Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I plan to plan

As we wrap up this year and begin planning for the next, many of us make plans to improve our lives.

Some of my previous New Year's resolutions have been grand: this will be the year I finish the Great American novel! Some of my resolutions have been small: I will keep in touch with people a little more than the year before, even if it is just via email.
There have been many, of course, and I usually give up on just about all of them by February.
It is not because they are unattainable. I have learned to set reasonable goals.
However, I have never planned to meet those goals.

I met a very busy woman a few years ago. She's great. She's a busy mom, busy volunteer, busy military wife...but she gets things done. While serving on a volunteer committee with her one year, I noted the way she ended all of her notes and emails to us:
Remember--if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

That really irritated me. I don't plan.

My husband has suggested from time to time, that I should make a plan. Of course, he is a great planner so I figure he plans enough for the both of us.

When he asks what I have done on a certain day, I often answer, you know, I had grand plans... Of course, we both know it's a lie because I have no plans. Even on busy days when I have much to accomplish--he'll ask what's the plan for your day today and I will rattle off my long to-do list but I still do not have a plan. I stumble about the day and usually get it all done.

After reading Rene's post on time management, I was struck by her idea of making herself accountable for her time. I realize that for your organized planners out there, this is a no brainer but for me, the light clicked on.

When 2006 rolls in, I will have a plan laid out for my time. Rather than throwing in a load of laundry (and doing a crossword or two) and then determining if I have time to write or exercise, I will have set times to get those things accomplished. I won't do it so I have an answer for my husband or for you but because I should hold myself accountable for doing the things I that I claim are important. At least, that's the plan.

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