The power of the pencil

and why your plans and resolutions often don’t work out

Are you already thinking about your resolutions for next year? Or are you reviewing the ones for this year, and it looks like once again you only have been partly successful?

I personally love planning. I plan years and months and weeks and days, novels and projects and experiences and all the rest.

And there is a simple secret that makes many of my goals come true: For setting my resolutions I use a pencil. Because the one thing that makes us not stick to resolutions and goals and desires and words-of-the-year or whatever you want to call them, is life itself.

You can have the best strategy, the most beautiful planner, the coolest outline, the most intuitive plan – life will find its beautiful way to interrupt the whole plan and throw you out of your carefully set up process. It lurks around every corner and has the greatest fun clashing with your strategies and making you do summersaults.

Life is like a child. It likes to surprise people.

Life is like an old friend whom you meet unexpectedly. And who doesn’t like that? Don’t let that friend stand there. Go for coffee! Invite them to your house, however messy it is! Let them drag you to that party you actually don’t really have time for. The benefits are many: fun, laughter, friendship, experience, you name it.

If you are like me and you can’t wait to plan 2015, here are three tips:

1. Enjoy December

2014 is not yet done. The whole Christ-mess is still ahead of us. Family, friends, food – enjoy them. Be in the Here and Now and don’t lose grip over thinking ahead already.

Before coming up with your next best master plan for 2015, just sit back for a while and be still and patient. Take mini steps towards fulfilling the goals that are left for this year.

(But if some idea comes up concerning the planning for 2015, jot it down. My personal list for that already has twelve bullets.)

2.Use a pencil

Then, when it’s time to finally get that planning done, use a pencil (literally use one or take this point as a metaphor for being flexible). As I said: Life will come its way. You will have to rearrange stuff because something unexpected will have happened. Make it easy to erase impossible tasks and put in the new, more possible ones.

3. Time and Steps

Plan between half a year and five years. Dream crazy and then break it down in daily, doable steps.

My plan for 2014 stopped after seven months, because I didn’t know what was going to happen after finishing the Master and moving to Kenya. But I am also keeping a farm project and writing in mind and continue working towards it.

What are your resolutions? Do you set some at all? When, and how? Let me know in the comments below!

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