Planning For Your Future Must Start Today

Planning is an absolute must.

Planning is crucial to success. Here’s my thoughts about planning for your future. I’m all for living one day at a time and not WORRYING about your future. The Bible tells us not to worry about tomorrow. (Matthew 6:34) But, there is a big difference between worrying and planning. Worry is about living in fear. Planning is about living in wisdom. Without a plan (which is essentially a goal or target) you are destined for failure. Zig Ziglar once said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”

Every successful military general throughout history devised a plan of attack before entering a battle. This was done to give them the best possible chances of victory. All great businesses start with a great business plan. Politicians develop campaign plans, salespeople create marketing plans, and architects develop building plans and blueprints. All of these types of plans serve the same purpose; they assure the task at hand ends in success. I once heard a quote that said, “Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”

Don’t delay planning for tomorrow.

The time to plan for your future is now. Don’t wait until your health, career, or finances places you in a life situation with limited options. Good planning can give you several possible options later in life. Some would say getting too caught up in planning your future causes  you fail to live for today. I agree with that to an extent. John Lennon once said, ” Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” I believe focusing too heavily on the future causes you to lose sight of the today’s blessings. But, failing to plan and set goals will always leave you wondering what to do next. Achieving success in anything always requires a plan.

If you want to lose weight, you must create a diet and exercise plan. If you want to get out of debt, you create a budget and spending plan to monitor your cash flow. You’d never build a house without a blueprint. You wouldn’t want to figure it out as you go! Building a house involves detailed planning. People make detailed plans for everything from weddings and vacations to birthday and anniversary celebrations. People seldom want to  “fly by the seat of their pants.” So why do so many people fail to plan for their future?

Debt can sabotage your plan.

According to a recent article by Money Magazine, one-third of Americans report they have NO retirement savings. 23% have less than $10,000 saved. So based on this data, a whopping 53% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for their retirement. This isn’t even taking into account the millions of Americans who are overwhelmed by consumer debt and living paycheck to paycheck. If you’re expecting social security to allow you to live comfortably in your golden years, all I can say is good luck.

So, what do you do? First, get out of debt and stay out of debt! Stop feeling the need to “keep up with the Jones'” You don’t have to have a brand new car or all the latest gadgets! If you can’t pay cash for them, you can’t afford them! It’s nearly impossible to save for retirement if all your income is going toward paying off debt! Financial expert Dave Ramsey says your income is your best wealth building tool. But that’s assuming you are not buried in debt. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” (New International Version) Debt can sabotage your retirement dream. For some of the best advice available regarding eliminating debt, check out http://www.daveramsey.com. 

The Bible speaks of planning.

The Bible says in Luke 14:28, “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (English Standard Version) Now I understand in this passage of scripture Jesus is explaining the cost of being a disciple. Jesus explained that anyone who would follow Christ must first consider the sacrifices that must be made. Jesus was saying nobody should follow Christ without first determining that they can finish the journey to be like Christ.  The message here is never start a project unless you determine in your mind that you will succeed at all costs. This is talking about forethought and planning.

Define your dream and start planning!

The important thing is to decide what your dream entails. What do you want to accomplish and what is on your “Bucket List”? How do you want to spend your retirement and golden years of life? Once you answer these questions for yourself, you can devise a plan to reach your goals. Remember, I don’t advocate spending time worrying about your life ten years from now. Worry is always connected with doubt and fear. However, you can use wisdom and develop a plan for the years ahead. While planning, trust and know that God will provide your needs when those days arrive. If you don’t plan for the years ahead, one day you will ask yourself. “How did I end up here?” Live for today but plan for tomorrow. A goal without a plan is just a wish. Don’t just wish; make a plan, trust God and leave behind a great legacy.  

 

Thanks for reading!

Until Next time, 

Mark

 

 

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