Let me clear one thing up first: I don't actually know a Nigel. Far less know one well enough to make plans for, but it's a great title and so I thought that my nickname for 2017 really ought to be Nigel.
I don't make new year's resolutions. As far as I'm concerned, new year's resolutions are just a big heavy stick with which to clout yourself come February when you've failed to keep any of them.
Plans, however, are different.
Plans are not goals. Goals are just another form of resolution. Goals, to me, are one more way of measuring failure. I didn't achieve my goal to lose 20lbs by Christmas (I was doing well until the black dog sat on me and forced me to eat toast); I didn't get my novel published (broken bones and family disasters overtook me); I didn't get my video blogs for my business recorded and I didn't even learn Spanish.
See – I'm just a failure all round; a fat, unpublished, unrecorded and non-cosmopolitan failure! (Please allow me a little time to go down to the bottom of the garden and eat worms while you all play tiny imaginary violins...)
But back to plans.
You see, if you don't manage to carry out your plans, there's no stigma of failure attached. You can chuck one plan away and go to your back-up plan, or plan B (or, C or D or...). You can re-plan according to circumstances. You can say "well, I had planned to do some gardening today, but the rain was so heavy I decided to stay in and read a good book instead."
Now, if your goal had been to get the lawn mown and the hedges trimmed, you would have failed, but a plan is flexible depending of circumstances or even your mood. "Well, I had planned to go to the supermarket and do the shopping, but my friend needed me, so I spent the morning comforting her instead." Even, "I changed my mind and went to the beach instead."
Plans allow for spontaneity, rescheduling and adjustment.
So, if I rephrase my goals for last year into plans, then the depression has merely set back my weight loss by a few months. Broken bones and family disasters have only delayed the publication of the books and the making of the video blogs. I'd planned to learn Spanish, but found I wasn't really enjoying it, so I stopped. I know more Spanish than when I started, and that's always useful, but I don't plan to learn any more.
So, in 2017, I plan to publish three books. I plan to go out with my husband at least once a month, I plan to get my weight down into the healthy zone.
But if those plans change, then I'm cool with that.
What do you say, Nigel?
(Oh, and here's the link to the song, so you can have it as your earworm all day! http://bit.ly/1BVc0Di )
A Moodscope member.