When things are globally unpredictable, it’s easy to throw the baby out with the bathwater and decide there’s no point in planning anything. Don’t rob yourself of some self-gifted stability. It’s still well worth planning even in these unpredictable times.
Change is the only constant in life, but 2020 has presented more change than most of us could have imagined. We’ve all been in the same storm, but we’ve all travelled in different vessels. The rules, requirements and lockdowns have been different from country to country. But even those of us in the same town, can have very different experiences of the pandemic. Depending on our beliefs, our accommodation, who we live with, what our work is…..the list goes on.
It can be easy to decide that there’s no point in planning anything because everything may have changed next week/month/year. I get why you might think that, but what if your plan enabled you to feel more stable? To have clarity about where you are headed despite what’s going on outside of you? Having an aligned, good feeling, yet flexible plan can really help to get you where you’re going, with more ease and grace. Even if you may feel surrounded by choppy waters.
5 ways Planning can help you to feel more stable in uncertain times.
1. A long term vision is designed not to be tooooo ‘realistic.’
Our long term vision enables us to let our imagination run wild. To think about any of the things we’d like in the (slightly distant) future which would feel good to us. How we’d like to be living, where we’d be in the world, what our business/work would look like, how we’d be making our money and how much, what would our relationships be like, what would we be doing for fun, etc, etc, etc.
I do a three-year vision, but do whatever length of time feels good to you. Five, ten, twenty, it’s all good. You’re not considering HOW it could possibly happen, you’re just stating, that for now, this is how you’d love your life to be in X years time. You can change this vision any time you like. I review mine every three months. Sometimes it changes, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s just an anchor for what I’m working towards for now.
2. There’s no reason why your long term vision needs to change as a result of uncertain times.
Having a long term vision, is like having a beacon that you’re walking towards. You may or may not take the direct route. You may pick a different beacon as you get closer to it, but for now, it’s what you’re moving towards. If you choose to, you can take comfort from that. You can choose to decide that it’s in progress, that although you may not know how it’s going to happen (yet,) it is going to happen. You can choose to enjoy the eager anticipation of it, regardless of what is going on right now.
3. Breaking down your long term vision gets you to think about what good feeling action you could take towards it.
Even in uncertain times, there will be parts of your long term vision that you can pick out and say,
“Yes, I can take a small action towards that.” Look at your long term vision and decide what you could do which would take you a step closer to it?
For example, if you want to speak on stages, (most likely not going to be possible right now if you’re in a lock-down part of the world,) but it’s the thing you feel most excited and exhilarated about. What could you do to take you closer to it (there are always infinite possibilities.)
Do a brain dump and see what you come up with. Get yourself on podcasts? Do some online voice coaching? Learn how to deliver great spoken content online? Offer to do talks in other people’s programs? Seek out paid gigs in other peoples programs? Set up an online conference or summit? Increase your network? You might find that by taking these actions whilst you can’t do the endpoint goal, it may set you up for greater success and enable you to hit the ground running when you can once again speak on stages. Think of it as getting ready to be ready.
4. Decide what good feeling action steps you CAN commit to in the short term.
It’s all too easy to focus on what we can’t do. What is it that we CAN do? Again, take that shorter-term vision and decide what CAN I do in the next 90 days/month/week/day that will feel either really good in the doing of it, or that I’ll feel like an Accomplished Rock Star if-and-when I do it?
Yes, there’s lots that you can’t do, but there’s even more things that you can do. What is it that you really want to master, but if you’re honest, you’ve been avoiding it because it feels too hard, rather than because times are so uncertain? There will be an easier way to do the thing that feels too hard. You can find a solution. Breaking it down into micro-steps is often the way to go. Committing to just one micro-step is all it takes to get you moving towards that bigger long term vision.
5. Flexibility is key in all plans.
Life happens. In times of pandemic and in more ‘normal’ times. We need to create our plans with the mindset of knowing that we created it to support and guide us. Not to tie us up in knots and make us feel bad if something didn’t happen, either at all, or in the timescale we had hoped. Our plans help us to be in the process of reaching our goals and dreams with more ease, because it reminds us where we’re going and, when it becomes apparent, how we’re going to get there. We create our plan for our business and life, and we get to change it whenever we want or need to. When we’ve done our planning, even in these unpredictable times, often when the curveballs come, we find that we don’t get thrown nearly as far off course as we thought we might!
So can you get a sense of how creating a good-feeling, yet flexible plan might in fact, give you a sense of stability, even when it appears that everything around you is crumbling? You still get to have YOUR vision, despite everything else that’s going on. You still get to choose which aspects of your vision feel the best to you. You get to choose which small steps you can take towards that vision despite of the uncertain circumstances, and you get to choose if and when you take these steps. It’s all created by you, for you.
If you’d like some support with your planning, even though times are uncertain, book in for a complimentary chat to see how I can best support you.
Also, check out my ‘Work With me Page’ here.