Self Management

Annual, Five and Ten year plans

Only good planning and implementations can bring about positive changes in our lives. Look at this artificial lake behind me in B 17, Islamabad. Do, you think this just happened? In the same way each of us needs to make plans, then implement them.

Hi Everyone!

Congratulations, we made it to 2021! Alhamdolillah.  Why are you so apprehensive about 2021? Let us give it our best shot. We can do an exercise now. A good annual plan needs to be integrated with one’s future plans. This is why first we make our ten and five year plans, then make our 2021 Annual Plan.

While making a plan,  it is said, that:

 You should plan as if you are to live to a hundred! But be so well prepared, as if you are going tomorrow’.

So, that’s the philosophy behind this post.

An exercise worth doing:

Aray bhai, this little exercise won’t take more than a day, and should be done in a couple of hours at the least. But. It is IMPORTANT. Read on, and try it. We know how important life is. We don’t want to leave this world, without completing our wish list. Most of all, we want to spend this year in such a way, that we are able to complete most of the things we want to accomplish in our future. So, our direction needs to be clear now. Insha Allah, we will live such a life, that we won’t go with regrets. Isn’t that what we all want?

Always loved adventure in my life, and did I get plenty of it!

Deserve then desire:

Farzana (fake name – of course!) knew that her husband couldn’t make any decisions. How could she make any decision, without his consent, and since he couldn’t make up his mind, things just kept getting delayed in their lives. Whether it was which school to put their children in, or saving for a house, or saving for a car, what to do this weekend or when to invite friends over. Nothing could be decided.

I’ve seen Nigar Nazar’s work on her Gogi cartoons for over forty years. Such things don’t happen over night.

So, she started making her own plans. She managed her own time so well, that soon her husband started asking her before making any decision. Since he wasn’t sure, they would go ahead with whatever she had planned. So, when you are well organized, and manage to plan and execute your own plans well, then people start relying on you.

Whenever I asked my father for something, he would often say, ‘deserve then desire!’

My dad wouldn’t let me drive his car for almost his whole life. Yet he facilitated my getting one, if he felt I deserved it. I also made sure I paid him back for his loan. This is very important, specially in our most precious relationships.

Often I find people envying other’s accomplishments, and I too now, feel like saying the same to them, ‘deserve, then desire!’ You would love to have what others have, but are you ready to do all those years’ hard work too?

As they say, ‘overnight success takes around fifteen years!’

Power of Intention:

You can call it whatever you like, but it is a fact. Your power of intention is what matters most. This is why Allah also rewards you most for your intentions, more than what you achieved.

Allama Iqbal’s concept of khudi, is basically all about this. It is to know one’s own self and clarify your intentions. Only then can you be focused towards your goals. How can you do it, if you aren’t sure of what you want and what you stand for? All his poetry is about making you strong.

Iqbal had an amazing relationship with the Almighty:

Why did You order me to quit the Garden of Eden?—

Now there is much to be done here—so just wait for me!

So, I guess we can say the same!

I love Dr. Wyne Dyer’s book The Power of Intention which is one such book. You too must have seen how, once you decide to do something; things start working out too.

Know what you want:

Nigar Nazar the world’s first Muslim cartoonist is always on projects. It is such a pleasure meeting her beaming with her smile and plans for the future.

So, basically, this is the idea of this exercise. Write it and print it out and put it on your washroom wall, or inside your diary page. The objective is for you to have your plan in front of you. We can strive to do our best, but how can we do that, if we don’t know what it is? and if we achieve 70% of it, that would be great.

What do you think?

Let’s start:

  1. First celebrate personal accomplishments of last year. (At the most, ten points!)
  2. Then make a brief ten-year-plan.
  3. Five-year plan, (ten points each … again.)
  4. Annual plan for 2021. (12 points… one for each month or whatever.)
  5. Expect Unexpected Delays and Diversions. So, keep it simple and do-able.

1. Round up and Celebrate 2020 first:

Wrap up last year in twelve points. I did mine, here.  (Also, I didn’t do it in 12 points, as I’d not written this blog post then! Haha.) Remember to put good stuff here too.

2. Ten Year Plan – 2021 to 2031:

Bill Gates has always professed that people often underestimate the power of the ten-year plan. He says that this is the most powerful plan. We have to have our vision strong while looking ahead at our goals in life. So, let us see how we can do it:

Sr. no.YearObjectivesRemarks

3. Five-year plan – 2021 to 2025:

So, let’s put in at least two goals for each year here.

Sr. no.YearsObjectivesRemarks.

4. Annual plan for 2021:

Now, that we know the direction of what we want in our future, we are in a position to make this year’s plan:

Sr. noMonthsObjectivesRemarks

5. Expect Unexpected delays and diversions:

Muhammad Ali Jinnah said that Muslims do not get upset during hard times. -Mussalman, museebat kay waqt ghabraya nahi kartay.

Note: Portrait of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, by Saeed Akhtar.

Listen carefully, as they say, ‘life is what happens to you, while you are doing something else.’ Some unexpected things are bound to happen – just like Covid19 – but still if we needed to change tracks we still have to try to include our original goals and try to adjust them somewhere, if possible.

This is why most of the time when something unexpected happens, we get completely derailed. We can adjust, compromise, get a bit diverted or retract a bit but not leave it altogether.

Can we be smarter this year? Expect the unexpected, deal with it, then get back on track!

Jimmy Engineer has been a very focused artist of Pakistan. No matter what happens, he carries on with his art, exhibitions and social work. He does all three locally as well as on the international art scene as well.

Multiplication of intentions:

Remember, the simpler your plan is, the more effective it will be. Subhan Allah. So, we cannot visualize these things, but they can make us strive towards them!

Acceptance of Hardships:

Together we have smiled through many hardships.

Just as we accept Allah’s blessings, in the same way we need to accept His hardships too. Sometimes things appear so bleak and depressing. Yet we must remember all the good times which came from Allah. We need to hold on to His promise that there is ease along with hardships.

I don’t want to take up more of your time, now pick up that pen or laptop and get going!!!

? stay blessed and protected.

It took my over twenty years, and then I was finally able to illustrate Iqbal’s work in a book: Allama Iqbal’s Tulip of Sinai, and publish it myself too.

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