By Dickson Tumuramye
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it”, once said Alan Lakein. This brings in the element of strategic planning that can uncover your available options, set priorities and think about how to achieve them.
Most of the time we only focus on setting goals for one or fi ve years as a family. Most organizations and individuals are used to a 5-year strategic plan. At the end of 2019, I realized that I was beginning a new decade and I will not be young anymore.
We asked our children to come up with a 10-year plan, it sounded strange how we could ask a 10 years’ plan of them. But when one in Primary Two did it and discovered that he will be at the university by 2031, he got so inspired. I realized planning is very crucial.
I know you could have already set your goals for this year or the next fi ve years. But do you realize that you could still set goals for 10 years from now with your children? You know it is good enough to dream big than to dream small or not at all. Do you realize that if your child is in his/her 20’s, by 2029, a lot will have changed in their lives?
For example, they will have graduated, will be working, probably married with children, will have possibly done second or more degrees or postgraduate studies. Others will be having businesses, their own houses, and many other good things. How will these come to pass well when one doesn’t have a clear direction of their life?
The problem I see in young people in the 20’s and 30’s, is that they think planning for the future is a pointless task and they don’t think much about it. Most of us also just ‘fall’ into things without a clear picture of where we would like to be in a given period of time.
Make the strategic plan
I would like to, therefore, advise you to sit down and refl ect on where you might be at the end of these 10 years. Make a strategic plan for 10 years and break it down to fi ve years with your family. From that, come up with activities you will be working on annually down to monthly.
Be intentional in making sure you/ your children implement what you/ they plan. It is one thing to come up with a very good strategic plan, but it’s another to transfer what is on paper into a reality. The majority fail to implement what they plan, seemingly acting like those who say “it’s easier said than done.”
Strategize to “plan in a decade, think in years, work in months and live in days.” Don’t live as someone expecting miracles, put your life in order and trust God to fulfi ll your planned steps for a decade. You know He has good plans to prosper you and not to harm you. He knows well what you want.
What Bible says
Luke 14:28 challenges us that “For which of you, intending to build a house, does not sit down fi rst and count the cost, whether he has enough to fi nish it?” It is important for your family to make a plan and consider how you are going to raise all the needed resources.
Prepare well for your today and tomorrow so that you don’t just live as someone who never knows where you are heading. Ask them when they hope to have their own plot of land, a house, a car, business and what kind of business?
When are they going for further studies? Have they thought about a number or kind of networks they intend to build? What do they envision before they turn 30, 40, 50 years and above this decade? Without all this in mind, one may live like any other person who thinks the world is like a garden of roses.
If you are a parent reaching your 50’s and 60’s, do you have a retirement plan? Have you saved and invested enough to cater to your family needs in case you never had a formal job or business?
You may need to reset your priorities and life goals this decade. Live a life of purpose. Ask children to make a list of the things they wish to do individually and how they intend to achieve them. If they fail to do some things along the way, that is normal.
It is better to fail when you know what has failed and where and what you can do than where you have no idea of why. Help them to know that a lot will be achieved this decade with one who has a good plan for it!
The writer is a child advocate, a parenting coach and marriage counsellor