We need plans. We need written plans in order make things happen. Meaning, they have to be outside of your head. The plan doesn't have to be elaborate. We don't need plans that are pages and pages long if we don't want them. We don't need to follow any templates that restrict our way of thinking about our plans. There, I said it.
You might be thinking..."Rubina, you create plans for people for a living, are you serious?" Yeah, I make plans, but I make plans based on what people want and what they really need. If I think you would do best with a visual plan with some important phrases and keywords on it, then that's what you'll get.
My intention here is not to bash planning. Rather, it's about the boxes we put ourselves in, the boundaries and limitations we establish around planning. Then, guess what. You never create that plan, because you've squashed the creativity in it all.
Planning is a creative process. It's energizing, electric, and thrilling. When planning, I surround my self with all sorts of tools. I don't want to restrict how that plan might manifest. It could manifest in written form as a word doc, or a drawing in my sketchbook, or as thoughts and phrases on several sticky notes. I love that I can be very open about it and have fun.
Now, I'm not saying get away from all templates forever. Sometimes our thinking needs to be tamed and focused so templates can help us figure out where to begin. They can provide direction when you feel all over the place. There are many out there that really require and desire order and organization in the form of outlines and sections, and templates are perfect for that.
But, I have witnessed too often people become paralyzed by templates. That's when you abandon what you think you know about planning, what you've read, or what others have told you (except for me!). Just sit down with pen and paper, and start writing or drawing whatever comes to mind. Do not edit yourself and just go with the flow.
Now is a good time to start planning for the New Year. Planning for your desires and goals, the direction you want to take your business, the marketing actions you want to take, the life you want to have. These are all things you should plan for. Take out your markers, your paper, your sketchpads, your laptop, your sticky notes, your pencils...and get going. Dedicate a few hours to your project. Don't get too bogged down. Just start writing, drawing, sketching and make these desires and goals tangible and visible.
Now go create, draw, sketch, type, outline, PLAN.