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A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish – 3 Lessons About Goal Planning

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I’ve heard the quote, “A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish” for years and it’s so true! It’s a quote that is often used to motivate people when setting goals and I think there are some important things we can learn from this simple quote.

Woman writing in goal planner. - A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish and lessons about goal planning.

Who said the quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish?”

The quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” comes from  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, in the original publication of his book, Le Petit Prince published in 1943.

Antoine was an avid lover of aviation, which inspired most of his writings. The Little Prince was originally published in 1943 in French and has since been translated into over 300 languages!

The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) is a classic story of a boy prince who travels from planet to planet meeting different people who share their stories. The book, while simple, touches on important topics of human nature like sadness, loneliness, friendship, and more. Over 200 MILLION copies of this book have been worldwide and the quote, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” is now widely known.

What does the, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” quote mean?

We all have goals that we want to achieve. Trying to achieve goals without any plan, guidance, or direction will not lead to success. You need to have a plan… a roadmap. These plans will guide you toward your goal, learning and growing through the process. Some of the best lessons are learned while you work towards a goal. 

Without a plan, most people don’t make much progress. Goal planning will help you to take a closer look at your goal and find ways to take steps that will help you succeed.

What can we Learn from this Quote?

For years I would just have these random goals and hopes. I would want to save money, lose weight, be more successful… the list goes on. I would just write these down on January 1st and move on. I didn’t have a plan to reach my goal and I rarely revisited them. 

2022 Powersheets new colors on a book shelf

A Goal Without a Plan Is Just a Wish – A Deeper Look: 


First, we look at “a goal”. It sounds easy to set goals but a lot more goes into the process if you actually want to see growth. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Is there a deeper reason that you want to meet that goal?
  • Will this goal help you in other parts of your life?
  • How will your life change if you achieve it? 


“A Plan” This is my favorite part of this quote because I love a good plan! One of the most overlooked parts of goal-setting is breaking down the goal so you have a roadmap to follow. Say your goal is to get out of debt, that is a very big goal and can’t simply be checked off. There is not just one step to get you to becoming debt-free.

Breaking down your bigger goal into actionable steps will help you to create a plan that you can follow every day, week, and month. You will see progress along the way and stay motivated. When you use a plan for your goal setting, you will also see your trouble spots, what gets you off track, and what you need to adjust or work on. 


This part is especially important to think about. Are you approaching your goal like it’s just a wish, just an unattainable dream? Your mindset will determine your progress, so believe in yourself! Usually, our mindset, our doubts, and our fears hold us back from the most amazing successes.

I’ve been working on my mindset a lot this past year. Reading books like Jon Acuff’s Soundtracks has been helpful for me to understand that my terrible self-talk, fears, and doubts were roadblocks in my way. 

So the quote “A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish.” Is truly a great reminder that in order to achieve our goals, even the HUGE goals we first need a plan. Additionally working on our mindset will help us to truly believe and move forward! Now, how do we actually create a plan?

Woman reading her goal planner. - A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish and lessons about goal planning.

What Tool Should You use to Plan your Goals?

For 5 years I have been using a system called Powersheets to help me plan and achieve my goals. It has helped us to achieve some pretty huge goals like buying our first home! It has helped me to double my business revenue in 2021 and I have some big goals for 2022.

The New 2022 Powersheets are now available and they sell out FAST, so I will give you a quick overview of the 2022 Powersheets and why they work so well.

2022 Goal planner from Cultivate what Matters

The First Step to Goal Planning

Before diving into picking some random goals you will walk through a few pages in the Powersheets that will help you to figure out what goals you want to set. I love that during this process I usually find some important goals that I wouldn’t have even thought about. For example, in 2021 I really wanted to get on top of our budget so one of my goals was to review our income and spending every single week. In the past, I would have set a goal like, get out of debt, but after doing the prep work I realized that one step to getting out of debt was for me to know where our money is going, so “Do weekly budget updates” was my new goal.

Writing goals in a planner -  A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish and lessons about goal planning.

Choosing goals for each area of your life

Taking the time to think about the different areas of my life that I wanted to improve was a great exercise. I created focuses like: Our Home, Our Finances, The Children, My Business, My Wellness, Relationships, and Spirituality. Then I could create different goals for each area. For example, for wellness, it could be, “To have a strong, healthy body that allows me to do what matters most.”

A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish and lessons about goal planning.

Breaking down your goals

Next, you’ll break down your goals into realistic, achievable steps. This is the best part of this process! I love seeing how I can take a big goal and make it much more attainable. “Save $3000 for vacation” became, “save $57.69 a week”! Spending more time with my children became, take 1 child out to breakfast each month. These goals change every month and quarter when you evaluate your goals.

Taking Action and Tracking Progress

Now I get to tell you about the very best tool that comes with your Powersheets – Tending Lists!

This simple page keeps me focused all month long, motivates me to keep going, and reminds me that my baby steps are making BIG CHANGES!

Tending Lists are the creation of Laura Casey, the creator of Powersheets – they are a unique way to track your Monthly, Weekly, and Daily Goals. They are like my Habit Trackers but even better!

Woman writing in goal planner. - A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish and lessons about goal planning.

Start Planning to Acheive your Goals

I encourage you to start planning out your goals. Take some time with a notebook and write out your hopes and dreams, without all the negative self-talk. Then check out Powersheets if you’re looking for a tool that will truly help you achieve your goals. Click here to see the new 2022 Powersheets Collection.

Planning your goals for success

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