As a business owner, do you actively plan ahead?
Are you the type of person who has weekly, monthly, yearly, even five yearly plans and/or goals?
I’ve known people who have had five year plans. I’ve known people who have outlined their savings/business/career goals years in advance. I’ve known people who have decided the exact age they’d ideally hit their desired life milestones.
But not me.
Although I’m a day-to-day list maker extraordinaire, especially whilst setting up my new business Penning and Planning, I’m not a long term committer of general plans. Although I’m happily married and therefore in a committed relationship, committing to anything else too far in advance is impossibly terrifying for me. Although there are certain business goals I would like to achieve, I’m actually quite relaxed about the possible timescales involved despite not usually being laidback in the slightest!
Therefore, I’m suggesting that being a commitment-phobe could actually benefit your mental health and therefore, by default, your business!
The reason people may shy away from planning and committing too far ahead is that they just don’t know what could happen/change in the interim…they cannot possibly predict how they might change in the meantime. Committing too far ahead leaves the possibility of being disappointed, of disappointing others, of situations/circumstances changing and/or going wrong in all sorts of ways, of expectations being unrealistic or sometimes even worse – realised!
Mindvalley Blog sums this up perfectly:
“Short-term goals help you to better deal with this unpredictability because they avoid the mistake of assuming that the next five or ten years will go exactly to plan.”
There may be a few conflicted commitment-phobes out there too – although certain ideas sound appealing and they can definitely commit in certain areas (e.g. starting a business, adopting a pet, getting married, repaying a mortgage etc.), their anxious brain often convinces them other situations (e.g. events/holidays booked too far in advance) are too worrisome or leave too much fretting time, to the point where they end up executing an escape route because the feeling of not being in control of that particular situation is simply too overwhelming and panic inducing.
Meridian Counseling explains:
“People with a fear of commitment also have an extreme need for stability, safety, and emotional connection. Yet, the thing that they long for the most is also their worst fear. Can you imagine the intensity of the internal pain and confusion that they live with? It sounds like torture. Many times they themselves don’t understand why they run away from amazing opportunities, jobs, stability and the people that they love.”
However, an important part of being able to maintain a positive mental attitude, and therefore mental wellness, is having things to look forward to. Little things can be as happiness inducing as the big things sometimes and, for many, short term plans make them happier and MUCH less anxious than long term plans, for example: creating a website, walking the dog, reading blogs, ordering a takeaway, working in the garden etc. For many, these little things are enough; living in the present is enough to make them happy, productive and fulfilled.
Personally, I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do next year or in 5 years and I rarely think about it…I’m concentrating on THIS week’s to-do lists and THIS month’s business goals as a perfectly contented commitment-phobe!
I definitely believe living in the present (and immediate future!) benefits my mental health and allows me to thoroughly enjoy building my new business day by day. Do you believe it too or are you a planner extraordinaire who prefers order and foresight?