I Accidentally Stuck to a Plan

And maybe that is how all plans should be.

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

I have a bullet journal, which is like saying that a snake has some Louboutins.

I’m a very disorganized person, and if I write in my planner that I’m going to do a certain thing, you can be certain that I will do several unrelated things, get lost on some other project, and end up doing the original task at an unexpected time. But then I have always dreamed of being organized, just like I have always dreamt of being tidy.

When I was a preteen I devoured the Baby-Sitters Club books, and I remember being fascinated by Mary-Anne’s ultra-anal chart to make sure that there were never any double-bookings and keep everyone’s schedule in check. I just know that Mary-Anne has a bullet journal now that she is grown up.

So I started one, and I love drawing pretty things in it and setting up charts that are ever so neat and vow to keep track of things every day and follow a strict schedule. Then I forget about it until I have an urge to do some pretty drawings and set up some charts and goals and to do lists.

I’ve always felt sort of guilty about this, like I wasn’t doing it right.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I opened by bullet journal and discovered that my plan had been to arrive in Delhi on the 18th April, work on two articles on the elections, and then head to a farm in the mountains to do some volunteering.

I had done exactly that! I had, completely by accident, followed a plan!

Which got me thinking that maybe I wasn’t doing anything wrong after all. Maybe I’d just been approaching plans wrong. Maybe what I needed to do was to set up guidelines and goals, and then forget about them, live my life spontaneously, and then check back in.

This way, you make sure that you are on the path you want to be on, and living according to your values and desires. And when you have an existential crisis moment, wondering “what the hell am I doing here???” you can refer to your bullet journal and check in with what your global goal is.

And it makes it easier for your goals and dreams to evolve, naturally. Sometimes, when you look back at the aims you had set, you get a feeling of “Oh, yes, I need to get back to that.”

Sometimes, you get a feeling of “meh. that isn’t really me anymore.”

You can set goals for different timescales, too. You can decide how much freedom you want to give yourself, how much time you feel comfortable flying solo, and how often you feel capable of coming back to the drawing board.

Ultimately, our plans should be like a map. We check in occasionally to make sure we are on the right path, or when we want to change direction, but most of the time we take our nose out of our phones and let ourselves live, even if that means going wrong sometimes.

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