Is Your Planning Setting You Up For Failure?

by Erin Honor

Aaaand it’s been a while..

The post I did was New Year’s Eve where I spoke briefly about how I had planned on doing a post on my goals for the New Year.

Well, did that happen?

Nope.

I just finished up some morning meditation (it’s only been 4 days, but I am trying to establish a regular practice), and that got me thinking, for whatever reason, about this blog and why I haven’t been writing on it. I had planned to write at least once a week. That’s not a big task, right? So why am I failing? I had so many plans for this site.

Plans.

Plans.

Plans.

Here’s the thing about me, I am a planner. I plan for my days, mapping out each day of the week in advanced and rarely straying from said plans. I plan out my life. I plan out my goals. I am a dreamer, I dream big. I want to continue making Youtube videos. I want to write a quality blog that helps people. I want to write books. I want to be a photographer. I want to take every one of my dreams and chase them with all I have.

But I don’t.

Like many other people, I have the tendency to get stuck in the planning phase of accomplishing my goals and rarely actually get to the part where I actually carry out these plans. I will talk about my life goals until I am blue in the face, but what am I doing to actually achieve these goals?

The other day, I was listening to an interview with filmmaker Casey Niestat (learn more about him here) and one of the more interesting and incredible things that he said was, “I hate ideas.”

As a filmmaker who, against all odds, found the success that he did, one would think that his life would be entirely based on ideas. I mean, what is creativity without ideas? Don’t you need ideas to create? Still, Niestat tells the interviewer (ultra runner Rich Roll of the RRP) that whenever someone starts telling him that they have an idea, he cuts them off. When someone emails hims film they are working on, he will always watch it, but if someone sends him an idea the have for a film… The thing is getting deleted.

Ideas. Planning. They can actually be what is holding us back from achieving just what it is that was are planning for. Yes, you can spend years talking about and planning to write a book about this great idea that you have. You can spend years planning because you don’t want to start writing until you know exactly what it is that you are writing and exactly how to ensure that the book is good and will be successful. But how is this productive? Sure, the idea might be carried out and might be the best that it can be eventually. But what if instead of taking all that time dreaming and planning and waiting until your idea is sculpted into a clean and perfect little plan, you just whipped open a notebook and started writing exactly what is on your mind? Will what your writing be ready for publishing the second that you put it down on paper? Most likely than not. But even by writing a sloppy and barely coherent version of what you hope to be a great novel one day, you are doing a hell of a lot more than you would be if you were still only planning on writing.

There is a quote in the world of running that says that the hardest part of any run is getting out the door. This carries over into life as well. The hardest part of achieving any goal is taking the first step towards doing intend of simply planning. Think of your goal as a wall covered in tape. You are going to need to throw yourself at that wall with all your might if you have any hopes of ever sticking. Will it maybe take multiple attempts until you actually get yourself to fully stick to the wall? Probably. But with each time your jump at the wall, you have way more chance of actually sticking than you would if all you were doing was thinking about sticking to the wall.

Okay, that was probably a horrible analogy… But I hope you get what I am saying.

Dreaming big means needing to throw yourself at your dreams with all of your might. Every attempt will not be perfect, nor will every attempt result in success. But success is only found by those who take risks, who try and try and try until eventually something happens.

Success is only found by those who do.

So here’s my challenge to you. Next time you find yourself talking about all of those goals that you have, whether they be short-term New Year’s Resolutions, or enormous life goals, stop yourself for a minute. Ask yourself, “What am I doing to actually achieve this goal?”

If the answer to this question is nothing but planning, set the intention to change that immediately.

Your plan is to lose 10 pounds? Do 10 jumping jacks on the spot (hey, it’s something).

You want to write a novel? Pull out a piece of paper (or your phone) and jot down the first idea that comes to mind. It could be nothing but a single word. It’s still something.

Stop standing still and planning for what could happen one day. Instead, start running at your dreams with all you’ve got.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.

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Oh, and if you have any interest in my New Year’s Resolutions/Goals … You can find them here.

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