Are you having trouble to keep your motivation alive? To see the results on the way of your adventure can help. As you enjoy each and every short term goal you have achieved, your motivation will be kicked into a high gear and you will never struggle and feel hesitant to pursue your dreams anymore. So is there any way to see results sooner? The answer is yes. In this article, I am going to show you a popular way of making an effective plan – plan backward.
What do I mean by that? This particular way to make a plan is to start with the goal in mind and work backward. Still not clear? Ok, here is an example. Say I have a goal to save $3000 for a vacation by the end of the year and I have about 12 months to make it happen. As my pay cheque comes in semi-monthly, I will need to save $250 every month, or $125 per pay cheque. Now I start to focus on the expenses and make sure I am saving up $125 from my next pay cheque. Things might happen along the way and I need to adjust your savings sometimes, but by accessing the saving amount on regular base, say bi-monthly or quarterly, I will have a better idea on how well I am keeping myself on the right track and take actions more effectively.
I believe now you have a better idea on this is working, so what are the benefits of making the backward plan. I personally found the followings:
– With the destination in mind and working backward, I have a better idea of where I need to go and I can overview the big picture more effectively.
– After breaking the big goal into a several small goals, I know exactly what I need to do this month, this week and today. I can also keep process under control. “What gets measured gets done.” In the last example, as I know I need to save up $125 from each pay cheque, I will then watch my expenses more closely. I will possibly keep record of my expenses and also might consider setting up an auto transfer by taking the amount $125 off each of my pay cheque and put the money into a savings account in order to help myself save without even considering spending the money. For more information of keeping good records, please refer to one of my previous post.
The exampled used here is just a simple one and you might not see the benefit significantly. However if you try to work a 5 year plan or even a 20 year plan such as retirement savings plan by implementing the ideas from above, I believe you will see the result dramatically and there is much less chance you will ever disappoint yourself again. Lots of times you will need to put in efforts on converting non-quantitative goals into something measurable. This sometimes requires creative thinking and the result will definitely worth your time eventually.
Let me know your experiences on improving efficiency and please share your stories below.