Beyond Your Years with Luis Martinez

What’s Your Plan? 

It’s a new year, a fresh start, a new chance to travel, to get fit, to make new friends, to improve your tennis game, go to the theater, or hike through a park—a chance to do things differently. If you are able to come up with wonderful ideas and great dreams, how do you get from here to there? What’s your plan?

Well, it begins with goals. Goals are pivotal to achieving your ambitions because they clarify your vision, they provide direction, they make you accountable, and they facilitate your success in reaching them.

Luis Martinez

Luis Martinez

If you’re the creative type, you can visualize your goals with a ‘vision board’. Many people create vision boards, not only for personal objectives, but for business objectives. A vision board is simply a large piece of white board onto which you stick images of things you’d like to do—or the person you want to become. All you have to do is find images of some activities you enjoy, clip them out and stick them on.

You should think of the vision board in present tense. As you clip and post your images you are thinking: “Here I am enjoying my new tennis racket.” Or, “This is the play that my girlfriends and I came to see.” Or, “Here we are in a condo on a frozen lake in the Adirondacks for Valentine’s day.” The task is to gather images of those moments you want to live—those experiences and events that you want to enjoy. There’s a good article on why vision boards are important here.

You can also try a storyboard. Some storyboards describe what’s happened in the past, for example the evolution of your career. Many business professionals use story boards to describe the desired future—the expected trajectory of a new product launch, or the script for a new play or movie. You can design a storyboard of what you’d like to do or what you want to become. But it’s what you start that makes a difference. Whether you use a single vision panel to contain all of your dreams, or a storyboard that goes on for decades, the important task is to get it started. There are some examples of storyboards here.

But if you’re like me, I prefer to write a list of my goals and put them on a Gantt chart, which is basically a spreadsheet with the goals listed on the left side, and the months or dates across the top of the chart by which I want to accomplish those objectives. Learn more about Gantt charts here.

Or you can just write your goals on a napkin and tape them on your refrigerator. What’s the most important message in this blog? That you write down your goals. And that you keep them in front of you and act on them. Every day.

So, what’s your plan?

Luis Martinez is a guest blogger for St. John’s. He is an active senior that likes to observe and write about how people work at their careers, guide their businesses, strengthen their families, stay physically fit and mentally sharp, and race their sports cars. Luis habla español. Follow Luis on Twitter @BeyondYourYears, or email

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