Loads of Plans, But No Change

How long have we been talking about climate change?

How long have we been discussing poverty?

Now, let’s take it closer to home, how long have you been planning to change?

One thing I personally hate is being a planner. You know starting off with resolutions and 5 or 10-year goals and ending up with nothing. And that is what happened to me.

And if you’ve got the wrong plans, I don’t care how many positive qualities you’ve got, you’re going to end up in the wrong place.

— Zig Ziglar

Those Who Fail to Plan

The problem with most of my plans is that I never had a plan to achieve the plan. I had deadlines, but very little action or even motivation to complete the plan. In the end, it became a confusing mad panic about achieving a goal I was never supposed to achieve.

There was so much wrong with the way I ‘planned’, looking back, it was a pathetic joke. You see, growing up it was drummed into my head that; ‘those who fail to plan, plan to fail’. And like a good little indoctrinate idiot, I made loads of plans!

I had a major career plan when I couldn’t decide on a career path. I had a life plan when I couldn’t even decide if I wanted to marry or not. And I had emergency plans to back up those plans and side plans in case, I want to be spontaneous and a plan for my imaginary kids when they were born…etc…etc…etc…

Yeah…none of those plans worked out.

Now that I’m older and hopefully a bit wiser, I can see why none of those plans worked out. To start, they weren’t plans! They were wishes and dreams. Pipe dreams to be precise. Because none of those plans involved making any changes to my daily routine, or lifestyle, or were even about me.

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

Plan For Whom, Plan For What

One major problem with all my planning is that I was planning the life of someone else. All my plans involved scenarios that were meant for others to love my life, but not me. It’s why so many of my plans had unclear destinations and lacked motivation.

Part of growing into an adult is the mindset change from being a child to being a responsible adult, Sadly, my childhood kinda sucked and adulthood didn’t look any better. After years of hiding my nature so I don’t offend people in childhood, I had no idea who I was and didn’t have the option to explore as an adult. Yet, here I was being ‘forced’ into making plans for the life someone else decided I should live.

Since I had no direction of where I wanted to go, I went anywhere the wind blew and did a lot of courses in any little thing that interested me. But I had no focus on an end goal other than leaving my mother’s house. So anything that would get me out of there the fastest was what I was interested in.

When you have nothing driving you other than survival that is a horrible way to live. You should not be making long-term decisions based on today’s struggles. It keeps you blind to the real changes and steps you need to make that will actually change your future for the better.

Turn that big dream into daily steps

Plans are Good, But Daily Steps are Better

Like a lot of people, I hate meetings. And as someone who has had to take minutes, I can tell you at some point I always want to simply write;

Same shit discussed in the last meeting. Currently, arguing if this is true. Finally decided to discuss in full again next week.”

And sometimes months pass with this exact same discussion that was critical enough for the meeting still on the table.

Of course, the reason for the delay is to make sure repeatedly that everyone knows the plan, is ready for any contingency changes, and can execute it efficiently. In group planning, such lengthy steps may be necessary, but you are just you. Why are you taking months and years to be sure of your own damn plan!

The only thing you need before you make a plan is a goal. Once you are sure of what you want to accomplish, planning doesn’t really matter. Execution should be your main focus. Figure out what you need to accomplish to get to the main goal, then break that down into manageable milestones and daily to-do tasks.

Goals need plans and plans need action. The end result equals change.

Making A Change Without A Goal

To that end, why we plan is to make a change in our lives or the world. We want to improve some aspect of ourselves or our surroundings, be it our careers, lifestyle, health, or environment. And sometimes, we even make these changes to inspire or teach others how to do the same.

And that why is our true goal. It is the motivator behind all our plans and actions. Without a reason that is based on our authentic self and driven by our innate desires, all our plans are nothing. And you can forget about change and growth.

That is why my ‘plans’ failed and definitely why yours are failing as well. Not because something came up and things didn’t go as planned. Things will always happen, but once the goal is still achievable, then the plan didn’t fail. It just needs adjustment.

Your goal is the backbone of your plans and the reason you need to make the change. You can’t plan to change without a goal and you won’t change without an action plan. In other words, get off your butt and actually do something if you want any plans for change to succeed.

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