Life planning can be a wonderful way to get focused in your life.
Rather than just drifting along aimlessly, you will have direction and purpose.
You won’t let daily urgent to-dos dominate. Instead, you will be guided by a bigger vision.
You can find many resources online for creating a detailed life plan. They might include suggestions to create vision boards or think really big.
All of this can be helpful in creating a powerful life plan that guides your daily strategy for living.
But what happens when things in life don’t follow the plan?
What Do You Do When Life Planning Goes Awry?
So, you go and spend a lot of time on life planning, only to have an emergency or circumstance change all of your plans.
Some of these life-changing events can be traumatic, such as an accident or injury that halts a career.
Let’s say that you built a life plan around being a dancer. You get into a car accident that results in the amputation of one of your legs.
What do you do now?
Acknowledging That Things Can Change
Certainly, you do not want to set up a life plan that includes a clause or a caveat such as “do this unless you get into a car accident.”
However, you can acknowledge that your plans may need to change.
Does this mean you need a plan A and a plan B?
But you don’t necessarily need a hard and fast outline for each and every possible life circumstance.
Building Flexibility into Your Life Planning
Having goals is good, but we need to change our goals sometimes. So here is a way to approach life planning with a little more flexibility. That way, if something does happen, say, you suddenly find yourself allergic to alcohol after dreaming of creating your own wines, then you can do something else – but maybe similar.
Let’s look at the goal of being a dancer in an elite ballet troupe, and you have an accident.
What are the qualities of that goal? You can write these down to get to the essence of what you want to achieve. These qualities might be something like:
- Artistic expression
- Being part of something special
- Working with highly talented people
Now that you have some of these qualities outlined, you can see that being a dancer in a ballet troupe is possibly just one way to get these feelings.
If you, unfortunately, had a leg amputated, you could perhaps still find a way to dance in a different type of group (or start one yourself). This could be a dance troupe designed to inspire people who have suffered a disabling injury.
You would therefore still get to experience artistic expression, in fact. While it may be more challenging to dance with a prosthetic, you get to really utilize your creativity.
You can get a sense of accomplishment by overcoming your disability to dance and perform.
You would be part of something special if you were dancing with other people with disabilities.
You could also be working with highly talented people. Now, they may not be the famous dancers you wanted to work with, but they still have something to offer.
By writing down the essence of what you really wanted to accomplish, you now have opened yourself to achieving your plans through ways other than your initial goal.
Life Plans Should Always Be Open to Adjustment
It is also important to remind yourself that life plans should never be fully set in stone. Allow yourself to shift and change plans based on how you grow and evolve as a person.
Just because you had a plan in the past to become a high-powered CEO, it does not mean you have to stick to this. Maybe you did get to the top of the corporate game just to find out that you really hate it.
Allow yourself to change directions. In fact, you can change direction in life any time you want. No one but you can force you to keep doing the same old thing.
Once again, connecting with the essence of what you want – the qualities you would like to experience – can help. You may not even have a good idea of what you want in life specifically. But, once you identify the qualities (peace of mind, creativity, love) you want to connect with, you can perhaps be inspired to find different ways to achieve those qualities.
Start Flexible Life Planning Today
You don’t have anything to lose with flexible life planning. Start working on your new life plan today. Most likely, you’ll have changes along the way, but ultimately, you can achieve your dreams. They may just show up in a different form than you expected.