Not only is it relevant in your professional setting, but it’s also the key to leading a happy, prosperous personal life. Things like time management and good organizational skills are truly priceless, and if you haven’t yet learned how to do these things, you could be missing out on a lot.

For those who want to know why planning is so important and how you can start organizing your life better, here are some things that you should keep in mind.

Planning turns dreams into goals

Everyone has ideas. We all dream of a better life and keep wishing it would happen, and the only difference between us and those who are successful is that the successful ones already got it. Instead of spending time lost in daydreams, they are the ones who sat down, made an actual plan, and turned their dreams into real goals that they can accomplish. If you do this, you’ll have a clear outline of things that need to be done for you to reach the next step, and you’ll no longer be aimless and unsure about how to proceed. If there is something in life you really want, then you can get it as long as you form a good strategy and stick to it.

It helps you stay prepared

Life is full of unforeseen problems, and they tend to strike at us when we are at our most vulnerable. Having a plan, however, makes these unforeseen events much easier to deal with, and it gives you the chance to fight back against whatever might come your way. If you rely on luck and the hope that everything will run smoothly, then you’re likely to fail as soon as the first major problem comes your way, but if you try to predict issues and leave yourself some room to maneuver, you’ll be able to deal with it. It’s one of the reasons why getting life insurance is such a smart idea for most people—no matter what happens, your family can be safe and protected if you make sure you’re covered on time.

It helps you identify problems

Rather than just making it easier to respond to problems, planning can help you identify them in the first place. If you go into something blindly, you might not even realize that there might be many difficulties preventing you from getting where you need to be. However, if you sit down and carefully go over each step you want to make, you can pinpoint the exact issues that might arise and prevent them before they even happen.

For example, if you want to lose weight and say you intend to exercise at the gym every single day, you might realize that your closest gym is very far away and that you’re unlikely to find time to go to it on a daily basis. This can help you remember that little yoga studio that’s just around the corner that could be a better fit, or maybe even motivate you to start home workouts. The point is, you’ll know what you have at your disposal, and you’ll be able to use it.

It keeps you motivated

Planning makes everything you want to accomplish look more doable. Rather than a vague idea that’s left to chance, you can get a real step-by-step action sequence that you can take every day and know that, as long as you are consistent, it will pay off in the long run. You will also get a sense of purpose, and that’s very beneficial for your mental health because humans need a purpose in life if they are to be happy.

You will increase your focus

Having a plan makes it easier to say “no” to things that aren’t important to you. You’ll no longer be pushed around in directions you don’t want to go, and you can stand up and stick to your guns until you get what you want in life. Grow your focus by figuring your life out and making goals that are important to you, and become passionate about it.

Stay true to yourself, respect your desires, and make a plan to reach your goals—it’s the path to success, so embrace it.