‘P is for … Planning’

Last year I found myself in the Coonawarra (fabulous wine region in South Australia’s south east) at a forum at which Derrick McManus was a guest speaker. I’d never heard of Derrick before but it turns out he had a fairly interesting story to tell. In 1994 he was involved in the biggest siege in Australia’s history in which he was shot 14 times. His talk was about how through careful planning through his STAR force training he survived the ordeal.

Derrick had some great tips to share and I spent the majority of the 4 hour drive back to Adelaide thinking about how if I’d been better prepared for certain ‘ordeals’ I’d experienced in my life I might have handled them better at the time.

From what Derrick had said, the main reason he survived and didn’t die from his injuries (which technically he really should have) was because he had adequately planned and prepared for being ‘hit.’ Instead of being shot, panicking and dying, he was able to remain calm, regulate his breathing (and consequently his blood flow) which is what saved him from bleeding to death. I wondered how teachers could use planning to help themselves in managing their wellbeing. I’ll put some quotes here from Derrick’s session and you can use them as you best see fit:

“Plan what you will do in the worst case scenario.”

“If we can just relax in the midst of adversity we can see more possibilities.”

“Light heartedness makes a massive difference to outcome.”

“Don’t disregard risk or importance.”

I wonder how you might be able to apply these statements to planning your 2013. What is your plan for the worst case scenario? (this might apply to a personal or professional issue). How do you relax? How are you light hearted? What are the risks of your work? How can you minimise their impact?

With adequate planning we are able to survive the most challenging situations – this doesn’t mean catastrophising and drawing negative energy our way but is more about being prepared for likely scenarios and knowing how you’ll manage them.

Now on a completely different tangent but still on the topic of planning, I’ve discovered the Leonie Dawson 2013 life planners. Leonie is passionate about helping other women (sorry fellas) achieve their dreams. As I’ve never consciously put my intentions and/or plans into writing but have of course suggested that others do so because I know and understand the merit of solidifying intentions, I’ve given her workbooks a crack this year and found completing them an enjoyable, therapeutic and most significantly thought provoking process. If you’re feeling like you need a framework to base some planning for 2013 on I recommend these: cheap and cheery, a little bit out there and most importantly a great tool for making a plan about what you’d like to achieve this year.


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