Meaningful Living

6 Reasons Why A Once Successful Plan Can Fail

I guess it is safe to say everyone knows how important it is to have a plan, but how often do we remind ourselves that a once successful plan can fail?

What worked when you had baby number one might not work when you have baby number two… and yes, I have heard mums confirm this.

What worked when you had ‘interview A’ 3 years ago might not work if you use the same method for interview B. You know why? Companies are different even if they fall under the same line of business. Therefore, you must always prepare differently for each project you embark on.

Have you ever flopped at a project because you thought you already have a plan and did not need to re-strategise?

Do some of us get accustomed to a particular strategy and since it works all the time, we hardly ever have a plan b?

This was my plight some months back and even though I did not lose money, I am quite displeased at the fact that I did not meet my target. One of the goals I looked forward to achieving this year was completing the A to Z Writing Challenge in April 2018.

I did not complete the challenge and in my defence, life happened (as usual). I also made some mistakes which clearly affected the plans I had.

Basically, this topic stems from the fact that I completed the A to Z Challenge last year but probably did not make enough plans for this year’s challenge.

For the purpose of this article, I will be using my experience to lay out relatable reasons why a once successful plan can fail.

Being Over Confident.

Being confident is good. Infact, if your project involves public speaking or oral interviews, you are better off exuding confidence while at it.

However, what’s worse is if your confidence leads you to be laidback and stops you from looking at the drawing board a second time or before delivery date. It is true that you get familiar to a project you carry out all the time but even the most intelligent people know how important it is to plan or rehearse again.


  • Do not allow confidence stop you from carrying out your due diligence.
  • Do not be laidback and forget to prepare.
  • Always remember to plan for loopholes and unforeseen situations.
  • Do not always assume a once successful plan will work for a new project.

Not Planning Well.

Anything worth doing is worth doing well, right?

So why do we plan and not cover all the necessary areas? Planning because that’s what the book says is fruitless if you intend to leave some stones unturned.


  • Always have THE plan.
  • Always have a plan B just in case of uncertainties.
  • Plan ahead of time.
  • Write out your plan in categories.
  • Have a proper schedule. Include date and time.
  • Cover all research areas.
  • Have the desired result in mind.
  • Do not give room for assumptions.
  • Involve people if needed.
  • Give room to make quick correction.
  • Cross check resources required including time.

Change in Routine.

If you plan to use an old strategy for a new project, have you also considered your routine may have changed since the last time you embarked on that project?

Daily routines are bound to change once in a while and this automatically puts a strain on already made plans. Sometimes, it could be the economy or availability of resources.

Last year, I was on my annual leave for some part of the A to Z Writing Challenge, so I had a bit of time to schedule some post and research. This year, I was at work and even had to work late hours sometimes.

My routine changed this year and it affected my once successful plan from yielding positive results.


  • Always plan using a new daily routine/schedule.
  • Be ready to adjust your plan daily.
  • Delegate when necessary.
  • Again, practise time management


Distractions have always been the biggest enemy and if they are not managed properly, our plans can be disrupted. From using our phones to faffing on social media, attending social event or even binge watching youtube videos, these vices have all posed as a big distraction one way or the other.

For me, my biggest distraction during the A to Z 2018 Writing Challenge was watching the Big Brother Nigeria Show. This was not the case last year so I could easily get back home from work and settle in to write an article. However, the beginning of this year’s writing challenge fell right at the crux of the show, I was always distracted and this affected a once successful plan.

Distractions vary to different people, find what takes up your time and try to reduce it.


  • Identify your biggest distraction.
  • If you must indulge in these distractions, make sure it does not affect the time meant for productivity.
  • Practise proper Time Management.
  • Stay away from anything or anyone that distracts you until your project is completed.

Related: 6 Top Distractions: Ways To Reduce It’s Negative Effect

No Motivation/ Lack of Enthusiasm.

You know how excited you get at your first experience of everything? You certainly need that drive for your next project.

A once successful plan can fail especially if you do not have the same motivation/enthusiasm for the new project. A number of factors that can dampen your enthusiasm and they include not having experienced people on the team, lack of resources, not having


  • Make sure you have the required resources just like the last time.
  • Make sure your have a team that is competent and willing to put in enough work.

No Active Accountability Partner.

Ever heard of team work makes the dream work, that is what an accountability partner does for you. Whether it is one person or a group of people, you accountability partner pushes you to keep going when you feel like giving up.

Depending on the type of project you are embarking on, the thought that you have someone you are accountable to helps you retain the tempo and actually complete the race.

It also helps to have a good leader that can make decisions and actively supervise a project.

Human nature naturally pushes you to stop things halfway when you get bored especially if there is no one to ask you questions or call you to order. If you are one to excel better with an accountability partner, lack of one would affect your plans.

In my case, I had a number of bloggers I signed up with during the writing challenge last year. We supported each other during the challenge, shared and commented on our posts and shared ideas. This year, I did not have accountability partners and this affected my writing plan.

Planning is the bedrock of any project and it important that every project has it’s unique blueprint. It is not safe to assume one plan can work for identical projects especially when factors like routine, economy, time, resources and manpower come into play.

Share your thoughts

How do you achieve a successful plan?

I will love to read from you



  • Debs

    Insightful post. I agree with you on this and so far, having an accountable partner has always worked so well for me. I have been able to keep in track by having someone else track my speed, goals and dedication.

  • Jasmin

    These are great points! I absolutely agree and we actually have a saying for it in Finnish; ”hyvin suunniteltu on puoliksi tehty” (in English: well planned it’s half made).

  • Beth Berger

    My planning process is all about breaking down a goal into more manageable chunks. I can say — I’m going to write a book or I’m going to get this new client but without a clear path towards achieving that goal I know it will never come to fruition. Also, back up plans on back up plans!

  • Whitney Kutch

    I always have to sit down and identify my distractions if I feel like I’m getting off track. Sometimes I get so excited about other opportunities that I lose focus! Thanks for some great tips.

  • Thomas

    Very informative post. My favorite is to have a plan B. Sometimes no matter how prepared you are your original plan might not work. I run into that a lot.

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