When things don’t go according to plan
Life can be a minefield of experiences, opportunities and discoveries and it sometimes feels as though we’re always being encouraged to plan for this, plan for that and plan some more ‘just in case. But what happens when things just don’t accrediting to plan regardless of the amount of energy and thought you’ve ploughed into them.
Is it really a bad thing when your plans don’t materialise? Or maybe they do but not in the way you’d expected. And can planning ahead too much actually take away the enjoyment of just being and doing life?
So here’s some context to this blog post; I awoke on 1st January 2018 with masses and masses of plans for everything in my life; my personal life, social life and my little business. I was absolutely giddy with motivation and excitement for how I envisioned this year to develop and looked forward to re-assessing everything on 31st December to see either I’d hit my goals and milestones. I identified little stepping stones to hit by certain dates and worked backwards from there to see what other steps I needed to take in order to tick ‘done’ in my (planned and purchased) bullet journal that now acts as my general life- financial- work- note taking/ random thoughts diary.
So as a means to illustrate the point a little more, here were my main plans for 2018:
- To get off my butt and really focus on The Creative Revival by publishing a blog post at least once a week;
- To update my website copy and images;
- To build my Instagram following to over 1000 followers (to some readers this may seem tiny but to me this was a milestone);
- To build and develop my Pinterest page;
- To really develop and focus on my marketing strategy for The Creative Revival;
- To attract my dream clients and increase my client caseload.
So here we are, nearly hitting August and where am I with my own plans for 2018?
Well I can honestly say I’ve hit some of my goals but not others. And I’m OK with that… well now. I am. It has taken some major re-shifting of my mindset and expectations but once I let go of some of my self limiting thoughts as to “why haven’t I hit them all yet?!” and “am I good enough?” I suddenly started to feel so much better about things.
And I came to this realisation: it really isn’t the end of the world if things don’t go according to plan. They’re not meant to. In fact, if things always went the way you wanted them to, life would be terribly boring at times.
And what’s really smacked me in the face this year is that sometimes life has something else around the corner that will exceed all of your expectations, and may even poo-poo all over your precious plans but with so much more reward and benefit afterwards; things that you hadn’t even considered were possible or available to you.
This probably sounds like the anti-thesis to my work and services as a Positive Mindset & Creative Business Coach as planning on developing your business and having a clear, focussed and purposeful vision in your mind is one of the fundamental factors to running a business, but what is important to recognise is how not achieving plans affects your mood, mindset and focus in continually moving onwards and upwards.
So where am I with my 2018 plans so far?
Well, one of the major investments I made for The Creative Revival was being on the receiving end of coaching calls with my own Creative Coach, and this allowed me to drill down to the core of how I wanted The Creative Revival to build and grow, to gain clarity with my marketing strategy and to have someone else there as a sounding board for when I discussed my plans to build up my Instagram and Pinterest following.
My coaching calls also allowed someone else to run a critical eye over my website copy and offer practical and purposeful feedback on what worked well, what needed re-phrasing and what needed taking out and dumping in the bin! As harsh as this sounds I needed and wanted this type of feedback from someone not financially or emotionally invested in the business who may have felt uncomfortable to offer honest advice after knowing how long I’d worked on the foundation of building this little venture.
As for attracting and working with more dream clients, this has taken a little longer than I’d anticipated but I’m not about to beat myself up about this; I know from experience how it can take time to attract the right clientele, people who will really benefit from my knowledge and experience and will be able to implement the work we've discussed into their own business.
That’s not to say I’ve not worked with clients or done anything at all, just that my initial plan of having ‘X’ caseload at this point of 2018 hasn’t materialised but then again, I’ve excelled in other areas that I’d never considered prior to now.
This has been a big development for me this year; so many other things have happened in relation to The Creative Revival and my personal life, so many things that I hadn’t even considered, so whatever plans haven’t gone according to plan have kind of been dwarfed by what I’ve gained in other areas.
That’s not to say if these hadn’t happened I would be cursing to myself about not hitting my goals and plans as there has been a definite mindset change to how I view certain aspects of my life nowadays. Well I guess if I’m helping others address their own mindset challenges and fear based thoughts in their lives then I should be adopting the very skill I’m advocating!
And the very thing that has helped me in truly embracing this way of thinking is to review the plans and see whether they are still applicable or need some re-tuning, if not discarding completely.
Plus making a list of what I’ve actually achieved so far… I was pleasantly surprised and proud of myself for making strides in unexpected ways plus completing some plans, although I’d not achieved all just yet.
And at this time of year, remember that we’ve still got 5 months left of 2018… ANYTHING can happen!
This probably sounds a little glib to say but I truly believe that everything happens for a reason and life can veer you straight off course; if you’ve got too may rigid plans in place your ability to respond and adapt accordingly can be severely limited thus leading you further away from your initial goals.
Having plans is great, they give you focus, clarity and purpose but sticking to them too rigidly can sometimes be too limiting in moving you forwards in building the very lifestyle you want.