I’ve been thinking for half an hour of a witty way to start this. I couldn’t think of anything at all. Not a witty metaphor, not a witty story, not a sausage.

Then I realised that the very fact that I couldn’t figure out how to start this illustrated exactly the point I want to get across.

Planning.

Look, I know you’re groaning already. I know you’re already rolling your eyes and hovering over the close button. I hate planning too, I hate reading anything to do with planning and I hate being told I’m a pathetically unorganised human being, because I am.

I tend to read quite a lot of stuff about self-improvement and the biggest topic most people cover is about planning your life. It’s usually called something equally eye-rolling like “design your life the way you want it to be” and it makes you instantly want to go poke your eyeballs out when you’re reading it.

BUT. There’s some truth to this here. In fact, Seneca was writing about this a very long time ago:

Life without a design is erratic. As soon as one is in place, principles become necessary. I think you’ll concede that nothing is more shameful than uncertain and wavering conduct, and beating a cowardly retreat.

His words are perhaps a little stronger than I’d normally use, but he’s right. If you live life by letting everything come to you, you can never hope to get ahead of it.

Everything I’ve never planned to achieve I’ve never achieved. I’m pretty sure I’ve butchered that from an actual proper quote, but I can’t remember the original.

A small plan is worth doing. Every year I do something really simple: I write some goals in the Christmas break and some things I’d like to achieve in the year, and then I keep checking back on them. It isn’t groundbreaking but it helps keep me focused.

It helps me to continue to push forward my life in the way that I want to. It makes me feel in control and that things are going in the right direction. Sure, life is going to throw curveballs, but at least I’m prepared.

Are you?