Why Preparing Is Better Than Planning

2020 has been one of the most unexpected and challenging years on record. I wrap up the year and explain why we should maintain our optimism for 2021.

Why Preparing Is Better Than Planning

Happy Sunday!

And a happy new year to you all!

In between Christmas and New Year, I've also had a birthday – making me a year older and supposedly a year wiser. Enough about me now, let's talk about goals and preparing vs planning.

I know that many of you will have set goals for the year, or are working towards your New Years resolutions. I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but New Year's resolutions suck! They suck because we shouldn't wait until the beginning of the year to build the habits that will change our lives for the better. By waiting until the new year, we're less likely to stick with these habits for a sustained period. I won't go into too much detail here, but the reason I believe that New Year's resolutions suck is something that I've previously written about (see here).

I don't know about you, but I'm certainly glad to be seeing the back of 2020. To me, it felt like the whole year was January, February, March...Lockdown. 2020 had been a challenging year in many respects for many.

Despite the weird year that we've all been through, if there is one thing I have learned about 2020, it's to avoid detailed plans for the future; there's a distinction here between planning and preparing. We must prepare for the future, but we shouldn't spend too much time planning for it, because no one really knows what the future will look like – we're all just guessing. If we try to stick to our plans too much, we may miss out on opportunities, or be severely disappointed if something like Covid happens, where we have to cancel our plans.

All the plans I had for the year back in January/February, had been thrown out of the window – I had four flights cancelled this year. But by preparing for the future, I was able to pivot my plans and spot opportunities in 2020 that is likely to have passed me by had I not prepared.

As we begin the year with positive news around the vaccine and a large scale roll out in the coming weeks, there's plenty to look forward to in 2021. For example, I'm hoping to take some time off to travel the South American continent. I'm taking my own advice here; although I'm preparing to travel, I'm not going to pull together detailed plans to allow me to pivot quickly when the opportunities arise.

Do you have anything planned for the year ahead? How are you preparing and what are you looking forward to in the new year? Reply to this email to let me know – I love hearing more about you all.

Have an awesome week ahead,‌


‌This Week's Wisdom

"We may be happy with little when we have come to expect little. And we may be miserable with much when we have been taught to expect everything."

– Alain de Botton in the book Status Anxiety

I use readwise to resurface content I've previously highlighted. My followers can get an extra month for free by following this link.‌

I’d love for you to share this email with a friend or two. I try to make this the best email you receive each week, and I hope you enjoy it. You can see all the weekly newsletters I have been writing here.

I’m also excited to grow and evolve this newsletter, making sure it remains relevant and helpful for all readers. Ideas, feedback, and suggestions are encouraged. Simply reply to this email, or drop me a DM on twitter @SamuelObe_

Subscribe below to receive new post updates the minute they are published. You will also receive my weekly newsletter, where I share interesting articles, books, quotes and lessons that I have learnt during the past week.