Why Make Plans?


Do you make plans? Do you think plans are “stupid?” I have known many who do. As a teacher, parent and friend, I have encountered many who think that plans are not necessary or just “plain stupid.” Of course, most of the people who say plans are “stupid” are not talking about plans for everyday routine items, such as, getting dressed, preparing meals, etc. No, they are saying that planning your life is useless. Why plan when you don’t have any real control over life? Why plan when things never really turn out like you planned? I’ll admit that in my own life, things never turn out exactly like I plan them. So why plan?

What do I do that never works out? Well, I plan by making a goal, breaking it down into “pieces of action,” all designed to help me accomplish my goal over a time that I have estimated. And then? Well, to put it bluntly, it doesn’t happen. So why plan?

What really happened with my goal and/or plan? Usually, when I accomplish my “much adjusted goal” and look back, I notice that some things took longer, some shorter, and frankly, some were not completed and didn’t need to be. So, why have a plan?

A plan is still important because, in my opinion, I would not have reached my goal, if I hadn’t made the plan. It’s almost like the saying, “rules are made to be broken.” In one sense, of course rules are not made to be broken, but in another sense, they are. What I mean, is that most of the time, rules are made AND consequences are established at the same time. Why have consequences, if rules are not broken? In that sense, we have an example where plans are made to be broken.

So, we need to make plans even though they will not necessarily be played out as “planned.” Think of it as life itself. Our body seems to have a plan, but it never “plays” out as planned. For example, our body has a “built-in” plan of eat, sleep, exercise, etc. and then, for example, a cold virus sets it “off-plan.” The plan has to be adjusted in order to keep us living. We do so and life continues, BUT not as originally planned. Therefore, life has a plan but it never works out as originally planned. Wow!

Now, let me make clear that I am NOT saying we shouldn’t plan. I am saying that we should expect our plan to always be faulty. A plan, even if it is faulty, still allows us to achieve our goal. In fact, a plan helps us get started toward change. One way of viewing life is as a series of changes. Life implies change. A plan can help us to not procrastinate. A plan can help us go in the direction we want to go. A plan can help us decide and be comfortable with a decision, especially, when the situation requires a quick decision.

Why make plans? Perhaps, making plans actually improves one’s quality of life. Planning for quality? Uhmmmm…

I hope you plan to comment. :-)



2 Comments on “Why Make Plans?”

  1. A bit off point but still in the “planned” outline for sure:

    One of the most interesting conundrums that I experience – oh probably daily at this point, is “everyone’s perceived love of hating meetings.” While I join many people in saying that there are probably “too many meetings” in any one day, I also tack onto that that those people have probably not endured a GOOD, STRUCTURED, PLANNED meeting.

    I think if everyone had at least a few of those in the various organizations they’ve participated in, there would be much less hate of meetings that there currently is.

    A great post to be sure, Ron! Looking forward to many more. Cheers!


  2. Very good point, Mike. Many times meetings are derailed by people using the whole “oh, while we’re here, let’s…” excuse and stretching out the meeting even longer. While there’s nothing wrong with a quick off-topic reminder or comment, it’s better to STICK WITH THE PLAN and discuss what needs to be.

    I’ve also seen many instances in the corporate world where a 30- or 60-minute-blocked-off meeting could have been prevented by an extra person or two walking over to someone’s cubicle on the other side of the building and simply talked for 5 minutes. Boom. Done.


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