Have you ever planned a trip?  If you’re planning a trip to a far off city, your first job is to decide on your final destination. Where is it that you are going to land? This is your goal. Then, you would find the best route to get you to your destination. Would you fly? Or would you drive?  Or maybe a bus or a train?

After you decide how you will get there, it is time to forecast the conditions you might encounter. Will you be doing a lot of sight-seeing and walking or is this a relax at the beach sort of trip?  You might even take some time to research and survey the trail.  You could do this by using maps or past experi­ences or even asking someone who has been there before.

And then finally, just before your trip, you would evaluate where now you now stand. Can you make the trip now or do you need something more to get you to your destination?  You may have to do some additional preparatory work before you can actually start the trip.  If you are going on a mountain climbing trip, you may need to train for that and gather the right equipment.  Once you have decided your destination, surveyed the trail and evaluated where you stand, you are ready to set the date for your trip and go!

Planning, whether it be in your personal life or for business follows closely this analogy of a trip.  The four steps to develop a long-term plan are:

STEP 1:  Get your goal in sight.  Just like you had to decide on your final destination for your trip, you need to decide on your final GOAL.
STEP 2:  Survey the Trail- see the steps along the path. This was done as you were deciding the steps to get to your destination.  Plane, train or automobile. Research and evaluating the maps and choosing the best PATH to get you to your destination.
STEP 3:  Check how you stand now-do a personal inventory. A personal inventory is as simple as evaluating where YOU now stand.  Are you ready?
STEP 4:  Tie all factors into a single plan by ap­plying a time schedule. Then go. Once you have evaluated if you are ready, it is time to set a schedule and go!

So, as you plan, you’ll find that one step will tend to alter what you decided about another. One step will affect the other, and may re­quire its revision. For example, if you first set the goal (Step 1), you may decide to alter that goal after you have completed your forecast of the fu­ture (Step 2). After you have made an inventory of the present situation (Step 3), you may need to revise the goal or the forecast in light of what you’ve found out about the present.

But despite this interaction between the steps, they do remain a technique by which you can look ahead, find where you want to go, and start to go.  Be sure to complete these steps by setting a time schedule (Step 4) to complete your goal.  Setting a schedule is important and creates a sense of urgency to act.

So, what long-term plan are you going to make today?  It is the long-term planning that gives us short-term successes!


Interested in long-term planning in real estate?  Check out the Real Estate Workshop in Denver this September!