Planning Ahead: What To Do When Things Change
Planning ahead even though circumstances are likely to change is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Doing so gives you a sense of direction and purpose, and it could even help you to weather change as it comes. Explore the benefits of planning and what to do when things change.
Benefits Of Planning
Planning ahead can seem like a chore at times, especially if you’re busy or you think that life is too uncertain to bother making plans. Rather than giving in to the temptation to avoid doing it altogether, let the benefits of planning convince you to do plot the way forward.
Reduced Stress – In an article for HuffPost, productivity coach Karen Trepte wrote that reduced stress is one of the benefits of planning your days, weeks, and months. Planning gives you a sense of control of your daily life.
Wasting Less Time And Money – Another benefit of having a good plan is that it saves you time and money. Having a sense of direction and flow in your life means you waste less time trying to find things to do. A good plan can also guide your spending and saving.
Being Here Now –The time management that comes with effective planning means you can stay in the moment for longer.
Those benefits are great, but what happens when life threatens to cancel our plans? Let’s explore what to do when life surprises you with changing circumstances.
How To Respond To Change
Planning ahead is great, but what do you do when things change? Dr Margie Warrell shared a few practical tips in an article for Forbes. All Warrell’s insights can stand you in good stead when your body and brain react instinctively in one of our escape rooms.
1. Stop And Breathe – Sudden change in the face of your plans can trigger a primitive fear response in which your chest tightens and your stomach churns. Take a few deep, slow breaths to help you let go of the anxiety you feel in that moment. Stop and breathe slowly, deeply, and regularly whenever you start feel anxious again.
2. Be Kind To Yourself – Be gentle with yourself if circumstances derail your plans and you find yourself in an unplanned situation. Give yourself time and space to get to grips with the situation, and then find ways to adjust your original plans to suit the new circumstances.
3. Acknowledge Your Fear Of The Unknown – A primitive part of our brain, known as the lizard brain, is oriented toward survival, so it’s always on the lookout for potential threats. That part of our brain swings into action when life threatens to scupper our plans, so much so that you may be tempted to throw in the towel. Hang in there – your lizard brain will settle down soon enough.
4. See Your Loss As A Win – Human beings have a “pre-programmed” loss aversion bias, which means we focus on what we stand to lose when faced with circumstances and events. That might be our natural focus, but it’s not the only way we can see situations. Consciously choose to focus on what you can gain from a situation. This will help you find reasons to celebrate change.