Every five years, at the years end, I write a five year plan for the future years.

I have been doing this, with flickering success, for the past sixty years.

Then I follow up each following year to make sure that I am on track. So, now it is 2020 and l did double duty. Meaning that I reviewed the past years and wrote a new five year plan including, like always, yearly mile stones to strive for, to adjust as I go along, and to achieve.

I have to admit, that as I get on with the years, I find it more and more difficult to reach my yearly goals in a timely manner. To be clear, I reach my goals eventually, (most of them,that is) but it takes me a lot more time than it used too. My wife, Jennifer, tells me that this might have something to do with the fact that I am not in my seventies or eighties anymore.

“This summer you will turn frigging ninety” She informed me when I tried to discuss with her the difference of my intentions with the actual results. Maybe she is right, I thought, causing me to review my next five year plan. And, I found an interesting tidbit which I like to share with my readers.

I noticed that during the last few years I very often wrote in my plans, the phrase: “I hope” that so and so, would happen. This is in a stark contrast to my previous plans in which I more or less decided what would happen by developing and following stringent strategies. If the results were different than I intended, I changed my strategies which produced the unwanted results. This simple adjustment allowed me to zero in on my original target.

Now, please, don’t get me wrong. I still think that hope is spiritually very important. (I did a lot of it when I was fourteen years old, searching for my parents) But, this was at a time when I was not in control.

So, I replaced the word “hope” with “I will develop a strategy” in my plans.

I hope to be able, next year, to let you know how it works out.

See, here is where hope is important, After all, I am not in control of my life.

However, I am in control of my intentions.