A Plan is a Prayer on Steroids

A Plan is a Prayer on Steroids

Has this ever happened to you?

I was heading out on a walk this weekend and something inspired me. When I walk I usually like solitude to give my thoughts time to gel. Something told me to grab my IPod and listen to a podcast instead of my usual music. Mind you… I have not updated my podcast collection in quite a while. I started out by listening to an old recording from 2008. It just happened to be the message I needed to hear at the time I needed to hear it. If you have a strong faith you might call it Divine Intervention or maybe just fate or coincidence. The message was about making plans to succeed.


Success is intentional not accidental. Do you believe this to be true?

You often hear that writing down your goals is half the battle. I believe that to be true as well. When you want to change something you must first determine what it is that needs to change. No matter what area of your life you are looking to change start by evaluating where you are today and then develop a plan for your future. We talked earlier about Financial Planning and how it works and why it’s important. But planning applies to all aspects of your life including your career, your finances and your personal relationships. I just celebrated my 30 year wedding anniversary. I can attest to the fact that maintaining and improving relationships takes planning, it doesn’t happen by accident. It’s work.

To create momentum it’s important to know where you want to go and how you are going to get there. To get to the right destination you have to know where you are going. Write it down. Make a plan. This makes a mental sticky note that will propel you forward and create momentum.  Without goals we are easily tempted, we become distracted and veer off course.

Something magical happens when you write it down. By writing down your goals you are creating a purpose. There must be something to this. Have you noticed how much work has been done in pop culture about living a purpose driven life? Despite some very popular campaign slogans hope is not a plan. “A dream without a plan is just a wish.”  Most people do not have a goal strategy.  There have been studies that show people who have written goals over the long-term are happier, more fulfilled and make more money. They remain focused on their goal.

Create both short and long-term goals. Celebrate your success along the way. Small successes matter. If your goal is to save $1000 and you only saved $500 celebrate that. It’s still a win and you are still better off. Celebrating feels good. It adds positive momentum and helps maintain focus. I may not have lost those 20 pounds but I can button those jeans. Woo Hoo!!  Next time you may think twice before you buy that Latte. You become more in tune with your goal. The celebration is an exercise that helps create clarity around your goal. The goal is stickier; soon it will be muscle memory.

Most people lose focus by failing to fully think about and develop a plan. A goal is not a plan. A prayer is not a plan. What specific steps are you going to take to accomplish your goal?  If you are looking for help from above to direct your steps you must first have a plan. Don’t get me wrong, prayer is important but God (or higher power) expects us to help ourselves and make a plan. This is true wherever you seek your inspiration from. It’s the power of positive thinking. It’s the planning part that makes the difference. It’s the practical part. When making plans stay open to input from others.  Ask for help where you can, educate yourself and learn from your mistakes. Adjust when necessary.

It IS true. Success is intentional, it doesn’t happen by accident.

About Mary Jo Lyons

Mary Jo Lyons, CFP® is a registered assitant with extensive expertise in designing financial strategies to help clients achieve their financial goals. Have a financial question? ASK MARY JO!


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