It may have worked for Dr. Venkman and the crew, but loving your plan is a great way to get yourself into a lot of trouble.
The permaculture design process starts with the creation of a clear and concise goal – something that elegantly answers the question “What are we trying to do here?” Your goal is what is distilled from asking why as many times as you can tolerate.
Once you settle on a goal, you enter in on the process of planning. You create a strategy whereby you try to achieve that goal. This is also a stage where you can get into a lot of trouble. One easy way to get into trouble is to fall in love with the plan you’ve created. You see, the problem is that a plan is just an idea. And let’s face it, a lot of ideas are just plain bad. Loving a bad idea makes reality your adversary, and you don’t want that. Trust me. Love for a bad plan will have you wasting energy and resources. It will sap your time, money and strength, only to leave you with disappointment.
Don’t panic. There is a way to avoid the pitfalls of love. Once you have crafted your goal to the point that it is a concise statement reflecting what you really want, you then set out to make “an imperfect plan.” Seriously, call it this, even if only to yourself. We all have imperfect knowledge and imperfect information. What can we hope to create from this? Imperfect plans. Acknowledge that the plan is imperfect. If you admit up front that it is imperfect, you won’t be hesitant to make changes in the face of conflicting feedback.