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Are your resolutions backed by plans?

WE are just getting out of January, what we may call the “Resolution Month” for that is when most people who care to make resolutions actually make them.
Often times though, we make resolutions without a plan. We resort to the destructive things-will-sort-themselves-out attitude, what Chinua Achebe, in his 1984 book “The Trouble with Nigeria” calls the “cargo cult mentality”: the idea that even without hard work things will work out fine and your dreams will be fulfilled. You relax and expect that a ship will bring cargo with all the goodies you crave and you will live happily ever after.
I hope that, after making your resolutions, you are not sitting back, hoping for a miracle while you take no practical steps to ensure the fulfilment of your resolutions.
A resolution should be followed by a workable plan; how are you going to achieve what you have resolved? Are your resolutions backed by plans?
A resolution is, after all, a goal; and a goal needs a plan to be achieved.
This, I suppose, is the point the great Spanish artist Pablo Picasso makes in his famous quote: “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.”
To explore the relationship between resolutions and plans, we shall do so through three R’s: Revolution, Revision, and Retreat.
Resolutions may maintain the status quo, or – depending on the needs – lead to change. There are two types of change: evolutionary, which is gradual; and Revolutionary, which is drastic.
I want to focus on changes that bring revolution because they are harder to implement. Most of us are suspicious of change, so we want to court it slowly while we analyse the impact.
Unfortunately, however, in order to make progress in our lives we often need to embrace revolution at personal level: a total overhaul of how you do things; it might mean a sudden, immediate and total change of behaviour or attitude.
Are there some areas of your life which need revolutionary change? You might need a radical plan which calls for radical and immediate action.
Resolutions, however, may also lead to Revision: revising yesteryear’s plans based on your experiences, the changed environment and the variables of your plan. You must never feel ashamed of changing your plans the moment you realise they do not move your vision forward.
Your vision, after all, is bigger than your plans, so it is your plans which must conform to and serve your vision, not the other way round.
John C. Maxwell, the renowned American motivational writer, puts it this way: “Failed plans should not be interpreted as a failed vision. Visions don’t change, they are only refined. Plans rarely stay the same, and are scrapped or adjusted as needed. Be stubborn about the vision, but flexible with your plan.”
Are there some plans you might need to revise in the course of the year? Did you have to revise some plans when you made your 2016 resolutions?
When a plan fails, when things do not go as planned, when there is need to protect your vision, it might become necessary to Retreat.
In military terms, a retreat is not defeat, but strategy. You retreat from one battlefield in order to regroup and fight on another. You retreat from a battle in order to win the war. Yes, there is such a thing as retreating into victory!
Are there some battles on which you have been wasting your time, resources and energy? Maybe the answer is a strategic retreat.