The other 4 letter word. Plan.

film poster for "Work Is a Four-Letter Wo...

The mere mention of the word, plan, sends people spinning in a tizz or running for the commitment phobic hills.

I’ll put my hand up here. The thought of sitting down and writing a detailed plan has me slumped in defeat. I don’t mind the commitment part it’s the actually doing that freezes me to the point of inaction. It’s just more work.

The silver lining is I now know a plan doesn’t have to be short novel. A few simple words on a post-it-note will do as will a pathway mapped out in your mind. If you’re inclined a detailed oriented excel spreadsheet will do the trick too. The format used depends on what works best for you. It’s the guts that counts.

The content of your plan is a declaration of your intention to commit to a course of action to reach your desired end point. Once it’s written, indelibly imprinted on your brain or, recorded in your i-phone, it’s out there. It’s your statement to yourself and others of what it is you want to do and how you’re going to get there.

Now all you have to do is commit to it. Three words strike a chord. Plan. You. Commit.

Far from being scary, a plan is a beautiful thing. Not only are your goals in reach, it’s a powerful tool to remind you of the power and potential of what you can and will achieve.

Whether your plan contains the works; goals, objectives, targets, critical pathways, advertising & PR campaigns or is only a few lines with very clear intentions. Unless you’re a large corporation shape and size doesn’t matter. There are no hard and fast rules. It’s about what works for you. More importantly is, using your plan as a foundation building block.

To live my life my way and morph into a published writer, I needed to knuckle down and write a plan. It’s written and is definitely not static. Very organic, it’s growing by the day.

I’m a plan convert. It’s incredible to see how critical and beneficial a plan is to my goals of living my life my way.  The idea of just winging it has lost some appeal.  I now even plan to not forget my supermarket shopping list.  It’s saving me a fortune on those pesky impulse buys.

Here’s a snapshot of how I got over my plan-o-phobia.

Decide to plan

A good friend once told me if you don’t have a plan you plan to fail. The penny dropped. Maybe that’s why some of my other projects turned to custard. So I wrote a plan and I’m still a safe distance from the custard bowl.

Write it down

My Dad always said, ‘write it down.’ In this day in age this means, type it in, take a mental note, or put pen to paper. Have your plan readily available in anaccessible place for easy reference.

Commit

Even those who play it by ear, commit to do so. Now you’ve got your plan, stick with it. Every plan needs a driver.

Be true to you

Some people will write screeds, others a few words on a napkin will suffice. At the end of the day, your plan is an expression of your intentions shaped by your character, and personality. Be authentic. There’s nothing worse than working on something that doesn’t resonate.

Check In

Writing a plan is the first step of many.  Check in to track progress, modify, give yourself a pat on the back, realign goals and the list goes on. If you plan to write your plan and then do nothing with it. All you’ll end up with is a nice looking foundation with no house.

Remain Open

I believe the art of getting to where you want to go is by remaining open to ideas, inspirations, anything that will add value to your plan and life. A little flexibility goes a long way. Note, that’s coming from someone never known to color within the lines!

Scrap Overwhelm

In a recent webinar, Steve Harrison shared a gem, ‘scrap overwhelm from your vocab.’ His reasoning; we’re all overwhelmed with stuff.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Be realistic. Set boundaries. Take baby steps and eat bite size chunks.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

 Neither was your plan. Be time savvy.

My life my way takeaway – The other 4 letter word. Plan. “Visualize yourself crossing the finish line of your plan.”

2 thoughts on “The other 4 letter word. Plan.

  1. Love your blog! I think your comments on planning are spot on. My biggest thing is to have a plan but also balance that with the flexibility you write about. I read an article recently about a woman who had a typed 2-page birth plan and who was shocked when nothing happened the way she had planned it. While planning is great, being realistic about how much control we may or may not have in a situation is definitely key! Great post!

    • Thanks! I couldn’t agree more. Being flexible and being ok with the fact that sometimes circumstances cross our path and take us in a direction. Not to sound too corny…..as long as we arrive safely at our destination…..Enjoy your running!

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