Is it time to stop setting yourself up for disappointment? As we head rapidly towards the end of this year, there’s no time like the present to reassess your concept of “plans”.
I was clearing notes on my phone recently and discovered the 2020 plan my husband and I came up with in January last year… incidentally, the first we’d ever created in 12 years together. It actually made me LOL. We’d booked tickets to the Australian Grand Prix, a long weekend in Hobart, a week in Cairns, tickets to Harry Potter & the Cursed Child and were researching an exotic international break with friends. And guess what? Not one of these things happened!
So many lessons have been thrown our way since the beginning of 2020, but one of the most prominent is that spending time making plans is an exercise in futility that’s very likely to lead to disappointment.
In these uncertain times, “preparation” is the new “planning”
I believe preparation and preparedness are the new plans. I understand this can be a challenging concept when your natural tendency is to make a plan. But, having a plan suggests a level of control… you know what’s going to happen and when.
Unfortunately, these days, no amount of organisation, getting things set up in the right way, dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s in advance, will guarantee a successful outcome. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning an event, taking a holiday or making a career change. The likelihood of something going awry is high… so what will you do when circumstances clash with your carefully laid plans?
Preparation, on the other hand, is different and incredibly useful. It still requires you to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve but requires you to forgo your reliance on a meticulously crafted plan to get there; anticipate a range of scenarios and possibilities instead. By strengthening your adaptability and resilience, you’ll be incredibly responsive as your environment changes.
In other words, rather than thinking “how will I bring this back on track?”, consider what other options are available to keep you progressing forward. Focus on your vision, set your intentions according to your values and progress towards them one small step at a time. Invest your time and energy on being prepared to adjust as required.
Next time your best laid plans are challenged by circumstances…
1. Ask yourself “what’s happening Here?”
Could your desire to plan really be about gaining a sense of control in the face of the unexpected? If so, think about what your actual level of control or influence is on this these circumstances. If what is happening is outside your sphere of influence, then give yourself permission to let it go. Concentrate on how you can manage yourself through the situation instead.
2. acknowledge your assets
Consider that you’re already prepared to some extent. What knowledge or experience do you already have that you can call on to feel confident and competent in this particular situation. We can never know everything that is likely to happen but by being clear about your set of strengths and skills, you can immediately know what tools you have at your disposal to flexibly adapt to a change in circumstances.
I’d love to hear what you think … do you agree or disagree?
Would you like to stop waiting for circumstances to be right, take control and proactively design a career you love in 2022? If you want next year to be the year you work it all out and confidently make the right next career move, please get in touch, I would love to be your coach and head cheerleader!