I am most definitely what you might call a natural planner. I love to plan what I’m going to do each day, each week, each month and even each year. I love to plan vacations. I love to plan my business. I love to plan—everything! I love to plan because I love to look forward to things that I want to have happen in my life.
Planning Gives Direction
Planning your life means that you get to take stock of everything and select the things you want most and plan how to get the results you want. It means taking a step back to look at what’s working and what’s not working and making some changes for the better. Think of it this way, when you develop a plan you are essentially setting up how you will live your life. You can have a plan for as many aspects of your life as you want. Plans give you direction and purpose. Of course, you can plan all you want and then it’s all about implementing. That’s where the rubber meets the road and we will talk about that another day. But for now, if you don’t have a plan to begin with, you may never reach your goals.
Planning Isn’t Just A Way To Get All Your Chores Done
Planning is often seen as a way to get all the stuff done in life that is essential when you are so busy. You have daily errands that are often for others like your kids, your spouse, your boss or colleagues. And you have your own personal chores to get done so planning can help you to be efficient and effective. And though that is all well and good, the kind of planning I am encouraging is for your own personal growth and success as a human being. Planning isn’t just for chores in life—planning is for creating the life you want.
But My Plans Don’t Always Go The Way I Want Them To Go
Sure, sometimes you can make plans and life gets in your way. That’s part of life and although it can be frustrating and painful, that is OK (see also Perfectionism And Emotional Pain). Planning has multiple purposes. Yes, you plan to reach your goals. But planning isn’t entirely about having the outcomes you want—planning gives structure to your life. Structure means that even though things don’t always go as planned you have something to lean on. The structure can include big goals, but it also includes an overall view of what your fulfilling life looks like. And you get to build the structure the way you want it.
Use Planning To Live Life Consciously
The great thing about planning, whether you get sidetracked or not, is that you are consciously choosing to live a certain way. You are awake and taking charge of your life. Making plans ensures that you are listening to yourself and asking yourself what you desire. Planning from that perspective means that you are in command of the structure of your daily living. And though structure sounds very solid, even steel buildings allow for flexing.
Planning Allows For Revisions
You can make plans and then change them. In fact, I highly recommend reconsidering your plans regularly so that you can alter them to fit what’s true for you as time goes on. Planning does not have to mean rigidity and permanence. Use plans to support your life path, not to keep you bound to something that no longer serves you.
Now of course it is true that you can be way over scheduled and live too close to a plan. For those of you who are over-planners I highly recommend that you periodically allow for spontaneity and all the creativity that comes from that (take a look at Get Your Creativity Flowing for ideas to bring flow into your life). But most of the time I find that people are under-planners. If you fall into the category of people who ignore planning and hope that you will eventually get what you need in life, take a crack at doing some planning. Download your free guide to get started on creating your own conscious living plans.