Quotes_Planning

Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on planning.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Fail to plan, plan to fail.” ― Hillary Rodham Clinton

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” Confucius

“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn

“Your life will be no better than the plans you make and the action you take. You are the architect and builder of your own life, fortune, destiny.” – Alfred A. Montapert

“He, who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through a labyrinth of the most busy life.” – Victor Hugo

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso

“Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” – Tom Landry

“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” – H. Stanley Judd

“A plan is a list of actions arranged in whatever sequence is thought likely to achieve an objective.” – John Argenti

“People with clear, written goals, accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” – Brian Tracy

“Four steps to achievement: Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.” – William A. Ward

“Plan for what it is difficult while it is easy, do what is great while it is small.” ― Sun Tzu

“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.’ – Leonard Bernstein

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” – Alan Lakein

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.” – Thomas Alva Edison

“Chance favors the prepared mind.” – Louis Pasteur

“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Plans are of little importance, but planning is essential.” ― Winston Churchill

“It’s not the plan that is important, it’s the planning.” Dr Graeme Edwards

“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.” – George S. Patton

“Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“It is a bad plan that admits of no modification.” – Publilius Syrus

“If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.” – Claire Cook

“The majority of men meet with failure because of their lack of persistence in creating new plans to take the place of those which fail.” – Napoleon Hill

“You can always amend a big plan, but you can never expand a little one. I don’t believe in little plans. I believe in plans big enough to meet a situation which we can’t possibly foresee now.” – Harry S. Truman

“Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.” – Indira Gandhi

“He is the best man who, when making his plans, fears and reflects on everything that can happen to him, but in the moment of action is bold.” – Herodotus

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” – Peter Drucker

“Thinking well to be wise: planning well, wiser: doing well wisest and best of all.” – Malcolm Forbes

“Just because you make a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.” – Taylor Swift

“The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” ― Robert Burns

“Everybody’s got a plan until they get hit.” – Joe Lewis

“No plan survives and encounter with the enemy.” – Helmuth von Moltke

“No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” – Colin Powell

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” – Woody Allen

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” –  John Lennon

“The reason that everybody likes planning is that nobody has to do anything.” – Jerry Brown

“We climb to heaven most often on the ruins of our cherished plans, finding our failures were successes.” – Amos Bronson Alcott

“If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.” – Abraham Maslow

“If you have accomplished all that you have planned for yourself, you have not planned enough.” – Edward Everett Hale

“First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination.” – Napoleon Hill

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem

“You must plan to be spontaneous.” – David Hockney

“Spontaneity is one of the joys of existence, especially if you prepare for it in advance.” ― Alan Dean Foster

“Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past, what to enjoy in the present, and what to plan for in the future.” – Arnold H. Glasow

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

Read more Creativity Quotes here.

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One of the things I do at the beginning of every year is review the accomplishments of the past year.

I take my projects list from the last year and color code it, assigning one color for done, one color for soon to be done, and another color for not done.

I want to know what happened. It feels great to see a list of everything that got done, especially when you get a significant surprise windfall. It can also be disappointing to see what didn’t get done, especially when the items that weren’t accomplished are important. Seeing it the items collected in one place is always revealing.

I want to do more than just see clearly what happened. I also want to know why things happened.

I find the vast majority of things that got done were things I identified as important and scheduled time for – wishing won’t make things happen. If something great and unexpected happened, I want to know why it happened, so I can make similar things happen again. If at the end of the year, I’ve completely rewritten my plan for the year, but it’s been substantially improved, I’m delighted.

If something important didn’t happen, I want to know why. I want to learn from my failures.  How many items are close to being done? (A calendar date can sometimes be arbitrary.)  Was something delayed for an important reason? Will the delay make it more successful? Did I not see the problem clearly? Were my expectations unreasonable? Did I not perform at peak? Did I overextend myself, taking on too many projects? Did I not allocate enough resources? Did I have the wrong team? Was the timing not right?  Did I get distracted? What I can do to avoid this in the future? How can this apply what I learned on one project to my other projects?

This yearly review helps me mentally consolidate everything I’ve accomplished and everything I’ve learned. Often, while I’m doing this review, I learn more things and find more ideas. At the end of the review, learn from my failures and repeat my successes. I want to know if I’m on track and moving forward toward my long term goals.

With those insights fresh on my mind, I make a new projects list for the next year.  (I copy last year’s list and delete everything that got done or is no longer relevant, add new items but be careful not to add an unrealistic number, and prioritize them.)

What plans will you make for your creative life now?

Learn more about creative planning and goal setting here.

Learn more in my creativity workshops.

