To Plan or Not to Plan. Is That the Question? Part 3

If you have read my two previous blogs, you probably agree that planning doesn’t guarantee results.  Sometimes when you don’t plan, the results are amazing, i.e., the unexpected adventure in the elephant yard at the Phoenix Zoo.  Sometimes when you plan, the results are amazing, i.e., getting lost in the desert for 3 hours!  Sometimes when you plan, you have to be flexible and re-schedule, i.e., Daniel’s birthday dinner.

However, if you look at each of those situations (and please feel free to add your own), you would probably agree that overall planning is required.  These three incidents all took place in Phoenix, and we live in Columbus, OH.  We were involved in them because we planned to be in Phoenix Jan. 1-10. That involved schedule considerations, airline reservations, finances, and family communication.

Planning for the birthday dinner meant that Erin, our daughter-in-law, came up with the idea, made the reservation, and asked us prior to our trip if we would be willing to baby-sit for the boys on the same day we arrived.  Of course, we had no problem saying yes.

Planning for the hike started years ago when we realized that hiking was an activity that combined our desire to explore the country close up and personal, to be outdoors, to be physically active, to observe and identify birds in the wild, etc. But this particular hike required a number of considerations I mentioned in my blog: the purchase of an appropriate guidebook, family schedule, food prep, communication.  Each of those considerations took some time and forethought.

I think you get the idea.

Planning takes place on many different levels.

Setting goals (where so many people start) is, I believe,  the result of dreaming, of creating a vision. Planning is a natural outcome of setting goals. Writing down what you want to do, what you want to have, what you want to be, where you want to go, what you want to see, is an almost meaningless activity if you don’t take that list to the next level and put some Realization Procedures in place.

Sharing these recent incidents with you from our lives was helpful for me.  I realized again that the experiences I treasure the most are the result of dreaming and visualizing the future, and not the result of  a to do list.

I didn’t hear a lot of chatter about New Year’s Resolutions last year in December.  Perhaps more of us are realizing that any changes have to be made in a bigger context of: ‘Why do I want to do this? Why is this important to me? What difference will it make in my life, in me, if I make this change, or have this experience?’ Thinking, ‘I need to lose weight,’ just doesn’t work.

What does all of this have to do with wellness?

Much.

People who have purpose, who have direction, who have passion are catalysts. They make things happen. They  seem to be healthier, have better relationships, and probably have fewer chronic health challenges.

My first suggestion is to be or become a person of purpose.  Find something bigger than yourself that will fill you with passion, maybe even make you ‘scary’ to some people because you have an awesome reason for getting out of bed each morning-and it isn’t a paycheck!**

Once you’ve discovered your purpose, then dream and visualize how the process of fulfilling your purpose will shape your life in 2012- and beyond.

Next,  take some time to write down what actions you are going to take as you head in that direction. There are books, CD’s, apps, courses, and coaches who are very capable of helping you get started and keeping you on track.

A small conclusion to the matter at hand might be the lyrics of a song  popularized by Bing Crosby in the 1944 movie Going My Way.

(Chorus) Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar?                                        And be better off than you are?

Or would you rather be a mule?

A mule is an animal with long funny ears. He kicks up at anything he hears.

His back is brawny and his brain is weak. He’s just plain stupid with a stubborn streak.

And by the way, if you hate to go to school, you may grow up to be a mule.

(Chorus)

Or would you rather be a fish?

A fish is an animal that swims in a brook. He can’t write his name or read a book.

To fool the people is his only thought and though he’s slippery, he still gets caught.

If that’s all of life is what you wish, you may grow up to be a fish.

(Chorus)

Or would you rather be a pig?

A pig is an animal with dirt on his face. His shoes are a terrible disgrace.

He’s got no manners when he eats his food.  He’s fat and lazy and extremely rude.

But if you don’t care a feather or a fig, you may grow up to be a pig.

(Chorus)

And all the monkeys aren’t in the zoo- every day you see quite a few.

So you see, it’s all up to you.

You could be better than you are.

You could be swinging on a star.

Seems to say that dreaming is the ticket to a new you!   What do you think?

(**BTW, if you are stuck on this part of the process, get in touch with me via phone, text or email and I’ll be glad to help you get started.)

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