I am planning person, to say the least. When I tell people about my rolling 5-year personal plan in Excel they usually look like they’ve seen a green giraffe fly over the rooftops.
Every January, as part of my annual planning process, I update my 5-year plan, evaluate and rate previous year, develop guiding principles for the coming year and set 4-5 goals with associated activities for the new year.
Sounds like I should see someone about this?
Well it works for me. Half-year reviews with myself gives me an endorphin-high the size of a teenage kiss.
In 2016 I had no plan.
This was not a conscious decision and I didn’t even notice it until I sat down for my review in January. As the chock settled I realised that this was exactly what I needed last year. I guess a part of my brain somehow understood this but decided to keep quiet about it so I wouldn’t protest.
2016 was the year I overcame fertility problems, had a pregnancy fraught with complications, fought discrimination at work, had an emergency caesarean and became a mother. Trying to fit that into columns and rows would not have been a good idea.
Fate however smiled at my obsession with planning and arranged for my pregnancy to follow the calendar months, starting in January. One must have some order after all.
It makes me wonder – is it necessary to have a serial car crash in our lives to change deeply entrenched behaviours?
If we instead consciously change these behaviours do we develop just as much? Or even more?
Today I took time off my parental leave and wrote my 2017 plan. I am proud that I waited until February and that the plan doesn’t contain a single colour-coded rating system.
It is however still in Excel.