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Planning vs. Preparing - How Are You Embracing Change for the Year Ahead?

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

“Plan in decades. Think in years. Work in months. Live in days.” -Mel Robbins

Planner next to a cup of coffee and watch

I was out on the deck this evening with my husband…our new normal routine…get kids down and then take a few moments to breath before we wrap up other work that we weren’t’ able to get to during the looking at the holidays ahead we just smiled and second at a time...

Between school, whether it's onsite or changes we are always on our toes to have to skip, hop and jump into new routines to zoom calls, feeding the kids, managing the forever words of "I'M BORED" to the changing landscape of normalizing a different holiday season...

…The perspective of tomorrow and the next day are here but the uncertainty of next week is in the air, therefore, think on the positive side but know it will mostly like change…

OH HELLO…that’s exactly what I’ve been saying for the past however many months we've all been adapting to change!!!! It’s this uneasy anxiety that looms over me trying to “plan ahead” or strategize future plans with friends and family in regards to the holidays while thinking outside of the box BUT at the same time, continuing to work at 100%+ today and tomorrow has really opened the doors to so much for next week, month, year…it’s all about perspective to making sure we have the right vision, motivation and excitement to pivot with ease and innovation.

Perfect example of setting the tone:

Thanksgiving was "supposed" to be with family, doing our family traditions, baking, crafting, and well...getting together with family. This year knowing it was going to be different, we embraced it. We completely shifted our "traditional tradition making feast" and created new traditions that can easily be added back into what we used to do...but now have an added a twist of what we do now! We were able to shift from feeling let down or disappointed that it wasn't going going to be "the same" yet embraced..."it's different" kids repeatedly telling me mum this was the best day ever. Little trick...we were prepared to switch things up and slowed down to enjoy every second of it!

So how do we embrace the "new change" in holidays...not only in our personal lives but in our professional lives? A new year is coming...what are you doing to shift and move with the current instead of against it?

Woman holding up a picture of a lightbulb

Are you preparing or planning?

Are you working for today, tomorrow, and next week? Does your team have a vision? A strategy? Roles to be filled or responsibilities that need to be shifted? Are you having trouble communicating or connecting to your team while remote? Is this working, what tools are you using? What’s the plan for re-opening? How’s business? Are you struggling or are you thriving during this time? How do you make plans for uncertain times?

Constant questions I know I have racing through my mind…

How do we keep moving, changing and thriving?

Well...we take each day as they come while also preparing for what lies ahead, not dwelling on the planning aspect. So, what is the difference between PREPARING and PLANNING?

First and foremost, they are NOT the same thing. (For those of you who are parents, think of it this way: You may have planned for the birth of a baby, but were you prepared to become a parent?)

Obsessing about details isn’t necessarily the best way to prepare for something that’s important to you, or something that is uncontrollable. On a professional level, an outline, some well-thought out bullet points are required. A clear opening/closing of any presentation is a must.

A vision.

Post it notes tacked to board

But trying to predict exactly what you’ll say and when, or what should happen and when, is energetically draining and ultimately futile, and too much of it can undermine all your hard work. What will help you more is preparing yourself emotionally, not logically. The best sales plan, or team presentation, or performance review can fall flat by over-thinking what you’ll say.



Put your effort into visualizing the way you want to feel, now and later. This is particularly helpful when entering new territory, like working remotely as well as how to go back to “normal” without shaking things up from the core. Or how to readjust an entire team, change work environments, values, ethics to growing a business, successfully while leading your teams and employees through transitions and into a BRAND NEW YEAR.

2021 calendar with coffee cup, post it notes, and clips

Think about it…you could plan down to the minute, but all of the energy wasted going into that is blown out of the window in an instant therefore breaking any true emotional connection needed to perform fully and show up at 100% continuously.

Rather, prepare yourself and team by imagining the way you’d like to feel when change occurs. What support you need, what visions are being sought after, what your employees need, and shape this transition from the core while enjoying every day of the journey.

If you don’t over PLAN the destination, not only will the journey be less stressful, but it will be a lot more fun and more than likely you will end up where you “hoped” to arrive at anyways!


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