Should you bother planning in the uncertainty of 2021?
How are you settling into 2021? We are just one week in and we've already witnessed some deeply disturbing news. These are challenging times to live through.
I've done all the things I like to do at the beginning of a new year, and it felt different. Like many of you, I've been struggling to focus on what is really important to me. There are some valid explanations for why we lack focus in our lives. We are consuming massive amounts of media and have more information to process than is manageable for most of us. And we are living with a lot of uncertainty and fear.
For me, planning is essential to living an intentional life. Some people are wired to plan, and others will feel their anxiety mounting when they read through this email. Here's what I've done to plan in a year of uncertainty and what I've concluded.
One of my rituals at the beginning of the year is to do a vision board. I've been doing it for over a decade. In the pre-covid days, I would gather with a group with a couple of friends. We spend an afternoon talking about life and some of the things we are considering as we flip through the stack of shared magazines on the table. At the end of the session, we reveal our finished vision boards and talk about our hopes for the year. At least that was how we did it up to 2019.
I decided to go solo on my vision board. Zoom doesn't always work for me. I like the creative process of sitting with words and images that are drawing me. And I have enough magazines around the house to use. As always, I learned a lot about what I want through the process. The challenge is to have a vision for a year when we have no idea how it will unfold. I ended up leaving lots of space on my board. I focused more on who I want to be rather than what I want to achieve.
Conclusion: Creating a vision board during a pandemic helped me understand what's important now. It reminded me that there is still room to dream about the future.
A NEW PLANNER
And, of course, I have a new planner. To be completely transparent, I have two new planners. I have the one I usually use, and then a friend was so excited about her planner that I decided to give it a try. It's a 3-month planner, so I haven't invested in a whole year if I don't like it.
Side note: I can talk about planners all day long. I'll put a list at the bottom of this email of what I am using right now. And a few other options.