Why I Don't Believe in Five Year Plans


I used to plan my every move. I'd create color coded graphics and umbrella charts to outline what I planned to do and how I planned to do it. Designating two tactics to every strategy and three strategies to every goal, I was determined to succeed. I was pressed to make something of myself and I knew outlining my path with visually enticing graphics would do the trick! 

That was when I thought I controlled the course of my life. 

After many failed plans and unconquerable defeats, I threw in the towel. My excitement to create elaborate plans ceased and I was left jotting down "two year to-dos", hoping I'd cross something off that list. I grew weary and discouraged because nothing seemed to work. No matter how thoughtful and realistic my ideas seemed, they just weren't happening. The results weren't being yielded accordingly. The response rates were low. And I had no more patience to plan out anything. 

I stopped setting yearly goals and allowed myself to wander. I didn't have a plan for next year and I didn't care to create one. I didn't know what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to be, and I definitely didn't care to come up with a plan to figure it out. I just decided to live life and stumble upon whatever was meant for me. 

Surprisingly, that worked! 

With less planning, I became more open to accepting the many free falling blessings that tap danced on my door step. Instead of turning down opportunities that didn't align with my plan, I became more willing to explore them. I stopped being concerned with my carefully thought out guide and started getting excited for the plan that seemed to be coming into fruition. The plan that was ironically unplanned. 

I was being led by God into new endeavors and down new paths. When I freed myself from the confines of an outline for my life, I allowed God in to do what He needed. I emptied out my cup of strategies & tactics just enough for God to fill me up with love and purpose. My eyes began to focus on the vision He was showing me, instead of the goals written on the paper in front of me.

Creating a 5-year plan sounds great in theory. It's a great way to organize ideas and an amazing attempt at ensuring the completion of goal-oriented tasks; but it also hinders God's ability to lead. It prohibits the flexibility necessary to be controlled by the Creator. 

See, God pours into me for me to pour out to you, and I've realized I have absolutely no control over what's being poured in and when it should be poured out. I have no control over what my purpose is and what it'll take to get there. No matter how hard I plan, I have no idea what will come tomorrow.

I have no idea what unexpected obstacles will occur - the ones my five year plan doesn't account for. I'm not sure, at all, what growth will need to happen before effectively implementing strategy three of goal four; growth, that is also, not accounted for in this plan. I'm not stagnant enough to stop learning and evolving for the next five years, so that my current ideas remain brilliant the next time I look at them. 

Five year plans don't take into consideration the changes you encounter - within yourself nor amongst the world.  

I do not know where I will be in five years. I don't even know what I'm going to be like in five years. I have no idea what unexpected expenses I'll have to dish out, how my network will change, or what resources will be available to me. I do know, however, that if I remain open to God's will I'll be exactly where I'm supposed to be. If I keep my mind focused on God's purpose I'll go to a place I would've never thought to include on the "five year plan" template before me. A place that no outline, umbrella chart or color coded graph could ever plan for. 

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