What to do when your plan doesn’t go to plan


So, that grand plan you had for your business hasn’t quite… well, gone to plan 😅 As entrepreneurs, our business journey is often squiggly and can feel like you’re on a rollercoaster. But it can really take a toll on your wellbeing when things feel like they’re constantly not going to plan.

It’s important to reflect on your plans so that you can find a path forward – but you might be wondering, how do I do that?! Sarah Stewart is a time management coach and knows a thing or two about planning! Read on to find out Sarah’s tips and tricks to get your plan back on track for success 💪

As a time management coach, I’m a massive advocate of planning ahead of time. However, I was recently asked the question “If the plan doesn’t work out, or isn’t working; what then?”

Here’s the steps I follow when I feel like things haven’t gone to plan 👇

1. Reflect on what the plan actually was

Your next steps will totally depend on what your plan *actually* was in the first place. Plans will look different for everyone. You may have planned to launch a new product and missed your deadline, or you might have planned for a productive day, and have a child off school ill.

Reflecting on what your plan was will help you to work out your next steps to get back on track.

2. Remain calm

If you have gone off track, I think it’s important to (try to) remain calm – I’ve been complimented on my calming influence a few times now in professional settings (my background is project management in the pharmaceutical industry), and I do think it’s important to stay grounded. For me, my mindfulness practice helps with this. Take some slow breaths, and come into your body. Remember everything is fixable and nothing is permanent.

3. Acknowledge how you are feeling

Know that whatever you’re feeling is totally normal. Depending on the situation, it might be that you want to write about how you’re feeling (grab a pen and paper and see what comes out!). Or you might want to speak to a business friend or mentor and chat about what’s happened. A problem shared is a problem halved.

3. Reflect

When you’ve been able to reset your mindset, you’ll then be in a place where you can reflect on the situation calmly. It’s a great time to objectively reflect on what was going well with your plan and what things could have gone better. These are important things to note down as they’ll help you to improve in the future! Remember, failure is inevitable, but it’s what we learn from it that sets us up for success.

4. Accept what’s happened

I think there’s also something around acceptance. Know that not all plans will work out, and that’s also ok. Not everything is in your control.

5. Reasses

The next step might be to re-assess, perhaps coming back to your intention of the plan. Give some thought again to what your desired outcome of the plan is, and are you still shooting for this same goal post or are there some adjustments needed? Perhaps you weren’t clear at the outset about what the endpoint was, and this may have caused some of the issues that you’ve encountered.

6. Readjust

I’d then start thinking about adjusting the plan or starting over with a Plan B. What options are on the table? If there are a few options available, can you consider the pros and cons of each to help with any decision-making? It might be that you want to sit with these for a while and decide how you feel about each before you make any moves. 

Get back on track

Once you’ve completed those steps, you don’t have to rush back to creating a plan! As long as it’s not a time-sensitive goal, you can always slow things down and create some headspace to really reflect on what your key business priorities are now. Use this time to get clear on where you’re headed, and how you will measure your progress. 

Once you’re ready, take action… even if it’s messy and not perfect- you’ve got this!

Sarah is one of the amazing businesses in our community that we’ve been able to support through our free business mentoring. We’re so happy she’s been able to give back to our community by sharing her unique skills to help others succeed!

If you’re currently reworking a plan that fell through, why not book a free mentoring session with one of our mentors? We’d suggest requesting an ‘initial diagnosis’ call as this will help you to identify the needs of your business at this moment 💪 In no time at all, our mentors will help you to get back on track for success! 🙌

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