Long-Term Planning Can Disrupt Business Success
We’re constantly told that we should spend time focusing on long-term planning and aligning these with our long-term goals. Many of us take that recommendation very seriously.
As a Personal Business Coach who specializes in Strategy and Accountability, one of the first things I ask my clients, or prospective clients, to do is to share their short-term and long-term goals. So I also encourage a long-term focus.
Long-term planning has advantages as it provides a goal post that you want to get to. It gives you something specific to work towards. It allows you to dream big and shoot for the moon.
Are There Downsides to Focusing on Long-term Planning?
There could be. Here are five negative effects of focusing on long-term planning exclusively:
- You don’t control all the pieces of any situation. While you may have good intentions for the future, situations may arise that remove matters from your control and influence your results.
- Nothing ever stays the same. People will change their minds. What they believe today, they won’t next month. What they want this year, they won’t want next year. So, if you’re a product creator, you could find that the One-Year Product Creation Plan you spent a lot of time working on has to be changed after six months. Your readers and consumers have moved on to “the next big thing”.
- The person who has his life in order right now can fall apart later. Everything you wanted can collapse around you. You can work for years to get that job you wanted or to start that business you were passionate about only to discover it’s not what you thought you wanted and you’re absolutely miserable.
- The choices that you make today, you won’t make tomorrow because your thought process isn’t going to be the same. It won’t be the same because you won’t be the same.
- Even if your long-term thinking involves striving toward something that you want and that’s good for you to have, you can still fall short. You can fall short of having a job that you love – one that brings you a lot of happiness. You can fall short of entering into a relationship with someone you care about because the timing doesn’t fit your long-term goals. So many people do this in many areas of life and often regret it later on.
Create a Short-term Plan for Long-term Success
Am I suggesting that you should not set goals and plan for the future? Not at all!Â Balance is important. If you spend your time and life “in the future” there are opportunities you’re going to miss â€œin the now.â€
By focusing on long-term planning exclusively, you could fail to realize what you’re giving up in the present to hopefully gain in the future. Yet, you’ll not have a guarantee that what you plan for is going to happen.
Take a Hard Look at What You’re Doing
Are the things you’re doing now truly helping your life with no negative drawbacks? Are you the person who never gets to spend quality time with family and friends because you’re so focused on making connections that will help your career or will be beneficial as you build your business?
If this describes you, take a step back, away from long-term thinking and planning to evaluate if you’re balanced in your thinking. Perhaps it’s time to revisit the drawing board and look at the choices you’re making. Choices that will be beneficial to you, and for you, in the “now” and in the future. You should not have to trade your present to gain your future.