Does A Plan Work After All?

The first couple of weeks of the new year, also a new school term, made working people with school-going children like me, ran around like headless chicken. Well, at least, that was how I felt, trying to do my best to settle our lovely children’s school needs. Paying all kinds of fees, selecting extra-curricular activities, creating studies/activities schedules, etc.

I planned and was glad that mostly worked out well. End of first week, I was presented with the first change to my plans. It was a smart solution and I accepted it with great relief. We have now moved on to a comfortable routine. Of course, as we’ve already known, life is full of uncertainties. Nothing remains permanent as it is, so some changes along the way must be expected. Just keep ourselves open to changes….like I always say to myself, “live one day at a time“.

Hold it! I must qualify my statement, I live a day at a time. When we plan for a year, our master plan may look huge, gigantic, humongous, in fact overwhelming, depending on how ambitious and optimistic we are. Like a riddle, “how does one eat an elephant?”. In our minds we visualize a huge animal. You’ll come up with all kinds of creative answers, from tools to kill it to how to cook it. Okay, this is just a riddle, please don’t get upset here. No one’s eating an elephant. Not me. I may not be especially fond of many animals but I won’t do anything to harm them.

Now, back to the riddle. The simplest answer is, “a bite at a time”. That explains why I said “I live a day at a time”. When you treat your plan this way, you’ll be able to see it through and still get to smell the roses. When the mind is calm and more alert, it is hard to miss any great opportunities that come your way. Though this new opportunities may change some part of your original plan or even turn your plan upside down, if it’s going to give you better results, what’s stopping you from embracing them? Hey, who’s to complain when you can get more than what you ask for? Just count your blessings and move along.

You see, a plan is like a road map. It’s a sketch for the route to reach your destination. Not everyone follows the route religiously. Some may take a diversion, a postponement, or even change the destination altogether due to current circumstances. A plan is not a rigid law to follow, but just a guide to lead you to where you want to go, always subjected to changes.

When we plan, we plan to succeed. With a plan in place, even when you do fall, you won’t fall too far off the target. I would strongly encourage you to plan ahead. Big plans, small plans, any plans. Best is now when it is just the beginning of a new year. While planning, you may want to share it with your partner/spouse/BFF, someone who could give you moral support to see it through. Someone whom you can trust to deliver honest feedbacks. Then, remember to relax and review from time to time. Be flexible to changes. Open your mind to anything and everything around you.

If you discovered that your initial plan hasn’t worked out at all, look at it more objectively. Conduct a post-mortem. If you like, rope in a trusted “buddy” to brainstorm it together. Check how the plan was created in the first place. Were you too ambitious? Or, maybe the plan wasn’t challenging enough to be given due attention? Remember in my last post on New Year Resolutions? Be realistic and make it practical. The plan must be challenging enough, motivating you to act on it.

I guess, enough said. It’s now time to act. Let’s do it!

Year 2012 is the year of Dragon in the Chinese Calendar. If I may say so, “May you ride the Dragon to great heights in 2012!!!”

~ Alice N.

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