When everything is so uncertain and things can change over a night, is it really necessary to make any plans? If yes, how is it even possible? These are the questions I would like to answer focusing on our personal lives.
I love planning and organizing. It is essential for me to see the next steps. So I really wanted to find a solution: how can we make any plans when we are not sure about what is going to happen. I collected 4 methods which can help you to plan even in an uncertain period.
1 Decide the Timeline: Short-term or Long-term
It may seem a simple idea, but it is worth to check the timeline of your goals. What period is uncertain for you? If it is short-term, then plan for long -term. If it is long-term, plan for short-term. Due to COVID-19, I don’t know if I will be allowed to celebrate my birthday in the way I usually do (big party with friends) this year. However, I can plan some long-term goals such as travel with my friends during the upcoming 10 years. I can also think about what do I want to accomplish in life. Though question, isn’t it? On the other hand, if long-term outcomes are uncertain, you can focus on your next steps, taking one day at a time.
2 Focus on the Things that You Can Really Influence
Stephen Covey explains in a very understandable way they difference between our circle of influence and circle of interest in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
It is suggested to use our energies on things we can really influence. I can complaint all day long about the bad weather, it is definitely in my circle of interest, but I can not change it. What I can do is to take an umbrella with me when it is rainy.
If you set goals about thing you cannot influence, you will have less control in reaching them. Think about things you can influence. You can also break down complex goals such as “protect the environment” into small action steps which you can influence. For example: “I want to learn ways to use less waste in my household”.
3 Review and Adjust
Plans can be helpful, but only if you check them. And you may need to adjust them. You can use KPIs and score cards from corporate life even on your private life. If its too much, just set milestones for example for every quarter or even every month. Plans sets us into directions, but we can always choose to do something differently if circumstances change. Or if our thoughts and emotions change.
4 Have plan B, C, D, E…
The whole alphabet is available for you if it is necessary. Optimism is a great way to approach life, but we need to be aware of the risks and mitigate them. Creating plan B, C, D can help us with that. What can go wrong in plan A? What can change? You can prepare scenarios for yourself just like in business planning.
Despite all the things I mentioned earlier, I don’t believe it is always needed to have plans. We all have periods in our lives when we don’t have goals and it just five like this. Here are some ideas what to do when you don’t know your goals.
Some periods of our lives definitely contain more uncertainty than others. I focused on our personal lives, but you may find some useful tips from Forbes for your business here. If you need further help with planning, check out this article: The Problem with S.M.A.R.T. Goals or contact me on Facebook or using the contact form.
**Cover photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels**