I thought I was getting ahead of the game by buying my 2016 diary whilst picking up a small amount of Christmas food shopping in a supermarket. It was the right size and layout for me, (A5 and week to view) and was on a special offer. What else was there to think about? I popped it in the basket and then didn’t look at it again until the last few days of 2015 and the space in my existing diary for those first items of the New Year began to get filled up.

So I finally opened the diary out of its transparent packaging only to discover that actually, no; this particular diary wasn’t going to work for me at all! There was no space for me to write my daily To Do lists that normally exist under each day’s hourly breakdown. The spaces allocated for every day of the week just didn’t feel right. There was nothing inherently wrong with the layout. It just wasn’t me.

Now I’m all for change and staying fresh in most areas.

But not with my diary layout, unless somehow, it represents a major upgrade and overall improvement.

Now I knew why this particular diary was on offer in the supermarket. I should have known better.

So I took it back, and exchanged it for some ice cream and non-stick washing up sponges that I suddenly remembered I needed.

Then I went online and ordered the same diary I’ve had for the past two years.

I suspect I’m in the ever-decreasing minority of people who even own a hard copy diary in the first place but however you structure your time and To Do lists, all I’m saying is this:

If you get to the end of January and things aren’t working out the way you had expected, you probably need to give it a bit more time, and perhaps apply some increased effort or even consider a slight tweak to your plan.

If by the time March comes around, things are still not working out, then don’t be afraid to change something or even everything – depending on what your situation is of course. If you’ve only just got married at the turn of the year, then you definitely need to stick to the plan, even if the daily application of that plan needs some adjusting!

If however, we’re talking about the latest gym/diet plan, then keep fine-tuning it until something positive kicks in and you can see the benefits.

Sometimes It ends up different

I like to keep myself relatively fit and healthy – both in terms of exercise and watching what I eat. But I am now wanting to step it up a little bit more but have not had a clear plan in my head as to how to best achieve this. A close friend however, does know what she’s talking about, and all it took was some notes from her and the switch was successfully flicked. Suddenly, I’m on it more than ever and looking forward to enjoying the fruit of my labour so to speak.

They say if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. But don’t be afraid to change the plan and measure the difference it may make.

Paul Hatcher

I am at heart, a communicator. I love to use words, whether written or spoken and maximise those words to hopefully, bring some encouragement - literally, to put courage into the hearts & minds of those who read or hear them. In my work as an executive coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, I love also to listen...deeply, and then respond with some encouragement.


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