To plan or not to plan?
Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. - Warren Buffet It's probably obvious that I am a list maker. And I am a planner. In fact, I think the two things go hand in hand. Lists, in my humble opinion, are just a specific form of planning. If you are going away for a weekend you make a list of what you need to bring. It's a way of planning what you are going to do. When you go to the grocery story you take a list - it's a plan of what you intend to eat. So - even if you don't consider yourself a planner, if you make lists, you are a planner. At this time of year, I start thinking about what type of system I will use to manage my life in the coming year. I typically use the same planning system for about two or three years before I get bored and try something new. Truthfully, I’ve been known to go through three different types of planners in one year before I settle on the right one. I feel the same way about planners that other women feel about shoes. I could use one for every different occasion in my life. I know that not everyone feels the same excitement. I am aware that planning gets a bad rap from some people. “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans,” wrote John Lennon. Personally, I’m partial to what Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” I am all for planning. Back in the day when my mother wrote to friends and family in Ireland, she would always write ‘d.v.’ after any plans to visit. “ We will visit in August (d.v.).” Deo Volente or God willing. She acknowledged that we make our plans and we know that life happens and those plans can change. I don’t expect that everything I plan will actually happen. This past year has been a lesson in ‘anything can happen.’ I couldn’t plan that my husband would be hospitalized for 18 days in April or that he would be off work recovering for almost two months. Everything had to be rescheduled during those early weeks of his convalescence. I was also also surprised by the news that my daughter is having another child. She will attest - it was definitely not planned. And now all my plans for the next month are ‘tentative’ knowing we could welcome this baby at any time. Although I use a combination of paper and digital to plan, I really love planning on paper. I am careful to only use a pen to write in the plans that won’t change. Items like anniversaries and birthdays are in ink. Everything else is in pencil or erasable pen. I hold my plans loosely. If my newsletter doesn’t get done for a few weeks, life will go on. (Did you notice it has been 3 weeks since I sent one out?) No matter what your approach to planning, I strongly suggest taking time to review the past year and think about what you would like to focus on in the coming year. You don’t need to focus on your career or business. You can focus on training for a marathon. Or creating a curated reading list for the coming year. You can plan a year of living seasonally - writing out the timing for harvesting certain fruits and vegetable and canning them. You can focus on writing or blogging. Maybe you want more creativity in your life. Whatever it is, be intentional about creating space for the things you want to do with your precious time.