This week, we’ve been discussing our end-of-the-year planning, specifically my end-of-the-year planning. I hope you’ll join me in this process. Today, I wanted to delve deeper into how to plan for the future. I’ve been using a particular methodology for some time now, and I’ve found it to be quite effective.
The first step in turning our vision of the future into reality is to gain a clear understanding of that vision. I’ve previously discussed the importance of understanding the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ of our writing. We need to know why we write and what we aim to achieve with our writing to make significant progress. This principle applies to all aspects of life. Clarity is crucial for moving forward. If you want to make progress in any area of your life, understanding how to gain clarity on your goals is vital.
One method I find helpful is to take some time to imagine what my life could be like. This is how I gained clarity on my current situation. Over the years, my desires and outlook have changed, but it was the clarity on my goals that allowed me to reach this point.
I encourage you to try this. Take a few minutes to sit and think about what you want your future to look like. If it helps, close your eyes or write it down. I find writing to be particularly helpful. Clearly outlining what I want to achieve in my lifestyle, relationships, and personal growth helps me plan for the future.
Once we have a clear vision of what we want to become, we can move on to the next step. Work backward to determine the actions needed to reach our goals. Every journey begins with a single step, and every journey is a series of steps linked together. If this is true, we should be able to work backward. Just as you can envision yourself climbing a mountain, you should be able to imagine each step you took to reach the summit. This backward planning method also helps clarify what we need to achieve at each step of the process.
Let me break this down in a practical way. Suppose you want to be an author and your ultimate goal is to publish a book. To publish a book, you need to upload a manuscript to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), or your agent needs to sell it to a publisher. If you’re self-publishing, you need something to upload to KDP. If you’re going the traditional route, you need an agent who can sell your book to a publisher. To get an agent, you need a good manuscript. To get a good manuscript, you need editing. To hire an editor, you need something for them to edit. As we work backward, we set milestones that we need to reach to arrive at our ultimate destination.
What we’re effectively doing is building a list of actions that we need to take. This brings us to our third step: taking action. No plan survives contact with the enemy, so we need to understand that no matter how clear our plan is, unexpected things will happen. However, this shouldn’t paralyze us. We can always revise our plan and clarify our goals as long as we keep moving forward.
Remember, a journey is a series of single steps linked together. We need to start taking those steps. With clarity and a detailed understanding of the steps needed to reach our goal, we can start moving forward, one step at a time, checking items off our list. You don’t need to worry about the future; focus on the work in front of you.
If you’re a writer aspiring to be an author, I highly recommend this process. First, clarify your goal. Maybe it’s publishing a book, a series, or becoming a full-time author. Whatever it is, start working backward to understand how you’ll get there. Once you have that list, start moving forward. You don’t need to make a lot of progress, just progress, one step at a time.
As we step into 2024, remember this mindset: we are moving forward. Even if we sometimes slip and slide back down the mountain, that’s okay. We’ll pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off because we have the roadmap we need to reach our destination.
YouTube Video Link: https://youtu.be/1jGLkIn2_aI
Thanks for reading and watching.
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