When Planning Fails

Recently, my three year old daughter decided she wanted to go visit her grandparents.

That was fine, we’d recently moved and were only about half an hour away from them. So my wife packed up a few things, and away they went, planning on being home that evening. I get a call that evening from my wife, and my daughter decided to stay the night. Still no problem, that would give me time to get a few things done at home, and they’d have a longer visit.

Fast forward another five days, and they’re still not home. My daughter is having the time of her life, and simply refuses to leave. I managed to get a ride there with someone, and have been back and forth for the last few days, spending some time there and taking care of things at home.

So what’s the point of this personal digression?

No matter how good your plans, something can always come along and send you in a completely different direction. Planning is important, because it enables you to make progress toward goals, to track your progress, and to decide what is and isn’t working. But don’t be so invested in a plan that you can’t adapt to unexpected events.

In blogging, many of these unexpected events come from changes to Google’s algorithm, which make nearly everything you were previously doing useless, or worse. You have to be ready to adapt to the changing rules, and keep your focus on providing value to your readers.

Will my family ever come home? I’m hoping, but I’m not planning on it.

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