Failure to Plan = Planning to Fail? Keeping Those 2010 Resolutions…
As we look forward to the onset of a brand new year and decade to boot, New Year’s resolutions will inevitably find their way into one of two categories:
- The front part of your brain where the voice of motivation (some may call it nagging) resides.
- The back part of your brain that is like the back of your closet – you put things there and forget they exist and/or are too afraid to go looking for them.
Now, I am no doctor and do not really know the anatomy of frontal lobes versus other parts of the brain, but this sounds about right when it comes to how I think and operate.
Some of our resolutions may be very concrete – lose x pounds, take a trip to Aspen, volunteer at such and such organization, market your business; others may be full of intent and inspired action – work less/relax more, eat more healthfully, enjoy the simple things in life…etc.
Whether concrete or nebulous, when setting goals for yourself does a Failure to Plan constitute a Plan to Fail ?
I am a ‘Type P’ Personality – The Planner. I cannot change who I am nor how I operate, and know there are others out there just like me. Spontaneity is considered a four-letter word even though it contains eleven.
Planning is great – in a world where you must expect the unexpected, planning ahead allows you to handle surprises and catastrophes with the knowledge that you have room and time to spare!
As a project manager, I learned very early on that a project plan (like life) is not static – it is a moving, living document which will require revisions as the project moves forward on its critical path…and, sometimes, the project will require re-evaluation, resource re-allocation, careful risk mitigation, possible postponement of certain deliverables or parallel pathing to get things done on time, be disrupted by acts of God or family…does this sound like your life thus far? It sounds a lot like mine!
So, as a rule and a ruler for your 2010, set your goals and objectives so they remain on your radar and in the front part of your brain, track them in any form you choose (I enjoy Excel), but be flexible enough to re-assess them every opportunity you get to ensure that these are still your goals and that you are giving yourself the best opportunity to achieve them!
And for all my fellow ‘Type Ps’ – work hard to not be so hard on yourselves, and don’t be overwhelmed. A mentor of mine recently told me: “writing down what you want to accomplish can be a good exercise, but only if you are in a position not to be overwhelmed by it.”
If you enjoyed this post, look out for my next book – A PMP’s Guide to Project Managing Your Life – coming in 2010 ( according to my own New Year’s resolution )
And, as I close out 2009, a goal I set for myself in 2005 was finally accomplished. My first full length non-fiction book, From Secretary to CEO – A Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder is now IN PRINT and available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com!
Wishing You Continued Success…