Are you currently facing a decision or problem? It could be at work or in your personal life. No matter what your particular situation is, it is important to have a plan. While no one can know what the future holds for us, we can take certain measures to ensure that our future and the future of our loved ones are secure. We can come up with a plan! Here’s why planning is so important:

Planning helps you set appropriate goals

Planning helps you refine your goals and to figure out if it’s realistic or not. You may have gone to a friend or a family member with something you thought was a fantastic idea! That friend or family member may have heard you and replied with something along the lines of, “You should be realistic”. It’s not uncommon for this message to be taken negatively. In fact, some of the world’s most brilliant minds have said that the worst advice they ever received was to “be realistic”. To ensure that you don’t fall into the pit of discouragement and despair, break down your goals into step by step processes, so they will be more manageable and you will have a far greater chance of success!

Planning breaks a problem or goal down into smaller pieces

As stated above, breaking down your goal into smaller steps and pieces will help you to achieve what you want. Before you start, this process may seem overwhelming. All you have to do is take that first step and get started!

Planning reveals weaknesses (and strengths)

As you work through a plan, you will begin to see both what makes the plan strong as well as any weaknesses your plan may have. It’s important to stay focused and to not sabotage yourself. Write down the strengths of your plan to give yourself affirmation that it’s a good idea!

Planning increases certainty and confidence

Have you ever taken a test that you didn’t study for? Did you have any confidence that you were going to do well? Or maybe you had a role in play. When you took the stage, how did you feel? Did you feel confident or did you feel the need to retreat back into yourself? Practice gives you the confidence you need to be successful. Planning goes the same way.

Planning increases efficiency

Have you ever been a part of a project team that didn’t plan well enough? Did you not get your desired result? When it comes to a project for a business or any project for that matter, lack of planning leads to waste i.e. wasted money, wasted resources, and most important, wasted time. You will be far more efficient and will prevent waste if you plan ahead.

Planning reduces risk

Planning gives yourself and others around you (if you are working with members of a team) reassurance and confidence that a project will be successful. With that confidence, they will be more likely to invest their time and money in what you have to offer. A carefully presented, well-thought-out plan, will help show that you did you due diligence in making sure that risk has been reduced as much as possible.

Planning increases your credibility

If you come up with a plan that is effective, your team will see that and may even praise you for it. If you are competing for a promotion at work, those in leadership positions will see your effectiveness  and you very well may be rewarded for it.

Planning gives you more peace of mind

Any time you embark on a new challenge, you’re bound to face some form of stress. Planning can help you reduce that feeling of stress and actually give you confidence. If you take the time to weigh pros and cons, stress won’t go away completely, but you’re more likely to gain that peace of mind that you want and need to make effective decisions to achieve your goals.