Prompted: Trickle Down Planning
Creating the life we want to live is more than chasing audacious goals.
I hope you’re enjoying your Sunday afternoon. The year is coming to a close, the Holidays are almost here, and it feels like life is beginning to slow down a bit.
I hope this week’s newsletter provides some insight and helps you sit back and think about the future intentionally.
As always, thanks for reading!
Trickle Down Planning
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.
Working to become a bit better each day, we’re chasing something larger than ourselves. Worthwhile pursuits can’t be crossed off a to-do list or scheduled on the calendar like a dentist’s appointment. They take months, if not years, of consistent and intentional efforts.
The magnitude and difficulty of these efforts require a thoughtful approach. Haphazard organization and subpar planning make it difficult, if not impossible, to chip away at our goals for the future.
We can’t rely on what feels good in the moment or try and figure out the best way to spend our time on the fly. Maintaining consistent progress requires a principled approach to planning and a disciplined approach to execution.
It’s tempting to set massive goals and work diligently towards them, but it’s better if we start with the ordinary instead of the extraordinary.
When we accomplish big goals, there’s a fleeting sense of accomplishment, but we’re quickly left wondering what’s next. Taking planning and goal setting one step further, we can imagine what a perfect day in our lives looks like in the future. Where are we living? Who are we with? What time are we waking up? What are we worried about?
From this vantage point, we can create goals that will move user closer to our ideal lifestyle instead of chasing things we think we want. Rather than chasing promotions at work and making more money, maybe our goal shifts to working fewer hours but maintaining our income to spend more time with family.
With intentional goals guiding us closer to our ideal lifestyle, we can focus on the planning and execution that will move us in the right direction.
Setting goals and creating a vision for the future is the easy part, but creating a system that keeps our goals and vision top of mind is always a bigger challenge.
Letting our larger vision trickle down into our daily, weekly, and monthly rituals is the best shot we have at staying on track. Each month or each quarter, we need to consult our long-term vision to decide what, when, and how we are going to move closer to our desired end state.
Each week we need to look at what we’re supposed to be doing that month and let that inform how we schedule our time and what our priorities are. Finally, each day we need to consult our plan for the week to decide when we’ll do the work that moves us forward.
If we can stay disciplined in our approach to revisiting our grand vision for the future, our goals and the worthwhile pursuits that are helping us become a bit better each day will always progress forward.
We’ll never be perfect every day or every week. If we commit to a focused effort each day, we’ll slowly chip away at the life we’re creating. Our plans will inevitably shift, and we’ll face many days when we don’t want to do the things we’ve laid out for ourselves, but consistency will bend the arc of our lives closer to the best version of ourselves.
What does an ideal day in your life look like in 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years?
To achieve the life you want in the timeline above, what do you need to achieve in the next year in the 5 most important areas of your life?
To accomplish the goals you’ve established for the next year, what do you need to do this month?
To reach your goals for the month, what do you need to do this week?
To stay on track for the upcoming week, what do you need to do today?
Prompted is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
A great video that provides a dead simple framework for creating the life you want.
Thanks for reading! I’ll see you next Sunday.