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Planning for your Future

The future may seem far away, but you need to start planning early. Regardless of your goals, there are things you can do to increase your chances of success! 

Find a quiet place and think about what you want. What are your goals? What would you do if there were no limits?

Write down your gifts, talents, interests and strengths. Do you want to do what you're good at, or be challenged?

Be realistic about how long things will take. Go with a longer time frame-- life will always get in the way.

Your willpower won't suddenly change, so don't count on that. If you want to change habits, it takes slow work.

Don't blame yourself when you don't achieve goals-- try to see how they can fit with the hand you've been dealt.

Stay flexible. No plan has ever gone exactly as planned. Great plans are the ones that succeed in spite of change.

Never let anyone else decide your goals for you. Figure out the best way for you to achieve and dive in!

Make a distinction between wants and needs. Your goals should be a need, with a bit of want sprinkled in.

Research your goals. Make sure it's something you actually want and can achieve when you think about it.

Pick one big goal. Then five important steps to getting there. Then five smaller tasks that lead to each of those.

Consider who your plans affect. Don't assume others will pay your way. Even if they offer, have a backup plan.

Consider why you want the things you want. Do you really want the added responsibility of a house?

Being proactive is the best way to make sure things go your way. Be prepared for the best (and worst) outcomes.

Think about transferable skills. How can you parlay one expertise into another? Be creative!

Your dreams are more than career and family goals. Consider all the things you want and be realistic.

You can't be working all the time. Leave time for your friends, hobbies and family between all the hard work.

Your hopes and dreams are your own. Your vision is unique and powerful. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!

Spend a day on career planning each year. Where are you now, what do you want and how can you achieve it?

Update your goals regularly. Your five year plan should look drastically different three years in.

Document all the steps you've already taken towards your goals! You're not as far away as you think.

Think about how one goal impacts other goals and make sure they aren't working against each other.

Take time to job-shadow. Considering a job in social media? Try it out with someone who knows the ropes.

Think about how you talk about your goals. No one else get your passion? Help them understand.

Can't decide what goals to pick? Examine your hobbies and interests and see what you can learn about yourself.

Figure out what the most important part of your goal is. Don't forget to look at the big picture, not just details.

Think about the things the people you love will need. Start saving soon if you want to send your child to school.

Make a list of jobs you like and ones you don't. What do the ones you like have in common? Or the ones you hate?

Get help with your planning when you need it. Worried about money? Talk to a banking associate or accountant.

Volunteer. No matter your age or specialization, you'll meet others who may become allies in your future.

Embrace new opportunity to learn, whether on the job, as a course or independently.