Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

Let me tell you how I came up with the title for this post. I was browsing at the meat section of a supermarket with my daughter when we noticed the attendants not-so silently arguing about something written on a  sheet of white paper. It contained the proverb “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail” in big bold, black letters. They noticed me smiling and asked me what I thought it meant. I explained and walked away with a kilo of beautifully cut pork ribs five minutes later.

  failing to plan is planning to fail


That encounter inspired me to make a plan for my business. With a pen and paper in hand, I locked myself inside my room and made a list of all of the things that I wanted to accomplish for 2012. There were so many! An affiliate site for wii remotes, a business web site for my virtual assistant services, improving the blog, guest blogging, and more. Thinking about it is overwhelming me!


The Alligator Syndrome

Having worked with many entrepreneurs and coaches, I know that the overwhlem I’m feeling is common among business owners. In his e-book “The Alligator Syndrome,”  business coach and consultant Mike Hutchins wrote that overwhelm happens when one is confronted with too many choices and too much information. Overwhelm leads to poor time management, inability to focus, and abysmal productivity.  IT causes business owners to not meet their goals and remain stuck in rut. In short, overwhelm leads to FAILURE.

Now, having tasted the bitter pill of failure in the past, I knew that I had to do something to climb over the alligators and get back on track to reach my goal. I need to get organized. I need to make a list. I need to make a plan.


Planning With a Calendar

I took out my Belle De Jour Planner (see image below) and started pencilling events on the January calendar. I also started planning posts for my two major blogs and assigning days when I need to publish those posts. Thank goodness I used a pencil because I had to move  posts around to make sure that they fit within the social media theme of the week.

belle de jour  2012 planner

After I was done with my calendar, I realized that I needed another one just for social media. I wanted a calendar with all the holidays and special months noted because think that those holidays will be good topics for social media posts. I looked at several downloadable monthly calendars until I found one that has some major US holidays on it. However, it did not have special months so I decided to improve on it. I added special months being celebrated in January in the US as well as some special days from other countries.  The end result is what I call my social media content calendar.

social media content calendar

I presently use this calendar to plan my clients’ social media content. I then forward the filled up calendar to them with instructions to print for easy reference. I also printed a copy of their calendars and put it in specific client folders so that I can make changes even when I am not online. My own calendar, meanwhile, was stapled to my planner so I always have it in my bag.


Download the Social Media Content Calendar for Free

If you want a copy of this calendar, you’re free to download it. Just fill up the form below and the calendar for January will be delivered to your inbox. The one for February will be emailed to you next week and after that  the calendar for March will be emailed on February 15th, and so on and so forth. I hope you like this social media content calendar and share it with your network. Just click the buttons below!

NOTE: The calendar has been updated and instead of the word calendar you see above, you will now get an easy-to-edit spreadsheet.  (See image below.)  Please note that when you sign up for the calendar, you will receive updates from me from time to time.



social media calendar



  1. One of my most favorite quotes!

    Candace Davenport ~ Little Books with a Big Message

  2. Dear Thevirtualonlineassistant,
    Interesting Post, Do you want to reach the most community members to gain support for your planning effort? Do you need a platform for your plan that can easily be updated and illustrate planning concepts? Have you experienced a failed plan because decision makers could not fully understand the purpose of the plan? If you answered yes, then you need tools to facilitate communication during and after plan creation.
    Catch you again soon!

  3. great info! thanks

  4. This is really great!

    like how you quote, “Mike Hutchins”

    I’m sharing this!

  5. I really love this….I will do the same…thanks VA,.thanks Ms. Nica for sharing
    alex lipata recently posted..ItoAngKwentoKo (MyStoryline): BREAKING THROUGHMy Profile

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