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Why planning is important

Planning gives direction and purpose to your life. When people do not plan, their lives can take an unexpected direction. There is a saying "If you don't know where you are going, then you will never get there." This is especially true when your life is in transition, for example when you are leaving high school. When life is in a transitional period, the planning process will help you to increase the number of options available to you

"All of us plan things. Having a vision is the only way to get the life you want and need."

Cathy S

Everyone has gifts to offer and contributions to make. Planning helps you figure out how best to use those gifts and talents. It makes sense to be intentional about planning what you will do, how you will do it, and what help you need from others so that you can create a future and a 'good life' in the community.

A good life is different for everyone. It often means having relationships with friends, family, and loved ones; getting out and having fun; and having plenty of opportunities to try new things. It might mean volunteering, getting a job, or creating a meaningful day that reflects your personal gifts and talents. Planning will increase the amount of choice and control that you experience in all areas of your life.

Here are some other reasons why it is important and good to plan:

Things are changing

When things change in your life, like when you leave school or move away from your parents, it can sometimes be confusing.

This is most likely when you need support from other people to make things happen in new ways.

To make life changes positive and meaningful it is important to have a planning process that outlines the future.

Self determination

All people want to have choice and control over their lives.

Sometimes your family or friends can help you figure things out. They do this by getting you to think about what you would want and need, about your passions and interests and what you really care about.

Building a future

When you are uncertain about your future, it is a good time to plan.

Planning can help you imagine what is possible for the future. It can also give you a way of making change happen.

A planning process leads to action.

Exploring possibilities

Planning helps you to explore all of the possibilities. It helps you to look at things in a new way. When you plan and explore with others there are many ideas that you can use to build a future life upon.

Planning promotes brainstorming, the sharing of ideas and creativity.

Having a better family life

Planning can help families improve their lives. Planning helps you and your family work out what is important and what you value. This enables everyone to work together to make things better for each other.

Planning helps to make our families stronger.

Having community options

The planning process helps you and your family to discover and explore what is available in your community. It is in this way that people of all abilities can begin to build their life in community. When discovered the commmunity is full of things to do, places to go,and people to meet.

Planning helps you use your community as the first resource to build a good life.

Solving problems

The planning process helps you talk about things that are happening in your life that might be hard or difficult.

Problems can be easier to solve when you share them with others and have others to help you.

Planning helps you work out how to get what you want and overcome obstacles that might slow you down or stop you.

Building relationships

Planning helps you think about your relationships. It helps you figure out how relationships can make you feel safe, secure and cared about.

Planning helps you to invite and involve friends, family and community members in your life.

Directing supports

Planning helps you figure out how to direct the people who provide support to you. It helps them know how to do a good job. The planning process help others understand your needs and helps you to achieve your goals.

Planning helps others help you.

Some rules about person-directed planning

The planning process is about you. You need to be the focus of all discussions that take place. It is good to have some guidelines or ground rules about the person - directed planning process. Here are some points that you might want to ask your family, friends and facilitator to consider:

  • Use respectful language that everyone can understand
  • Do not rush the process - take as much time as you need
  • Be creative - remember that community is a great resource
  • Remember that a plan is only as good as the action.
  • Keep the information private.