Creating a M.A.P. will help you become Financially Independent

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Blank paper sheets with a thumbtack holding them together on the topM.A.P. stands for Master Action Plan. One of the first steps to becoming financially free is having a detailed plan of the goals you want to accomplish every year. The discipline it takes for you to write down specific goals in your daily life and work towards accomplishing them within a certain deadline will help you become more intentional with your financial life.

I have always been the type of person to carry a yearly planner with me throughout middle school, high school, college, and now in my career. I developed organizational habits as a young girl because I knew that in order to get things done I needed to have a drawn out plan. Whether it was to finish up a homework assignment by Monday or to remember that I have piano lessons on Saturday, I had to write it down in my planner. Day after day, year after year, I can honestly say that I’ve been as productive as I could have ever been because of a yearly planner. Writing down what I needed to take care of and looking at those daily “to-do” lists has helped me be on-time, be efficient throughout my day, and most importantly, it balanced my life.

Marked box on a checklist

Photo by Rawich

So what is a Master Action Plan? I was actually introduced to this idea when I started out as an intern. A Master Action Plan is a “MAP” of what you want to accomplish within the year. As an intern, I was told to write down specific goals within certain categories that I wanted to hit.

Here’s a blank template of what was given to me:

Annual Theme-

Life Purpose-

  • Family:
  • Financial:
  • Marriage/Dating:
  • Career:
  • Community:
  • Spiritual:
  • Citizenship:
  • Social:
  • Recreation/Hobbies:
  • Physical:
  • Mental:

Under each category I was told to write 3-5 specific goals I wanted to accomplish that year. For example, under financial I had written that I wanted to have at least $5,000 in savings, I wanted to pay off half of my student loans, and open up a credit card to start building credit. Not only that but I had to write down WHEN and WHY I wanted to do those things. After I had filled out my M.A.P. I was told to laminate it and have make two copies of it. One was to go in a binder that I carry throughout the day and one was to stay with me in my purse or in my wallet. What that did for me that year was remind me of what was important for me to accomplish and the reasons why I wanted to do it.

Like most of you would have guessed, I did hit all of my goals that year.

So for you ladies, I strongly encourage all of you to copy that template and fill it out. Be creative and change the categories to different colors and add pictures of things that you may want this year. It will motivate you every day to do the small things that will lead you to hitting your goals.

 Creating a M.A.P. will help you become Financially Independent