may be less of a drudge.

         Maybe the drudge work is something that just must be done to avoid disaster or perhaps its cleaning up after a disaster.

         Maybe you gave your word to a friend or acquaintance, and now you are committed. A reward afterward may make what needs to be done seem more pleasant.

Set a date to have what you want accomplished.      

         If there is no date attached to the desire, procrastination will prevent the goal from ever being realized. It is easy to put off something that needs to be done if there is no incentive. (Wake me up in five minutes.)

         A sense of urgency will help motivate you to do the things necessary to accomplish your goal. Sometimes attaching a price to sloth is just the medicine needed to spur action. If the cost is sufficiently high, not draconian, that sense of urgency can be generated.

         You will feel pressure if you have a deadline. This stress will push you through the unpleasantness and onto the goal and the reward.

         Don’t linger on the pleasant things. This will only breed procrastination and delay accomplishing your goal. “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and a man’s poverty will come upon him like a thief.”

Everything you do must be with the purpose of accomplishing your goal.

         Every wasted motion takes its toll. Sometimes we can get sidetracked by rabbit trails. But having a detailed plan keeps us on track and helps prevent wasted motion.

         Shinny object syndrome is one of my downfalls. If I get bored with what I’m doing and I see more something interesting, I follow the more interesting shinny thing and delay what I need to get done. (Bad rabbit.)

         Staying on task takes concentration and focus. If the distraction is something that is worth pursuing, write it down. Come back to it after the essential work is finished. Take another look at the plan and follow up with the next necessary action.

Make a list of things that need to be done to accomplish your goal.

         If you know what to do next you won’t waste time trying to figure out what to do next. Checking off the things on the list as you get them done will encourage you to stay on task.

         When you look at your list and the things that are getting done, you will have a sense of accomplishment. This is a great motivator. You will be anxious to get on to the next thing, and the next thing, and the thing after that which will put you closer to your goal.

Celebrate your accomplishment.

         What do you like to do for recreation and relaxation? Plan something you enjoy after you reach your goal.

         Take a break. Enjoy what you have achieved. You have used a lot of energy to get where you are. Take time to rest and recharge.

         Constant work depletes the body’s energy stores. A little rest after a lot of work will get you ready for your next project. (This is NOT a contradiction.)

Remember to give God the credit for your accomplishment.

         He is the One who gave you the energy and intelligence to reach your goal. There is nothing that we have that we have not been given. And all good gifts come from the Father of lights.

         Many times, we mistakenly credit ourselves with what we have done and overlook the fact that Almighty God has provided the health, skills, and energy to do what we have done. (Example: When King Nebuchadnezzar said, “Look at everything that I have done.” He spent the next seven years living like an animal.)

         God is pleased when you honor Him. Remembering the One who created all things is necessary for your continued blessing.

         Also remember that He too rested after He created the heaven and the earth and everything in them. He set that day apart to be honored for ever by those whom He created because we need at least one day a week to rest.

         Someday, we will face Him after this life is over. I want to hear Him say, well done, not, depart from me. Therefore, I want to do everything to the glory of the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, His Son.

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