Last week I was in a really great mood leading up to Mother’s Day. Hubby asked me where I wanted to go eat, and I picked a really casual place we went to before that had great food and a fun family atmosphere. I told him I just wanted to spend the day with him and our handsome son. Easy peezy plan. What could go wrong? 

Well let me tell you the good part. I did spend the day with my boys, but the rest of the plans went a whole lot different than planned.

Things Didn’t Go As Planned

Long story short….woke up on Mother’s Day with a killer headache and not so good news from my daughter (all is well now). I was glad I toughed it out because I got to enjoy service at church with the family. We paid my mother-in-law a visit and then went to eat. The day was looking up. Then the cloud and the mishaps rolled in.

We waited an hour for our seat (expected) and another hour for our food, only to be told they never put my order in. (Dang I could taste those crabs!) So we agreed with the manager that we weren’t paying for the cold half of our order that showed up eventually and went home.

Okay it’s not like a major project bombed or I crashed and burned reaching for a goal—I have been there by the way- but in the grand scheme of things, although day’s mishaps sucked, they were minor.

Plans gone wrong is a real fact of life we experience on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s just a little think like scheduling being off. Unfortunately, big things also go wrong.

What Do You Do When Things Don’t Go As Planned?

How often do you put so much thought and time into plans only for them not to work out? Do you freak out when plans get messed up or do you take it in stride?

First I’m assuming that you do plan. (You do plan right?) If you don’t that’s a blog for another day!

If you do make plans, the way you plan and how you respond to changes in your plans plays a big role in whether or not you’ll reach your goals.

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”- Dwight D. Eisenhower

There is great value in planning. However to be successful in today’s ever changing environment, you have to be flexible and agile. Planning is important, it helps you prepare for possible scenarios, but if you get hung up on your plan and freak out when it fails-it’s time to shift your thinking.

Are You the Forever Planner?

Let’s break it down. Some of us are always planning. We can fill libraries with the books we use to write our plans in. Here’s the thing, at some point you have to take action. Planning is only useful if you do something with it.

Don’t let analysis paralysis hold you back. Pick a date to get started and check in with your plan as you go. In other words, get off the pot!

Are You the Never Planner?

Ok, I know that some of us are really good at winging it. You MacGyvers out there are awesome at pulling strings and toothpicks together to build a hut. When stuff goes wrong, I want you in my corner. Now just imagine how much more awesome you’d be if you planned things out a little? You’d be able to cut down on time to double back and fix things. You might even come up with a bigger better hut if you planned things out a bit.

Don’t be afraid to take a little time to consider your options and (gulp) write things down before you jump right in.

When Plans Go Wild

When my plans have gone awry I’ve found value in the four Rs below:

Regroup: Gather the troops. Go back to your sounding board and pull your advisor board together. Take a short break before tackling the plan again. Sometimes the plan is right, but the timing is wrong. Consider if pressing pause will give you the space/time/energy you need to be successful.

Reframe: Try looking at things differently. The glass isn’t half empty-it’s half full. Heck-there’s more water out there. How can you look at things differently? Come at the plan from a different angle? Shifting your thinking may take you down a different road, but will the journey be easier? You won’t know until you try.

Retreat: Fall back. Stop advancing and gather your resources together. When things start to go south, sometimes you have to pullback before committing more time or resources to a sinking ship. Don’t force yourself to try and see things through, even though all the signs are pointing to the plan not working out. Failing is practice for getting it right. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a plan that won’t get you to your objective.

Re-plan: You’ve tried regrouping. You’ve reframed your thinking and now it’s time to retreat. It’s not time to quit. Imagine how dark things would be-literally-if Benjamin Franklin gave up. When asked how he felt failing the first 1,000 times he tried to invent the lightbulb, his response was “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”  Sometimes not succeeding is a just a step in the plan.

Last thing, I’m not saying don’t make plans. What I am saying is don’t hold onto the plan so much that you fall apart and give up.

Need help figuring out your plan or regrouping? Let’s connect on a Discovery Call to get you started!

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