As the end of the year looms, I’m beginning to think about catching up with my intentions for 2018 and recommitting or re-evaluating these for 2019. Today I came across an amusing but oh so pointed reminder about how our plans are only set in stone for about a minute after we make them and then this happens:
I’m not sure who came up with this little gem but all credit to them as it’s right on the money.
This year, I’m going to keep this little cartoon in mind when I’m thinking about my plans and intentions for the coming year. Like many Myers Briggs ‘J” type people, I love my plans and am constantly naive about the possibility of these plans not working out perfectly. While my year has not been quite as challenging as this example, I’ve definitely had to deal with setbacks both of my own making as well as some just random life related ones. By putting naivety aside and keeping the fact that things are unlikely to be smooth sailing in mind, I think I will spend some time this year thinking about the setbacks I’ve encountered over the past twelve months. I will consider how I dealt with these set backs, was I ready for them? Could the impact of them have been less if I had handled them differently?
A key habit of people who practice Stoicism is a daily critical review of today’s actions with a goal of correcting and improving on the things that are in a person’s control for the next day. I think I can apply something similar to my own review process. Some of the setbacks I encountered this year were out of my control, but the way I dealt with them was within my control. How can I become more resilient to setbacks through my own actions? Some of my setbacks this year were self inflicted. How can I avoid making the same mistakes next year? In 2019, just having a plan is not going to be enough.
These are the things that are on my mind at this time of year. Do you plan intentionally with each New Year or are your constantly reviewing and evaluating your intentions and progress? I’d love to know.