Una's Blog


42 The secret of planning

graphic-6by Una Hearne.

There are thousands of planning theories, methods, models and templates. And there is one very good reason why no particular way of planning works for everyone – human beings are not robots.

Most of the theories, methods, models and templates have merit and will work for some people. Usually people who are like the person that designed that particular way of planning.

There are basics that need to be in any plan and the more people involved in implementing a plan, the simpler and clearer it needs to be. Everyone involved needs to understand it. (What’s that I hear you say? This is obvious? You’d like to think!)

When it comes to your personal plans for your life, you don’t need to please anyone but yourself. You don’t need to be able to communicate them so that others understand. The truth is, in order to achieve anything in life you will have a plan. You may not be conscious of it, but you actually do work out how you are going to do anything, either before or as you are doing it.

Here’s the really important point about your plans – THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY TO PLAN. There is only one, bottom line, measurement for your plan – Is it working for you?

I do advocate putting visions/goals and plans on paper, in words or pictures and I talk all the time about the spooky magic around written visions and goals. It’s a good observable, evidence based, repeatable phenomenon. But of course nothing is absolute so it is not the only way to make things happen. Some people operate very successfully by having a vague idea of the outcome/vision they want and their way of planning is ‘Dive in, do the first thing you think of and make up the next step as you go along. Rinse. Repeat.’ At the other extreme you will find people who need detailed, specific, written visions/goals and plans and lists of actions. All of us operate somewhere between these extremes and we operate differently depending on the situation.

So, while I do advocate getting your vision and plan out of your head and onto paper, I don’t prescribe how that should happen, if you make up the way that seems most appealing to you it is likely to work best for you. It has to make sense to you.

And how do you know if you have created the right vision and plan for yourself? Easy test: When you think about it, look at it or talk about it, how do you feel? If you get feelings like happy, excited, motivated, energised, rightness, flow etc – then its your vision and plan. If you get the opposite kinds of feelings, it is not right for you, it’s not authentically what you want or it is not finished yet, go back to the vision board!

The secret is – do it your way.

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