Planning for the future is something that probably not a lot of people do. Everything from determining your career path to marriage and retirement, it can be tough to nail down a plan, especially when the future is many years ahead.

With a plan for the future, you will have a better sense of direction, and you can map out the right steps to take towards reaching those goals. Of course, goals can change along the way and some unexpected circumstances can happen, but you still have the flexibility to tweak your plans.

Here are 4 steps you can take for planning for your future.

Step 1: Assess your wants and priorities

Assess different areas of your life that you wish for improvement and ones that are most important to you. For most people, this means a job, finance, wellness, and family. Do you want to go back to school, start a business or switch career paths? Envision a five-year plan, and then a ten-year plan. This will give you a timeline and help you to narrow down your goals for the upcoming years ahead. Knowing what you want to do will give you a better focus on figuring out the ways to achieve all your goals.

Step 2: Make an action plan 

You can now look forward to where you want to be and making that happen. Break down the process into small and measurable goals. In doing so, you’re giving yourself multiple opportunities to experience success and enjoy small doses of motivation to help keep you going. More importantly, you have “checkpoints” that you can look back on and look forward to, as well as times where you can make changes to your plan.

Step 3: Open a fund for savings and retirement

Of course, money is not everything, but it can go a long way in helping you achieve your life’s goals and dreams. Beyond fulfilling the basic needs, you can also financially support yourself in other things you care about – from family and education to adventure and fun. With financial security, you get the opportunity to choose your own course in life.

Thus, start by opening and maintaining a savings account for a rainy day. Put a portion of each paycheck into a savings account – you will thank yourself in the future whenever you have a big purchase or an emergency. On that same note, start saving for retirement now. Your golden years can seem like a mirage on the distant horizon, but think about financially securing yourself by the time you are in your 60s so you can live out the rest of your life with ease.

Step 4: Preplan your funeral arrangement

Your life plan wouldn’t be complete without preplanning a funeral for yourself. Death is inevitable, and making the arrangements prior will relieve your loved ones of the need to make difficult decisions at a time of loss, especially when they would be feeling immense grief and stress. When you plan ahead of time, you will also have more time to make informed, thoughtful decisions relating to the choice of funeral services and costs.

Whether you wish to opt for a burial or a cremation, or if there are any specific Buddhist funeral customs to adhere to, for instance – you will have a peace of mind knowing your final wishes have been planned out.