Not everyone is keen to start writing out a plan for themselves. My angle? Everyone should have a plan. Here are my 23 reasons why you should start with (some kind) of plan today.
A dog chasing it's tail. running in circles. Like a business without a business plan. how successful do you think they will be? They won't get far exceptions excluded. Now ask yourself, do you have a clear direction in life? Do you have a solid plan? If not read on, I will give you some reasons you should start doing that today. If you did, bravo! read on too, there will be some interesting thoughts in here for you too.
Format is secondary
Don't worry too much about the format of your plan just yet. It doesn't matter at this point yet what kind of plan you've put or planning to put together. An A4, a whole book, a plan for coming year or the next 20, typed or written. It is about carving out time in your schedule to think about what it is that makes you happy and then build a plan around that.
You can't have succes if you don't have your definitions straight
The definition of succes is different for everyone. Finding a new job is succes for someone but the person next to him might be bored out of his skull by his job. One woman wants a a new home for her and her family. The other will be fine with that Hermes bag she has had her eyes on for years. Succes can also be immaterial, such as a certain state of mind. But the thing is just thinking about getting there won't cut it. By starting to put a plan around the succes you are looking for you will quantify it.
Your head & memory is not a hard drive, flush it
Everyone hopes they have a gigantic hard drive in their heads and that is the case albeit subconscious. In real life its more that your head works like a piece of 256 mb RAM memory. It stores short term information, and you can only remember a certain volume of memories. This means you will lose information. To relieve your head of this stress if trying to remember everything you want to do. How you want to get there and what's needed to get there and when you want to have that done, put it on paper. Your head will find creative solutions to your problems which are pressing. It relaxes at the moments you want and can, and have you (re)charged to hunt the next whale.
Life is too short to sit on the back of the figurative bus
The metaphor of the back of the bus is one I think is powerful. So you can sit all the way in in the back of the bus. Complain about the bumpy ride and wait until it reaches it's destination. You depend on whoever takes the lead to get to the destination, because you are not driving. This is happening when you are living life, and not attempting to lead your life. Leading life is getting to the front of the bus, kicking out the driver and take the seat. Who's on the bus with you all the time, or just now and then? Your family, friends and loved ones. They are with you for the ride. Life is waaaaay to short to sit in the back of that bus and waiting for the world to change. On the scale of everything a plan might sound like a small thing, but to get the most out of it, a plan is your foundation.
Your time is your most valuable asset
Take money, clothes, cars, heck, even a job or maybe even some friendships. All these things have one thing in common. They are replaceable. One aspect in life doesn't have that and that's time. Once you've spent it's gone, never to return. Your life is ending one minute at a time. It's our most valuable resource. But still we waste heaps of our own and others' time with useless stuff. We also let others dictate how we spend our time, think about that! When you have a plan, you took time to get an idea of how you want to spend your time on important things in life. Sounds good right?
Your passion requires attention and nurturing
Stuff doesn't happen by itself. That is the case with your passions. Do you even know what your true passions are? I have to admit that I'm not completely sure yet. What I did notice is that taking some time for planning helps you to uncover aspects about yourself which you didn't know existed. The plan will help you to nurture these passions and develop them further into something you will be proud of - if you want to.
No one else will tell you how to live your life
Are you one of these people who keeps waiting for a sign from above on what to do next? Wake up: that's not going to happen. Your girl/boyfriend might tell you every now an then what they dislike about you and your manager at work might give you some feedback what to improve. But the long term Big Hairy Audacious stuff, that needs to from yourself. From within.
Knowing what not do is important too
With writing your plan you become selective about how you spend your time. The act alone of thinking about helps you think about what you don't like to do. That is just as important to knowing what you DO want. Cutting the useless weight and shoulda woulda coulda's, and just don't do what you want to do. Period.
Restlessness is tamable
There is a word for it in German: sehsucht. A yearning for something but you don't know what. Everyone has it sometime so no biggy. And sometimes it's good to take the time to meander a little bit within your own head, take the time to doubt. But restlessness can be a annoying feeling. To nip it in the bud you need to start dissecting what you actually want. That goes deeper than just putting a plan on paper. But it's a darn good start.