Make A Plan

January 2, 2012 | 3 Comments |

Plan for success.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I make those kinds of commitments at any time of year, whenever it becomes clear they’re necessary. But I do make plans at the beginning of every year. I review my Mission, Goals, Projects, and Actions lists. While I do this at the beginning of the year, this isn’t the only time I do it. I also do this every time I find something significant has changed in my life. Doing this helps me clarify where I want to go, make sure I’m on the path to getting there, outline the steps necessary to get there, and set realistic timelines. Doing this consistently has helped me more than double my productivity, in a meaningful way. It has also helped me make tough decisions when I’m faced with too many choices. It’s not that I didn’t have a life’s calling before I wrote my mission. It’s just that I wasn’t clear about it. Now I am. As a result, I feel personally empowered. To find my mission took a lot soul-searching, a little time, and it’s still a work in progress.

Make your plan.

Whether you’re engaged in your creative life professionally or simply as a vehicle for personal growth (an important distinction to make), I recommend you make a creative plan. If you do this, you too will find both your productivity and fulfillment will increase, in a way that’s meaningful to you. Having defined what you need to accomplish, your unconscious will go to the work of fulfilling it, generating many ideas over time. You’ll find yourself ready to make the most of unexpected opportunities as they arise. Put this all in writing using your own words. Writing increases retention 72%. If you write something down, you’ll be 75% more likely to take action on it. Remember, while other people can help you discuss and refine your plan as it develops, no one can do it for you. For you to truly understand and benefit from it, you have to do it. More importantly, for it to be right for you, it has to be yours.

Break it down into clear manageable pieces.

Set a mission (why you’re doing it), goals (what outcomes you want), projects (the big things you do)(set goals for 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, and end of life) and actions (the small steps you take to getting your projects done)(detail your 1 year next actions list) for your creative life. You’ll have one mission, several goals, many projects, and innumerable actions. Many people use a metaphor of varying altitude to describe the relationship between these parts; the mission is cruising altitude where you see the big picture while the actions are on the runway where you see more specific details. Moving from why to how to what, the higher levels are inclusive of all the lower levels, while the lower levels point toward achieving the prime directive. The specific words you choose for the higher levels are often more important than the words you choose for the lower levels, so it’s likely you’ll revise them many times. As you drill down, the items get more concrete, specific, timely, and numerous. For this reason, many people find that the most difficult part of the plan to do is the simplest, least detailed, but most abstract portion ¬– the mission. Some like to work bottom up, rather than top down, because they can sink their teeth into something more concrete. You can work it either or both ways – top down or bottom up. However you get there, make sure that when you arrive that your mission really resonates within you and is something that you would consider an inner calling, not something generated out of today‘s particulars and practical realities. A mission should call you to a higher ground of your own choosing and activate new inner resources along the way. Many find that by aligning their efforts with something greater than themselves (i.e. service to others), they do better work and derive more satisfaction from it than they could have first imagined.

What plans will you make for your creative life?

Start now!

Read more in my free PDF ebook Make Plans.

Learn more in my creativity workshops.

Make a plan.
Whether you’re engaged in your creative life professionally or simply as a vehicle for personal growth (an important distinction to make), I recommend you make a creative plan. If you do this, you too will find both your productivity and fulfillment will increase, in a way that’s meaningful to you. Having defined what you need to accomplish, your unconscious will go to the work of fulfilling it, generating many ideas over time. You’ll find yourself ready to make the most of unexpected opportunities as they arise. Put this all in writing using your own words. Writing increases retention 72%. If you write something down, you’ll be 75% more likely to take action on it. Remember, while other people can help you discuss and refine your plan as it develops, no one can do it for you. For you to truly understand and benefit from it, you have to do it. More importantly, for it to be right for you, it has to be yours.

Break it down into clear manageable pieces.
Set a mission (why you’re doing it), goals (what outcomes you want), projects (the big things you do)(set goals for 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, and end of life) and actions (the small steps you take to getting your projects done)(detail your 1 year next actions list) for your creative life. You’ll have one mission, several goals, many projects, and innumerable actions.

Align your creative mission with your life’s mission.
Most people need at least two missions; one for their life in general (which includes many things – health, family, finances, etc) and one for a specific area, like their career or creative life, which may or many not be the same. Make sure that your missions share something in common – something other than yourself. The more you can align the them, the more likely you are to achieve them, increase your productivity, and be more fulfilled.

Set priorities.

Set timelines.

Chart your progress.

Be flexible.

Update your plan.
A plan is a work in progress. The best plans are flexible and can be modified. If I don’t learn something new from a process, often something that shifts my perspective significantly enough to start doing something better than before, then I feel I haven’t truly excelled at what I’m doing. I expect to improve my plans.

The time you spend clarifying why you’re doing what you’re doing and what you’d like to see come of it will save you hours, months, even years by ensuring that you’re going in the right direction – a direction of your own choosing. When you make a plan, you take control of your life.

Read the extended version in AfterCapture.

Read more in my essay Developing Personal Projects.

Read more in my Creativity lessons.
Learn more in my Creativity workshops.


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