When planning is in the too hard basket

One of my favourite quotes is by Sean Patrick Flanery,

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for”.

What happens when the planning doesn’t seem appropriate or the thought of planning for the future is somewhat terrifying and overwhelming?

We’re in a time right now that feels uncertain. It can be hard to dream about the future.

So how do we get excited about planning or goal setting when frankly, it is just in the too hard basket?

I’m writing from my bed. Some days that’s as good as it gets for me. Even the great planner creator struggles with getting motivated and inspired some days.

I used to be hard on myself, but I’ve given up on that; I’ve learned that doesn’t serve me or where I’m at right now, and so I say to you, sometimes it’s ok to lie in bed and binge on Netflix. There’s a video you can watch. CLICK HERE on why we do that and how to overcome it when it’s time.

My life at the moment is in what seems to be a holding pattern. I’m looking after my 89-year-old father, and we are in groundhog Day. When people ask me about my future, it’s hard to answer. Nothing major will happen for me until my dad is no longer with us. However, there’s so much learning for me here.

Maybe your circumstances aren’t as extreme, but perhaps you work in the hospitality industry or events or any number of jobs that at any moment you find yourself jobless or out of work for a time.

….. ok, I’m back (not that you knew I left). I’ve just had to take a quick break to take my dad to the toilet. #myglamorouslife

Do you struggle to plan because you sit in fear of the future, and you don’t want to be disappointed? This is often one of the excuses I hear that people use to avoid setting goals.

Not wanting to plan for fear of “what might happen” is a sure-fire way to get nowhere fast. 

You see, you could blame unknown circumstances for not wanting to move forward or feeling like it will be a big waste of time. However, if you were to plan, you are more likely to be prepared for plans B and C, as opposed to not even attempting Plan A – because it’s too hard.

What if you set out the desires in your heart and maybe worked towards seeing how far you got?

I don’t have a lot I can plan for now in my current setting. But when I’m no longer caring for my dad and managing my mum’s property, I want to travel. With this in mind, I’ve just updated my passports and applied for a UK passport – in preparation for when the time comes. 

I’ve also set a goal to do something daily that will help my soul/spirit. For me, this is journaling, so I’ve committed to writing in my journal daily. This logs everything going on for me and shows me why I might be more energised some days and not others. My rules are I have to write at least four lines – that’s it.

When life seems so uncertain, planning for the future can be a little scary. However, not planning at all is actually worse. It keeps you in a state of uncertainty. When you plan, you have things you are confident you will do and that show’s you that you’re moving forward – towards something. 

Maybe it’s a job you want or study you want to complete - what can you do now that you know your future self will thank you for – whether it happens or not?

Some days you might want to reflect – your day gets highjacked by helping others or a catastrophe with the kids or partner – write it down.

Whether it’s planning or reflecting, these little acts help to highlight the good things that are happening in and around you. They shed light on what can be an overwhelming situation and life circumstances.

The other day in my diary, I wrote – avoidant.  But in the three things section, I wrote things that I did:

1. Packed and posted planners.
2. Picked up a script for my dad.
3. Updated my planner.

Your daily or weekly actions don’t have to be action-packed and filled; sometimes, that just have to remind you that you’re doing things. These are all life lessons that are helping you move into your future. 

Every day we get lessons of resilience, patience, courage, overcoming – but very rarely do we write them down, and this is our greatest failing. We don’t focus on what we have accomplished daily.

If we can’t gather the strength and mojo to plan, I highly recommend you reflect!

It shows you what you’ve accomplished, and the highlights reel will show your future self what you’re made of and what you’ve come through. Then when you do have your motivation back, it will be like a love letter from you that reminds you what you’re capable of, so when it does come to planning for the future and getting S done, you have confidence that if you got through this time, you can get through anything.

You don’t have to know where you’re going. You just have to step forward. So in this time, I would like you to challenge your daily status quo.

What can you do TODAY that your future self will thank you for? 

TOMORROW will look after itself…. Just today.

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