Why All Your Planning Efforts Fail (and how to solve it)
Even if all your planning efforts fail, it’s no reason to give up. Planning is the key to success and here’s how you can turn the table and get yourself organized.
How many times have you already tried to plan your life, but in spite your best intentions, your planning efforts failed?
No matter what your answer is, I’m sure it still makes you feel frustrated and disappointed every single time, doesn’t it? For each attempt you used:
- a different platform
- the newest method on the market
- well-known successful approaches
Yet, the results for you are always the same: little to none.
Such “failures” build up and, in the long run, they can cause all sorts of stress or even damage mental health. That is because we are constantly being reminded of how important planning is if we want to succeed.
Besides, the disappointment grows whenever reality proves us how the lack of a plan caused us to lose time, money, or even the opportunity of a lifetime.
And then, you might ask yourself:
How come so many people talk about something that is so hard to implement and maintain?
Why bothering about your planning efforts
The thing is that planning is crucial for success, period!
While it all starts with meaningful goals that make sense to you and get you excited (and scared!) to achieve them, unless you got a plan for them, they’ll stay on the drawing board.
In other words, planning is what turns dreams into reality.
They are the action steps that will lead you to the desired results. And that’s why people, like me, remind you of it from time to time.
Read also these posts about planning:
Why your planning efforts fail most of the time
The reasons for not being able to plan effectively are as many as the ones why you should not give up. However, the three most common ones are:
1. Unreal expectations
Let’s picture this: you signed up for the most incredible online planning tool or got yourself a collection of paper planners (almost one to match each of your favorite outfits).
You spent a lot of money and because of the size of your investment, you think it’s all that it takes to get your planning skills to the next level.
Wrong answer! Planning is not a magic pill.
Even when you have a picture perfect schedule, life will happen, and you’ll need to make changes. Having a strong system, though, will help you pass such challenges without falling back to chaos.
Don’t lose sight of your goals, but use your planning efforts to move towards them without losing your soul.
2. Lack of structure
While I don’t own a bullet journal (yet), I love the concept behind it.
Even more incredible than the system itself are all the creations and personal adaptations made by some users. It can be very inspiring to see what everyone brings to the table.
The thing is that it’s their structure, but not necessarily the best option for me.
Give form to your planning system.
Whether you use color coding or symbols, it must make sense to you. If you saw some idea that looks “nice,” make sure it matches your personal type before giving it a try. It may save you same headaches along the way.
3. No discipline
It’s not because you have the best planning platform in the world at the reach of your hands that you’re going to become a David Allen.
Once you have the tools in place, you’ll have to get the work done, day in, day out.
Do you remember that fitness equipment and those DVDs you bought when you wanted to lose some weight at home? Just by looking at them or hanging your clothes on them, did your body change? Did you achieve the results you wanted? Well… The same goes about planning.
How to solve your planning block
Each single person is different.
I’m sure you know it by heart already, but yet, we fall into the trap of comparison more often than we should. What it implies for planning is that independent from how:
… a method is, it might not be the best option for you.
Maybe you invest in some online tool or the cutest life planner ever, but you’re not getting the expected results. You don’t have to ditch them and waste your money, but be critical about what would work best for you.
Maybe it’s not the tool, but how you’re using it.
Another thing you should have in mind is that you need to give yourself time to build a new habit. Block half an hour a day to your planning. If you have never successfully planned your days before, don’t expect it to change in just a week or two.
Choose morning or evening time depending on what works best for you. Go through your list of appointments, errands, and to-dos and define the best strategy for the day.
And above all, do not hesitate to look for help. If getting your calendar organized isn’t something natural for you and you don’t seem to get yourself together, hiring a coach is the ideal solution for you. A good professional will help you find both clarity and the best option for you.
In other words, you can solve your planning efforts fail by:
- being critical about what planning system works best for you
- giving yourself time to build the new habit
- going through your lists on a daily basis
- defining the best strategy for the day
- hiring professional help
What do you do when your planning efforts fail?
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Originally published at Debbie Rodrigues.