The Power of Planning

Are you a planner?  I am.  My boyfriend is not.  As you can imagine this can result in a bit of turmoil.  Not that I would EVER try to control anyone else and his carefree, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, go-with-the-flow, opportunity wasting, infuriating, idiotic……um…guess you see what I mean.

I firmly believe that planning is the way to go.  If I’m taking a trip, I like to go crazy and make hotel reservations in advance.  I even like to do some research and find cool, fabulous restaurants and (gasp!) make reservations.  If you’ve ever been on a trip and defaulted to fast food because you didn’t know there was a cool hole-in-the-wall cafe two exits down, you know what I’m talking about.  Planning is clearly the way to go.

And this is not just with travel – this is with your life!  Think retirement is just going to save for itself?  That things will just “work out?”  I don’t think so!  One must plan!   The days I plan my work out in advance are the days I get the most done.  Try it – I think you’ll be surprised. If you decide what you really need to get done and focus on that, chances are you’ll get it done.  If you just deal with whatever e-mail comes in or whoever calls or shows up, you’re letting them plan your day.  You’ll get much less of the really important stuff done.

But I can preach all I want.  The planners out there are saying, “Amen, sistah!”  The nonplanners are saying, “You are too uptight.  Let go.  Have an adventure!”

I believe us planners can have the BEST adventures.  Here’s the art of it – you have the plan, BUT you are open to a change IF it’s something better.  Let me give you an example, I recently had a speaking engagement in Lancaster, PA.  Afterward, I planned to cruise up to Wilbur Chocolate, then on to Hershey.  (One simply cannot be that close to Hershey and not go there).  I had everything planned out.  But as I was perusing some brochures in the hotel lobby, I found one for Longwood Gardens and their Light exhibit.  Holy smokes!  I had heard of it and never thought I’d get to see it!  I immediately made a new plan (still went to Hershey, mind you, just spent a little less time there.)  Planners can adjust!

Ever been on a trip with no plan?  I have.  Imagine this – you decide to take a weekend motorcycle ride along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  You will just go where the open road takes you.   Three hours into it, you are starving and need some gas.  If you’ve ever been on the Parkway, you know there are a lot of tress and gorgeous views, but not a lot of fine dining establishments and gas stations.  So you get hungrier and hungrier and more and more panicky about gas.  You don’t even notice the great views.  You finally take a chance and take a random exit where you find a creepy gas station and eat some candy for lunch.  Oooh – born to be wild.

What does a planner do the next time?  Takes over.  Yep, we’re heading out again this weekend and I have a plan.  I found a funky, cool cafe as well as a back up option an hour further out.  I have a hotel reservation and a place for dinner.  I have optional plans if we get tired or hungry along the way.  I am a rock star!  (At least in my own mind.)  And the non-planner is happy too!  He didn’t have to do any of the planning!  (And I have enough flexibility built in my plan so he doesn’t feel controlled.)  Ah – the freedom of the open road!

Bottom line – planners just give up on changing the non-planners into planners.  Just do all the planning – everyone will be happier.  Non -planners – either find salvation and become a planner or just follow our plans.



6 Responses to “The Power of Planning”
  1. Karen Valenzuela says:

    And how many of us are planners and wish we weren’t?
    Sometimes I would love to go just take off to somewhere-anywhere, have everything planned out, covered, engineered, etc. and not have completd any of it myself (I always do the planning and hubby just accepts and follows along). It would be like one of those “Calgon, take me away” moments that we DREAM about. The place would be fabulous- the food would be the finest, the weather just amazing (like today), and great memories for a lifetime………….!@#$%^&*+!@#$%(ouch!!!!!)….ok I’m awake now!! Oh well, so much for that DREAM! Thanks Denise, at least it cleared my mind for a brief time. Maybe next week we’ll take that trip. Love you!!!!

  2. deniseryan says:

    Ha, ha! I know EXACTLY what you mean! I think women do most of the planning and men just let us! Of course, I can’t blame them because we usually don’t like their “plans.” : )

    I’m with you all the way – we’ll keep dreaming that dream and in the meantime, keep planning. : ) Love you too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Mike Hahn says:

    I think a more balanced approach is the key….I disagree that planning is the way to go all the time. I plan for the important items, such as retirement, my workday, special events (wedding, holiday parties, etc), which allows me the freedom to not plan for the less significant items such a short vacation and to just go where life’s journey takes me. If you try to plan every detail of your life, you sometimes forget to live. I know several people like this and they spend so much time planning and worrying about planning they sometimes miss the special moments in life. Being able to adapt when a plan does not work, is critical, but sometimes, experiencing life without knowing what comes next is the excitement and fun of living. I find that planners do not like it when another planner enters their lives because they are used to doing all the planning!

  4. deniseryan says:

    Hi Mike! Thanks for the comment! I always tell people – if what you’re doing is working for you, than keep doing it! Sounds like you have a good thing going. I just find for myself that I miss some great stuff if I don’t plan. for example, I recently went to Seattle and I would have missed the absolute highlight of the trip if I hadn’t done some pre-planning on TripAdvisor. I found the Chihuly Museum which I didn’t even know was there. But I agree that you have to be flexible. When I found out the Almond Roca plant was in Tacoma, we adjusted our plan and checked it out. I would never suggest a plan that can’t be changed, but for me planing makes the most of limited time and resources. I also think that no matter how detailed the plan, you never do know what comes next! So either way, you get surprised! : ) You made some great points – thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. Mia says:

    Just found yr website today and read yr posts . Totally love it !!! Keep up the good work … <3

  6. deniseryan says:

    Thanks, Mia!!!!

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