Change of Plans

Confession: I'm a person who really likes to have a plan. I keep my week organized in multiple calendars, and I set goals to keep me motivated and productive. Knowing where I'm going and deciding how I'm going to get there is a fun part of the process for me. However, one of the biggest lessons I've learned is that sometimes having a perfectly executed plan isn't always possible or beneficial in the long run. Life is often filled with unexpected twists and changes, and many valuable lessons can be learned from a change in plans. Here's a few things I've learned in this process. 

1. Done is better than perfect--don't waste too much time planning. 
Plans are good, but too much planning can be a sneaky form of procrastination. You may feel like you're doing something, but in reality, you're actually avoiding the risk of taking action to get started. It's smart to have a plan, but eventually you need to stop planning and start doing. We learn far more by doing than simply planning. Once you take that first step, it's so much easier to continue that forward motion; unfortunately, many people get stuck in the planning process and never begin the action.

2. Don't let the pursuit of perfection keep you from accomplishing something. 
It's ok if things aren't perfect. If you're always waiting for the perfect timing, the perfect set up, perfect reason etc. you'll never accomplish your goals. In fact, you probably won't accomplish much of anything. So, if you're looking for a sign to begin, this is it. Start now, don't wait. Things will never be perfect and that is ok. Begin now!

3. Don't become so attached to one plan that you're unable to be flexible as circumstances change. 
One of the best pieces of advice I received was to set your goals in concrete and your plans in sand. The end result doesn't necessarily need to change but the way in which you get there might. The best laid plans may not be what is best for you. Go back and read that sentence again because that's something we all need (myself included) to realize. I can think of many times in my own life where I had made a plan A or plan B and plan C and ended up doing something completely different in order to reach that goal. Looking back, I realized that had I stayed on the original course, I would have never had the experiences, friendships, or learned some valuable lessons that were necessary for my success. My original plan was not the best route.

Even recently, as I've set out to accomplish my current goals, my initial plans have required some changes along the way due to shifting situations or new information. Think about how a pilot flies a plane. Airplanes need mid-course corrections to be made throughout the flight in order to stay on course to reach their final destination. Our goals often require us to make shifts and adjustments along the way, but if you're so attached to a specific way to do something or a certain plan, you'll miss out on what is best for your life. Flexibility is one of the most important skills we can have as leaders and individuals. When you're flexible, you open yourself up to new opportunities and successes that can change your life for the better. Flexible people don't get bent out of shape. This doesn't mean that they are easily swayed or opinion-less, but rather, they are dedicated to a goal and open to change. When plans change, and they often do, a flexible person doesn't get stuck, they simply shift to a new course of action. The challenge for you and I is to be flexible and open to change! I always remind myself, especially when plans change, that God's plans are always better than anything I can come up with, and when I choose to trust him and his timing, things are always exceedingly more wonderful in the end. Besides, when you relinquish control of the plans, you also allow yourself to let go of the stress and can fully enjoy and embrace the journey.

Which lesson do you need to remind yourself of today?


Anonymous said...

This is something I'm constantly working on! It is hard to be flexible with plans. One of the greatest joys in my whole life was the adoption of our youngest daughter which was a result of a "changed plan" for how our little family of 3 would become a family of 4.

Candice said...

Me too, Jennifer! It's certainly an ongoing process! Wow! That's so exciting; changed plans can certainly be wonderful! :)

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