“Man Plans, and God Laughs” | Yet plans and journals do matter

“Man plans, and God laughs”

Entertaining while echoing that anything can happen despite the most detailed planning.

Here’s why I advocate that plans and journals work well alongside action when it comes to professional and personal progress.

Capture_Man plans


Google “should I plan?”, or “what’s the best plan for…?” and you will net a sizeable haul of quotes which will countenance what we inherently prefer to do anyway.

Whether we like to plan or whether we prefer to dive into action, here’s why a mix of both helps us get what we want in an iterative, knowledgeable and measureable way.

Doers – and the art of action

Some people see themselves as doers. They do not need a plan. A pragmatic and iterative approach will prevail. Any degree of progress will outweigh any inaction or the procrastination of perfection planning.

Thinkers – and the art of getting a framework in place

At the other end of the spectrum there are people who will find it impossible to take the first step without a detailed plan. There will be a list of actions, with key players, stakeholders and beneficiaries. The laurel wreath of perfection will be set upon a clear chiseled embodiment of personified outcomes.

Whichever you are on the spectrum, there is a place for both and there are benefits to be had in using both.


The best thing you can do with a plan is to not over-think it.

People get caught up on the personal accountability and the minutiae of each step toward the end goal.

The short cut I ask people to remember is to only focus on the outcome. Rather than listing steps, list the outcome you want, or key milestones you need to pass.

Your plan will be shorter. the interim steps inherently known to you (mostly). Where gaps reveal themselves, it is easier to insert what needs to be known or who could help find the answer.

That’s far more positive and manageable. Something that could be too detailed gets lost in itself and burdensome. When things don’t go as planned it mitigates the blame game; either with yourself or others.

JOURNALING, or call it a diary.

This could be a notes section added to a plan or it could be something that is held much more to the side and personal.

Journaling allows us to narrate and to understand the purpose of what we do and think.

When actions may appear to take us off course when times become difficult, the narrative in our journal will allow for us to recall why we started, to understand what has happened, what we appreciate as a result and to bank that experience for another time. For there will be another time.

We proceed knowing more.


When we think we know it all and that we can plan for every eventuality, then we have under-estimated how little we know about life and its labyrinth of turns.

Every labyrinth needs either light to direct our way or a thread to help us re-trace our steps.

The plan is the light. The journal is the thread.

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michael laffey life coach, life coach sussex, michael laffey, east sussex, brighton, hove, worthing, lancing, lewes, eastbourne