Waiting won't change a damned thing
You might have noticed this before, but waiting for things to change has never anyone. You become lazy and you start blaming others for the fact that stuff isn't working out as you thought. Putting together is a first step forward. It helps you overcoming the frist hurdle of getting something done: your own laziness. No one ever became successful by waiting around for it to happen. Instead they turn that around into action, and action start with a plan.
get it out of your head and onto paper
If you have a life like a lot of other people these days you have a lot on your plate. Family, friends, social, work, hobbies, sports, maintaining the house you live in. Side hustles (of which some of them fail), and other things you believe are important. Writing out a plan is a way to empty your head onto paper and for some that gets the creative juices flowing. It helps you to probe other ideas and prioritize what you believe is important in life.
challenge equals growth
I'm sure you're all familiar with the term comfort zone. We think that the best place to stay is within this comfort zone. Change is bad for you!! You can't turn back! What if I said that the most interesting things happen when you challenge your comfort zone? By setting out in other directions and pushing yourself through your feeling of discomfort. Its comforting to know that the comfort zone stretches along with you. You might notice that things make more sense once you start challenging yourself. Creating plans is an excellent starting point for growth.
You can do more than you think or than others tell you
Of all the plan and ambitions about 99% of it is bound to fail as soon as it pops up in your head. Why? Because we let ourselves do so. This is something you've heard before but you are capable of more then you think. This is something you need to realize for yourself. What is really holding you back is a fear of failing, maybe for others besides yourself? Get out of the way of yourself. You are capable of a lot of things, just mute the voices in your head saying you can't.
It doesn't hurt to try
I'm not going to say you need to leave a trail of unfinished business, because that would make you feel more miserable than before. What I mean is that having a plan in place gives you room to experiment. It generally doesn't hurt either to write up a plan for one year and see how it works out for you.
It helps you embrace your fears
What are your biggest pitfalls? What are you really afraid of? Getting "real" with yourself and slaying your giants is something which isn't done by writing the plan itself. You get shit done by starting to do it. But if you consider writing up a plan as your first step towards action, that sounds better right?
experiment in life
Despite what other people think about reincarnation and a next life to do it right, this life is not a dress rehearsal. You get one shot at getting the max out of it. So start going out there and experiment by and for yourself.
Show commitment to "working" yourself out
There are a lot of things which need to get done in life. You need to be the right employee, raise a couple of kids and be an good husband / partner. Being good at all these things start by taking a long look in the mirror and start thinking about what you want to do about who you are. But in the bustle of life we sometimes forget that self improvement is a fundamental aspect in life, because if this becomes a commitment from yourself to yourself, you start seeying the return in a lot of other areas in life. show yourself that commitment, take yourself seriously.
There are people counting on you
Some of these people might not mention it, and some of the people depending on you aren't able to express it, like children. But there are people who count on you, and rely on you to achieve certain things. Your girlfriend wants you to finish painting that staircase. Your kids hope you quit smoking because you smell. And are you counting on yourself to get stuff? In order to follow through on commitments including the unspoken ones, you need a plan.
it helps you get back-burnt shit DONE
Some people say that if something is on your to do list for over 14 days, you should just simply toss it out. Some things can't be simply deleted from your to do list. They need to be completed. Striped off the list. It sure feels good to tick boxes. Having overview of your burnt back things ensure you get them done by putting them on the #1 position.
You claw yourself back into power mode
Willpower works just like a muscle, at a certain point it's done for the day, willpower is depleted. To make things worse, there are a LOT of variables which draw energy. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a lot of a little. Think of your career, your kids. Sometimes things fly over like a shower during your afternoon walk, sometimes they don't. Sometimes you find yourself in a bad position you can't get out of, writing stuff down can help you make the first step out that pickle, and into active mode once again. Huzah!
you chop of big hairy audacious stuff into bite-size chunks
Climbing the Himalayas is not something which stands firm on top of my wishlist, at least not just yet. If that is one of your that sounds pretty daunting. There are a lot of things which need to be done before you would be ready to do so. If you put together some kind of plan and dissect the whole thing you notice you need to start with the first smallest step: by taking a mountain climbing course. By buying a pair of climbing shoes. Take each step of the plan after one another and all of a sudden the threshold to getting started lowers.
You will default to the most easy mode - procrastination
The most used MO in life is pure procrastination. Everything shifts from the today list to the someday / maybe list. We allow ourselves to do so. Instead of trying to get stuff done we think of ways to not do it since it's bound to fail anyway. It's really important to start noticing this behaviour with yourself. One way to pull yourself out of the standard mode of procrastination is by writing a plan on why you are going to do the things you are going to, together with an actionable plan.
You hold yourself accountable
When things hang around in your head they stay unspoken. You don't hold yourself and others accountable. When putting the plans together your start creating a threshold of accountability. It can make you feel shitty if you start missing out on the plans you've set out. That doesn't matter. Change doesn't happen overnight. It start with the realization.
23 reasons you should start with writing some kind of plan. Convinced? Good, then take a pen and paper and start. As I said you don't have to write volumes at once, but start. That's the most important part! You can do it.