Confusing these two words, plan and promise, can be the reason you may choose not to have a plan.
Let’s consider the dictionary meanings:
A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something, an intention or decision about what one is going to do.
A declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen
According to the dictionary, these words carry very different meanings – proposal and intention compared to declaration and assurance.
What sparked this enquiry? We noticed that politicians talk about strategic plans to achieve certain outcomes for their constituents and the constituents hear promises. Sometimes politicians use the two words interchangeably. There is a language warning here – don’t use the word promise when you mean plan – it may be career ending!
We have also noticed that there is more fear attached to failing to deliver on a promise than there is for a plan. When someone relates to a plan as a promise, this heightened sense of fear around failure to deliver, can be the reason people are reluctant to create a life or business plan. So let’s remove this barrier. Let’s get the language right first and understand what it is you are creating.
It makes no sense to:
- continue to follow a plan even though you learn something which changes everything;
- follow a plan that will not achieve the desired outcomes because the environment has changed; and
- strive for a goal which you now know is irrelevant or way too conservative.
A plan is not set in stone. A plan is created on a day based on what you knew that day, on what your environment was like that day and what you envisaged it would be like in the future. A plan cannot take into account things that you don’t know yet – and that is why a plan must be revisited and revised constantly.
You set your INTENTIONS for the future and develop strategies to enable that planned future to turn up. You then return your focus to and put your ATTENTION on the present, and do what needs to be done. Intentions set for the future, blinkers off and mind open to new opportunities.
When creating your plan, make this promise to yourself:
I PROMISE that I will live an extraordinary life and here is my PLAN based on what I know today. I will use this plan until something even more exciting turns up and then I will upgrade. My promise is to be on the lookout for new opportunities to expand and upgrade my plan, continuously.
The same goes for business. The fact that a plan cannot be set in stone is not a valid excuse for not having one. If you do have one, having a plan cannot be an excuse for not being constantly on the lookout for new opportunities and upgrading that plan.
The cost of not having a PLAN impacts on life itself – if you don’t have a plan then it may be that you are living out someone else’s plan for you. How can that be a good thing? If you don’t have a plan you could end up frittering away your life doing stuff that leads to something that you don’t even want.
PROMISE to have a PLAN to live your extraordinary life. PROMISE to have a PLAN to design a business that enables that extraordinary life. No excuses!
If you need help with your planning, get in touch with us today.