Planning Done Well

It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret. – Jacki Joyner-Kersee

This quote has me thinking about planning, and about how people misunderstand planning.

A couple things I’ve noticed: either people don’t see any value in planning or they worry that it will hinder their spontaneity.

There’s not much one can say to the former group, but the latter are missing the mark.

Planning, and it’s partner, goal-setting, don’t hinder spontaneity, if done properly.

By “done properly” I mean seeing planning in a constructive way.

When you plan you imagine your desired future. You give yourself license to want what you want and imagine the path to getting there.

As Covey has said, things are created twice, once in planning and then in reality.

When you plan you inoculate yourself against the stress of uncertainty and the myriad demands that will compete for your time and attention, if you’re not clear on what you want – and what you need to be doing.

The other key to planning done well is you can modify a plan as it unfolds.

In fact, you “should” be modifying your plan as you learn – what works and what doesn’t.

People will sometimes think that if they have to change their plan they have failed.


Adapting a plan to new information and changing conditions is intelligent and is what makes something succeed.

Or you can, Joyner-Kersee says above, not plan and look back with regret on a life where you accomplished less than was possible.

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