Why I Still Believe in Long-Term Planning
If you’ve more or less given up on annual or other long-term planning because your life and the world just seem too crazy, this post is for you!
Today, I'm going to share not only the benefits of long-term planning to help you understand why it’s so important, but I'm also providing some insight into why your current version of high-level planning might be why you’re giving up on it.
Because, while I’ll be the first to admit that long-term planning can be a waste of your time when it’s done incorrectly, I’ve also seen firsthand the power of annual planning when it is done well and with intention.
The Wrong Way to Approach Annual Planning
For years, I approached my long-term planning the wrong way, and I’m guessing if you currently think annual planning is a complete waste of time, it’s because you’ve been doing it this way as well.
For one, you may be waiting until too late in the current year to start your annual planning. Because let’s face it, if you’re a mom, the year is effectively over on October 31st. From Halloween until December 26th, it’s just full steam ahead!
Another thing that may be missing in your current annual planning is having a system to put your long-term plans or goals into action from week to week.
I can’t tell you how many women I’ve talked to who take time to create goals or dreams for the year ahead. They may even have a specific journal or workbook to write in while doing this. But what they’re missing is a practical way to make those desires happen. So, that beautiful notebook full of dreams just spends the year collecting dust on the shelf.
Then, before you know it, you reach the end of another year where you didn’t reach any of your goals, and you feel guilty and like you’ve failed. Which, understandably, makes the idea of long-terming planning for the next year seem even more pointless.
You’re NOT a failure though. And it isn’t that annual planning is a waste of time. It’s just that you are lacking some integral things needed to make your long-term planning actually work for you.
The Benefits of Long-Term Planning
Before we dive into the how of making long-term planning work for you, I want to highlight three incredible benefits of creating an annual plan.
#1 Helps You Be More Present
One benefit of long-term planning that’s rarely talked about is that creating annual plans actually helps you stay present in what’s happening in your life now.
When you get your longer-term plans in place, it helps to minimize those little voices in your head that are constantly popping up and distracting you from what’s happening in the present moment.
With a plan to follow, those thoughts of what is coming up next or what you might be forgetting begin to quiet down and allow you to be more fully engaged in the here and now.
#2 Allows You to Establish Boundaries
There will always be more potential opportunities, events, and commitments coming your way, and it can be hard to know where to draw the line about the things you should say “no” to doing.
However, when you have an intentional long-term plan or goals in place, you can more easily know what aligns with what you really want. Then, you can feel good about saying “yes” or “no” to things.
Without a long-term plan, it’s easy to lose our confidence in our boundaries or to forget what we want to do during specific seasons or times of the year. This leads us to commit to something that seems like a good idea months down the road, but when that time rolls around, we realize it doesn’t actually work with what we really want to be doing.
You only have so many hours in your week and you have to prioritize what’s important, and intentional long-term planning helps you do that.
#3 Keeps You From Overscheduling
Having a long-term plan also keeps you from getting overscheduled or overbooked. And yes, this is slightly different than the benefit of establishing boundaries.
When I say long-term plans keep you from overscheduling, what I’m talking about is how this type of planning keeps you from having so much to do that you run yourself ragged.
I’ve talked to so many women who seem to always be trying to make it from week to week and are constantly living in hustle mode. And truthfully, it breaks my heart.
But with intentional longer-term planning in place, you can keep every week and every month from being a “doozy” and prevent yourself from burning out.
The Right Way to Plan Long-Term
Now, if you’re ready to get the inside scoop on how to approach annual planning in a way that will help you be more present, set boundaries, stop overscheduling, AND actually reach your goals in 2023, I have the perfect opportunity for you!
Plan-A-Palooza, my annual planning workshop, is coming up on October 18th and 19th, and I’d love for you to join us.
This live workshop is all about showing you how to create meaningful long-term plans that address and acknowledge the craziness that is our lives as moms. So, for once, you can step into a new year with a plan that is realistic and actionable for you!
Learn more and grab your spot for Plan-A-Palooza now!