Planning is Living

Planning and committing to a plan can be scary. Last night my daughter asked us all what our New Year resolutions were. Most of us gave an answer even if it was vague. Yet, when we asked her the same question, she refused to share.

Do you sometimes make plans and feel like you shouldn’t say it out loud? Sometimes it seems that if we say it, then it destines the plan for failure. No commitment means no loss if it doesn’t happen like we wanted.

Why? Why is planning so hard? I wonder if we don’t understand the life that a plan has.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman/

Plans have life! They breathe and must be flexible. If they are not allowed to bend and flow, plans will often turn into grumpy old men!

I have always enjoyed making plans and organizing things.  I love seeing the pieces come together.  In my younger life, I would force those pieces into place at the expense of myself and often others.  I kept my plans so structured.  I felt like any flexibility would cause it all to tumble down.  I didn’t realize that I was actually choking out the life and joy of the plan.

As I became a wife and a mother, I began to learn.  Plans must be flexible.  Sometimes the pieces I thought went in one place…actually did go somewhere else if I would just stop trying to stifle the voice of the plan, which was calling out for mercy!

Plans are meant to be a flexible structure to help us get to a desired goal.

If you get to the desired goal, but have to stray from your original plan…is that OK?  YES!  The plan is not the goal.  It is only the path you see from the beginning.  As you walk the path, you may see a shortcut…or you may find yourself in unforeseen quicksand.  Almost all plans will need some sort of adjustment.  You MUST be flexible to reach your goal.

As we enter this New Year, I encourage you to make plans.  Make lots of them.  I am, and I will. Plans are exciting and adventurous and full of life.

How to Keep Plans Alive

  • Don’t throw plans out completely.  We need a starting point to get to a goal.  No one gets into a car to drive to Disney World without a map or an idea of how to get there.  Plans are valuable!
  • Don’t choke them with structure and insisting on a certain way.  Be flexible and enjoy the adventure of each plan.
  • Don’t be so flexible that you never look up to make sure you are getting to your goal.  Keep the goal in sight as you walk with a plan.  We all knows what happens when someone says they don’t need a map.  They think they “remember.”  You end up on a gravel road with no road signs and no cell service.
  • Don’t keep your plans a secret.  It is important to share you plans with a trusted friend or your support system.  Other people in our lives often have a better view of our path.  Also, a friend can encourage you when your plans seem to be taking you down the wrong path.

Whether it is dinner plans or party plans or lesson plans, remember that planning is living!  Go with the flow and see your goals achieved!

Let’s Chat:  Are you extremely structured or do you find yourself being too flexible?  It is a constant challenge to keep the balance in the life of planning! Click here to comment and share your thoughts.

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