Have you ever felt despite your best intentions and effort, you aren’t making progress or moving forward with your goals?
That’s what this month has been like for me. I took a long, delightful break during the December holidays, and was ready to start the new year working on some lofty goals. But on the very first day of the year, I came down with a bad cold and sinus infection that put me out of commission. Just as I was feeling better, it was time to head to Florida for a pre-planned long weekend with my parents who live there.
OK, it’s just a long weekend, and I figured when I get back there will still be several days left in January. Enough to make some progress and begin forward movement. The day before I was scheduled to fly home, despite a sunny sky, I was warned by the airlines to switch my flight to a later date to avoid massive weather delays.
Two extra days in the warmth of the South (I know, I shouldn’t be complaining.) The work I was planning would have to wait.
Rearranging my appointments, making due on my iPad rather than my laptop (figured I wouldn’t need it for just a weekend), I tried to find the “gift” in this time, and squelch my frustrations.
It’s times like these when we need to dig deep and find the hidden silver lining in circumstances that feel annoying, but outside of our control. Otherwise, we will just stew in our frustration and disappointment, which is not a fun or productive place to be.
For me, a quick priority check-in made all the difference. At ages 93 and 96, every extra day hanging with Mom and Dad is truly a gift. While those at home were stuck inside due to tremendous wind and rain, I was exercising each morning in the sunshine rather than my basement. An unexpected overlap of time in Florida gifted me a dinner out with a dear friend of mine. At home, we struggle to squeeze in time to spend together. So all in all, those days away from my work weren’t so bad.
Ironically, the two big projects I needed to be working on were my upcoming webinar, The #1 Secret for Health, Happiness, and Success, and promoting Success School, the online course I am presenting in February with two fellow coaches. I am big on planning in advance, and these events were designed to help you learn systems of planning that will help you achieve success in all areas of your life.
But, even though I had followed my system and created a plan, had set goals and knew exactly what I needed to be working on and when, life put up some roadblocks. There is an old Yiddish expression that translates to, “We make plans, and God laughs.” Meaning, no matter how well we plan and how great our intentions, life circumstances can derail that plan at any given moment. Exactly what happened to me this whole month!
So, does that mean all the time we spend planning is really for naught? Are we better off just winging it? Waking in the morning, seeing what the day brings, and coasting along for the ride? Absolutely not!
In my mind, having a vision and a plan is like plugging in a destination on your GPS. There is some place you want to go (vision), and you have a map (plan) for getting there. As long as you keep that destination in mind, and keep moving, eventually you will end up where you aim to go. But just like your GPS recalculates if you hit a traffic jam or roadblock, we need to recalculate when our plan goes awry. We need to be flexible; change our expected arrival date, take another road, ask for assistance if required.
If whenever life circumstances prevent your plan from working as you hoped you throw up your hands and give up, you’ll never reach your destination. Don’t let those unexpected events give you an excuse to abandon your plan. Remind yourself of why you wanted to head in that direction, be patient but diligent, and you will get there, sooner or later.
No matter what happens, and no matter how many times my plans don’t go as I hope, I still say, “Failure to plan is planning to fail.”
If you want to experience greater success, meet the goals you set without failure, improve your productivity and have a lot more fun each day, you’ve got to have a vision, goals, and a plan for achieving them.
When that plan doesn’t go as expected, don’t despair. Look for the silver lining in the unexpected, keep your priorities in line, stay flexible and make a new plan. Don’t lose sight of the destination. As long as it is still important for you to get there, keep recalculating until you do.
I so hope you’ll join us at Success School , which starts on February 15th. In six weeks time, you will learn the skills to craft a vision for the life you truly want and take goal setting to the next level. We’re going to show you how to assure self-care stays on your daily “to-do” list so that you stay healthy and happy, giving you the energy and stamina to work towards your goals and not burn out. We’ll introduce you to superior techniques of time management so you can eliminate overwhelm, stop procrastination, and find true balance in your life. And, we want to make sure you achieve all this while bringing way more fun back into your life than you can imagine. And indeed, we’ll teach you how to be flexible and rework your plans when life hands you the unexpected.
So here I am sending you this blog post, a few days later than I anticipated. I’ll be spending a few more hours working this weekend than I normally do. But, my free webinar will go on as planned, and Success School will launch on February 15th. More details and information will be coming your way very soon.
Although the road to these projects turned out a lot rockier than expected, as they say in Hollywood, “The show must go on!”