Here’s a secret I keep discovering several times a year: everyone is making up their life journeys as they go along. This is both relieving and terrifying at the same time. If everyone is making it up, how do they know when they’re going down the right path? What happens if they fail? What even is the point of the plan anyway?
The point of the plan.
Those are all great questions! The point of the plan isn’t to plot the exact path to your destination. It’s to help you imagine the initial set of possible paths to your destination. When you plan your path all the way to the end, you are, essentially, doing another form of time traveling where you think about the decisions you might have to make before you have to make them.
This means that when you get to the point in time when one of those decisions comes up, you’ll be prepared to take the best possible path based on your previously thought out plan. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Remember: everyone is making this up as they go along, so you are free to take whichever path you believe works best for you.
With your plan in hand, your mission statement will feel much more possible and your future will feel much more real. Also, the more detailed your plan is, the better you’ll be able to execute. So, try make your plan so clear that you can hand it off to someone else to execute without having to ask you for clarification.
Making the plan.
Take a project, any project, and write down what the finished product will look like in 30 words or less. Then write down the steps to get to that finished project, one at a time beginning from where you are right now and ending at the finished product.
If you get stuck, it’s probably because you’re on a step that you don’t think you have the resources to complete. Write it down anyway, along with a step to help you find the right resources to complete it, and then keep going.
Once you’ve written down the steps, go back and refine it by adding an estimated time required to complete each step. It can be anywhere from 5 minutes to 5 months, depending on the step. It’s okay if you don’t have all the information yet. Make your best guess and trust your first mind.
Finally, set a deadline for your project and put your steps down in a calendar and get to work! Remember, your plan is a guide, not the law, so be sure to revisit it regularly as you progress to refine it and shape it for your needs.
As always, if you need any help, feel free to join the tribe in the in the Kabuvu forums. Happy planning!