Did you start the new year with a detailed yearly plan of what you will achieve over the next 12 months?

How are you doing on following that plan?

Is a Yearly Plan the Best Approach?

So many entrepreneurs create beautiful yearly plans. They have detailed goals, step-by-step plans, all their launches laid out and visions of hitting their next income goals dancing in their heads.

While annual planning (or quarterly or even monthly) works for many people, it’s not the best approach for everyone.

If you’re are overwhelmed and guilt-ridden over your yearly plan, you may benefit from a more flexible approach to success.

If you’re a slightly distracted entrepreneur or you rebel against structure created by others or even yourself, you may find that a rigid yearly plan can be more of a hindrance than a help.

What’s the Alternative to a Yearly Plan?

What if you focus on taking small steps each day to achieve your objectives, rather than getting bogged down in a detailed plan.

With this approach, you can stay more focused on your goals, without feeling overwhelmed by all the planning, the plans themselves and all the things that did not go according to plan. It’s easier to respond to changing circumstances more easily. It’s easier to pivot your approach and even your business as needed to take advantage of new opportunities.

Without plans to not follow through on, you won’t have the guilt or overwhelm associated with not following through on those plans.

If you tend to rebel and push back against the norm and against rigid plans, you can feel more in control over your own destiny and your own schedule when you use a flexible approach. With feeling more control over your progress and your ideas, you are free to connect with your creativity and to be more responsive to your customers.

Your creativity and innovation can flourish. Your relationships to your audience can grow. Their success can blossom with your new responsiveness. And you can still make progress towards the longer term projects you love.

You may even be happier and more satisfied with your work as you focus on the progress, not on the plans you are not following through on.

Want help setting up your year for flexibility and success? My “Don’t Plan Your Year” workshop walks you through the steps of setting yourself up for flexibility and growth with no guilt or disappointment.

Reasons Flexible Planning Can Be a Better Choice

There are so many reasons that flexible planning can be superior to rigid annual plans.

  • Life is unpredictable: No matter how well you plan, life can throw unexpected events your way. Illness, job loss, or family emergencies can derail your plans and make it difficult or impossible to achieve your goals for the year. National or global events can thwart even the best laid plans of the most organized and systematic person.
  • Creating a detailed plan can take a lot of time and effort, which may not be feasible for everyone.
  • Plans can be overwhelming. Creating a detailed plan for the year can be too much and lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. You may end up feeling like you’re constantly falling behind, which can be demotivating.
  • Everyone has different working styles. Some people thrive on structure and routine, and planning their year can help them stay focused and on track. Other people work better with a more flexible approach, with the freedom to adapt goals and plans as needed. If you’re someone who struggles with sticking to a strict plan or find that it makes you feel constrained, a more flexible approach may work better for you.
  • Goals can change: As you progress through the year, you may find that your priorities or goals change. You may discover new interests or opportunities that you hadn’t considered before. A rigid plan can make it harder to adapt to these changes and may prevent you from pursuing new opportunities that arise.
  • Success doesn’t always come from planning. While having a plan can be helpful, success comes from taking action. Yes, you can plan that action, but just planning is never enough. It’s more important to focus on taking small steps each day towards your goals, than on the planning.
  • Some people work better with a more intuitive approach, where they follow their instincts and let things unfold naturally.


While planning your year can work for many people, it’s not the best approach for everyone. You may benefit from a more flexible, intuitive approach to goal-setting, where you focus on taking small steps each day to achieve your objectives. With this approach, you can stay more focused, be more responsive and feel more connected to their work.