Planning gives you time to grow — You didn’t start a career to get stuck doing the same thing everyday. If you want to grow, you need time to plan for growth.
We seem to get energized at the eleventh hour. Often, we begin to anticipate and prepare for a situation only moments before it happens. What if we instead paused regularly to think ahead — way ahead — about our life and where we want it to be, five, ten, fifteen years from now? Would we always be “prepared”?
This applies to all ages and stages in life. To those soon graduating from school or university. To young professionals seeking a career change. To leaders pursuing executive roles. To those who have experienced a profound life change and now need to re-focus. To anyone.
It applies to the simplest situations too. Here’s how we were caught “unprepared” recently.
My husband answered the phone and eventually declared: “We’ve got visitors!” And there began the adrenaline rush.
Now what? Should we change into better clothes? Give each other quick haircuts? How do we act? I’d never fretted about company coming, but justifiably, since the pandemic, things were different. It had been six months since anyone other than those in our household had entered our home.
So off we ran in different directions, with no particular plan in mind. “I’ll empty the dishwasher and mop the floors. You clean the kitchen counters and dust the furniture,” I directed. “Is there time to bake a nice cake before they arrive? I’ll start preparing.”
How are my husband and I handling the stress of the pandemic? Apparently not as well as we imply, because the “visitors” were two guys from the HVAC company, coming to install a new furnace. Two people we’d never met before and would probably never see again. And they’d be around for all of 30 minutes. But here we were, acting like we were expecting a large crowd of friends that we’d invited over for dinner.
Thing is, we had to replace the furnace — our old one made the decision to give up on life, and cooler weather was approaching. Clearly the path of least resistance, since we needed to avoid stocking up on warm blankets and loads of hot chocolate to last through the long winter. While the furnace had served us well for 15 years, I was hurt that it decided to quit during the pandemic. Why now? Try as I might, I couldn’t squeeze out a response. All I got was a faint gasp of hot air. I guess even furnaces have “best by dates”.
The two guys worked quickly, switching the old for the new. Thirty minutes later, with masks on, my husband and I stood at the front door, somewhat sadly waving goodbye as if to old friends. Calling out with genuine caring, “Thanks for coming — do come back soon!”
If you prepare for challenges ahead, you won’t feel like you’re always playing catch up. Planning ahead can help you execute new projects, reach your goals and fulfill your vision. All while enjoying life to the fullest. This means you’ll be able to spend more time in the moment when you get there. Last minute scrambles can cost you time, money and even your sanity! So learn to plan for the unexpected!
What will you be planning for in the coming year? How can you stretch your comfort zone?
Need support as you plan? Email me at email@example.com and let’s chat!