Planning ahead

Given the number of curveballs i’ve endured over the past 26 years, I should really have a much better understanding that despite all good intentions, 99% of the time life simply does not go the way you planned.

Yet here I am, planning.

And more so than that, i’m trying to understand the difference between planning for things that you can generally control, and planning for things that are still very much a work in progress.

On the one hand, i’m planning for an upcoming trip to Austin, Texas to attend the SXSW Interactive Festival on behalf of my company – Creative Circle. I’ve been wanting to attend SXSW for years and I’m ecstatic to finally have the opportunity to go. So for this, i’m planning: the sessions I want to attend, dinners I want to go to with colleagues, a visit to one of my client’s office because in addition to Chicago they also have a presence in Austin. I’m researching, i’m learning, and i’m planning.

On the other hand, I’m in an absolutely wonderful and fulfilling relationship with the best guy I could ever ask to have by my side. But I live in Chicago, and he lives in New York. We’re planning on him moving here sometime this summer. However, there’s a lot to think about and take in when it comes to such a major change. It will be a new chapter of our relationship in a city that i’ve only been in for seven months, and one that will be new to him, as well.

Planning for that major change has been overwhelming. And not in a bad way, but in a “big picture, big questions” kind of way – summer is our ballpark timeframe, but does that mean June, July, August? What if his job situation doesn’t pan out the way we hope it does? What if he hates it here? What’s our next step once he’s finally here? How long does this chapter last for us?

There are so many questions that, at least right now, are nothing more than hypotheticals. So in essence, we really can’t do much planning at the moment. More details have to fall into place, more time needs to pass, more patience needs to be practiced.

Yet the same question has continued to circle my mind time and time again – how soon is too soon to start planning?

Of course when it comes to financial planning, health and fitness goals, etc. it makes sense to get as much of a head start as possible. But in terms of everyday living, it feels to me that it’s more important to make a firm decision about what it is you want, and then put faith and trust into that decision until it’s close enough to plan and then take action on.

Sure, you can map things out, research, learn, and schedule until you have every minute of your life lined up. But at the end of the day, life generally has more plans in store for you than you have in store for yourself.

So go ahead and make a goal, and then take steps to get yourself there in the timeframe you allotted. Just do it knowing that the road to get there will more than likely come with a different set of detours than you could have ever imagined possible.

Plans change every single day. But that’s the fun of it, don’t you think?