Here we are. With less than one week left this year, many of us are still wondering what next year will look like.
How much longer will we be in this pandemic?
Will we be back to normal?
We know the answer to those questions if you’ve been watching or reading the news. If there is one thing the past almost two years has taught us, it is to have a plan.
Businesses have had to learn new ways of doing business and caring for their employees.
Churches have shifted to streaming services and offering small groups online to maintain the power of the community.
Families have adjusted to working while caring for elderly parents and facilitating virtual learning for their children.
One thing we can expect to remain normal is change. Expected or unexpected changes may test our sanity and provide opportunities to showcase our resilience and perseverance. Change serves as the catalyst (and even push sometimes) for growth and transformation.
With change comes the need to have a plan. What if this or that happens? What if this or that does not happen? What do I do?
I will repeat it: with change comes the need for having a plan. Do you have one?
I mean a real one. It’s not something you come up with on the fly when the circumstance arises.
We have to plan to have a plan. How can we do this?
Proactively set aside time regularly. When was the last time you took some time to think through some options for some upcoming decisions that need to be made? If you have ever operated on a budget, you understand the value of writing down your priorities, reviewing them, and adjusting them as needed. The exact process works for practically any area of your life—health and fitness, self-care, estate planning, project work, or fill-in-the-blank.
List risks and mitigation strategies. This is when we ask all the what-if questions we can think of. Be clear on what needs to happen when things happen. Avoid the “shock and awe” factor by being ready to handle situations. Know your options. There is usually more than one way to do something. It might take some research, but be assured that you are not the first person ever to deal with a situation. Push pride aside and ask for help.
Assess your time and resources. I know. We like to believe we can do it all and handle it all. Here’s the truth we try to deny: we cannot. We are finite human beings who have limited time and intellect. Say this out loud, “I do not know everything.” Who does? This is a question worth contemplating. Surely someone you know or someone you know who knows someone else possesses a desired skill to do that thing you’ve been struggling to get done for weeks. Again, acknowledge your need for help.
Note the pitfalls to avoid and share them with others. Even when we devise a great plan, there is always a chance that the project will fail due to an unforeseen event. Failure is always a learning opportunity. What went right? What went wrong? Why? Learn from these lessons and be vulnerable enough to share them with someone else before they encounter the same pitfall.
So, I have a question for you. What’s your plan?