Trending product searches suggested by the Shopee dropshipping site a few days ago were JOURNALS and PLANNERS. It seemed people were starting to be upbeat and gungho for 2022, just before the latest omicron surge peaked.
This was not the case at the beginning of 2021. With so much uncertainty, people did not seem to have the energy to muster a life plan for the year.
Maybe early on last year, Hollywood actor Heath Ledger’s philosophy prevailed. He said:
“I’m not good at future planning. I don’t plan at all. I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow. I don’t have a day planner and I don’t have a diary. I completely live in the now, not in the past, not in the future.”
Contextualized to the poorly managed Philippine setting under this pandemic, we could also say: “There is no good at future planning if we cannot be promised the light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.” Maybe at times of crisis, completely living in the present, “not in the past, not in the future”, is a healthy way of coping. This is especially true when things seem to be running out of control.
On the other hand, Alan Lakein, author of ‘How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life’, at the polar opposite of Ledger’s worldview, said:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
We ask ourselves, just how much planning do we need to do to succeed in our goals for 2022?
John Naisbitt, author of ‘Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives’, asserts
“Strategic planning is worthless — unless there is first a strategic vision.”
How, where (and why) do you see yourself at the end of 2022? When you sit back, think hard and try to answer this question, don’t forget to put in a lot of imagination.
Don’t do the same things over again especially when they’ve been proven ineffective. Listen to Gloria Steinem, who imagination is the most potent ingredient of a good plan. She said —
“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.”
So go ahead, dream, envision, think things over, and start writing down your strategic and short term goals for the year. You will feel relieved once you’ve done it, even in the face of the uncertainties of the pandemic. In fact, envisioning a future that attempts to break through the ‘locked-down’ thinking imposed on us during this years of the pandemic, might be best for many of us.
Once you’re done with planning, DO IT. Planning is the theory, DOING IS THE PRACTICE. Without the practice, you can never tell whether your plan was good enough.
At the end of the day, no matter how much attention to detail your planning went, no matter how much energy you spent in DOING, Phil Cosby, management guru and author, reminds us
“If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today, will not exist in this form tomorrow.”
Planning, it turns out, shouldn’t be one-directional but a spider-web of what ifs… if Plan A did not go well, there is always room for Plan B.
Here’s to a more successful 2022 for all of us, as we collectively struggle to get out of this mismanaged pandemic!
Note: With much regret, many articles on Planning on the net are mostly western articles; we would appreciate referrals to Filipino-contextualized articles or books on planning – strategic or otherwise.