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Planning ~ As Easy as Eating a Cookie

 
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Sometimes, we have the tendency to make things harder than they need to be.

I do a fair bit of planning with and on behalf of my clients. I have a number of processes that I follow to develop and document a plan. However, on a recent road trip with my family, we threw the process out the window and through the course of a conversation and some specific questions, we arrived at our destination with a basic 20 year plan.

The kids were occupied with their devices in the back seat so my husband and I had some uninterrupted time to chat. It went something like this:

  • We started with a conversation about our income and what that was looking like for the next 3 months. Since we are both self employed, this is one we have on a regular basis.
  • From there, we talked about some of our goals in the short term. We discussed our spending (and saving) priorities.
  • Since one of our goals is to pay down some debt, we looked a little farther into the future in terms of what we wanted to achieve in 6 months, 12 months.
  • We then looked a lot farther down the road to what we need to accomplish if we hope to be able to retire (or slow down) when we reach 65+.
  • With this destination in mind, we planned how to bridge the gap between now and then, and figured out some steps to take to make this happen.
  • Our roadmap, includes an outline of what our retirement income sources will be, our lifestyle goals and targets to achieve along the way.

The best part? There was no white board, flip chart or formal process. I also didn’t have access to my computer and didn’t even have any paper. Our plan is point form, covers a few basic areas and is written on the wrapper from my favourite chocolate oat cookie from Mount Currie Coffee Co.  Our plan is now on my bulletin board above my desk where I can see it and there is no huge document to write only to put it on a shelf and forget about.

This is a good reminder that planning doesn’t have to be a cumbersome process. As long as you have a starting point and some end goals you can break things down into milestones along the way to your target.

Do you have a plan on your to do list? Go ahead. Take a bite!

Betsy LinnellPlanning