Life is a series of plans which have been created and then executed. Whether we, our parents, employers and even total strangers have made plans for us, we are living out that blueprint and dealing with the associated consequences.
The idea of planning is to prepare ourselves for a life that we wish to create. It is the act of creating a simulated version of reality on paper and consequently living it out.
I’ve found that there are three distinct advantages of planning:
1. It gives you more clarity
Falling asleep on the bus, missing your stop and going in the wrong direction is what it’s like when you don’t plan. You miss the opportunities around you because you were unconscious at the time of arrival.
Planning opens your eyes to the possibilities around you. For instance, if you want to become a world famous actor you should sign up with an agent, but planning will encourage you to generate additional ideas to support your plan, like acting out monologues on your iPhone and uploading them to You Tube.
When we plan we better understand what is required of us. For example, if we want to have children, our written plan should embrace and compliment that vision. It should also highlight tools and other resources which are necessary to be victorious.
2. You can foresee difficulties
Have you ever been in the supermarket, packed more than 10 bags of shopping only to realise the amount the cashier is asking for is beyond your spending limit? Planning helps us to be able to anticipate the challenges ahead. Once you put pen to paper and factor in the remaining roles and responsibilities you have, you will gain a realistic view of time contraints, date overlaps and any other potential conflicts with your new found focus.
Foreseeing difficulties also enables you to work out how to deal with opposing situations, should they arise. Like if you are on a strict vegetarian diet, and you receive an invitation to a Steak House from your closest friend. Planning your vegetarian lifestyle will cause you to always obtain the menu prior to the event and seek out the vegetarian dish or kindly decline the insensitive offer.
3. You will discover your highest priorities
It’s only when you plan, that you will truly see the workload involved in any endeavor. You can then begin to understand what is more urgent and what can be factored in at a later stage. It will also help you to understand the timings of what you intend to do. For instance, if you want to run a marathon in two years time then you can work out which mini marathon events to take part in as part of your training during that time.
There are various ways in which you can construct your plans and for different areas of your life. The key is to ensure that you have something written down and visited regularly. Overtime you can fine tune your plan as your vision becomes clearer.
What are some of the plans you have already? I would love to hear from you. Feel free to join in the discussion on Facebook or leave your comment below.