Plans are good, plans are very essential, plans should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound). But the truth is that oftentimes your plans might not work out well. Regardless if you are a believer or not, there is a good proverb:
- Do you want to make God laugh? Make a plan.
You can spend precious hours planning, and the life will still prove you that you cannot control all the factors. Life simply goes the way it goes, and as you are not the only living being out there, it’s hard to predict all the possible scenarios. And it’s better this way.
It could happen that all goes as you predicted but a little thing changes the whole vision and when it does, you might need to change your plans because the ones you have set wouldn’t fit in the situation at hand. You can’t control what will happen in the next hour or the next minute or even the next second and so most of our plans are based on predictions which can change in a switch.
You might be the type that loves having everything well laid out from the clothes in your closet to the books on your shelf and even to the things you will do the next day. Well, that’s great but you must understand that you can’t control everything.
What matters most is that when situations arise and affects your plans, you must know how to manage it. You must know how to stand up from the situation and not dwell on spilled milk.
Should I Be Stressed About My Uncontrolled Plans?
Let me start by answering the question: No, you shouldn’t. Most times when our plans don’t go as we want, people tend to give up but really, giving up is a waste of time. When your plans seem to go out of hands, instead of worrying and stressing yourself –which wouldn’t solve anything, think of a strategy and make up for that plan.
Let me give you an example: you have an appointment by 8 am and you woke up around 7:30 am. Instead of lamenting about how you woke up late and how you have lost an opportunity, you can hurriedly get into the bathroom, forgo your breakfast and rush for your appointment. Before you leave your house, you can try to send a text message to the person you are going to meet with.
Plans get out of hands many times since nobody is perfect, so don’t waste your time stressing yourself over this, when you could be happy and relaxed instead.. It might not be easy, so here are some tips that can help you not to stress yourself over plans you cannot control:
Develop a healthy optimistic attitude
There’s this secret in life that; what you think about constantly is what comes to you. You know how they say it: “what goes around definitely comes back around”. It is called the law of attraction.
An optimistic attitude keeps you in a zone of positivity in the sense that you are not worrying if something will go in a particular way but you are hopeful that it does.
Think positively, speak positively and always stay hopeful in every situation. Prepare for the worst-case scenario but stay hopeful that the best will come back to you. This way, even when things don’t go your way, you can easily accept it and move forward.
Understand your environment
I mentioned earlier that you can’t control everything but well, there are some things you can control. You should understand your environment and know the things you can influence. When a situation beyond your control happens and you have to find an alternative route, you can depend upon the things you can influence and use them to turn the situation around.
Knowing that there are some things you can exert your influence upon helps you to stay calm in a situation when things are not working your way. It also helps you to stay in charge when things start to look funny. It’s like you know what you have authority over. So instead of stressing yourself, exert that authority but this cannot be possible if you don’t know what you have authority over. Simple isn’t it?
Plan and then plan again (Have a back-up plan)
It goes this way; always have a plan B so that you have somewhere to go when plan A doesn’t work out. Don’t be ready to give up but have a back-up plan so that you have something to go back to when your plans go wrong.
You know what a back-up plan does, it eliminates the chances of you lamenting over the plan A that didn’t work out. This is something that is common to many entrepreneurs.
Ilene Gordon even said in an interview with the New York Times that plan A doesn’t work all the time because of so many factors and it’s always good to have a plan B. So, you see that it might not always be rosy but your plan B can get you covered.
Learn to stay calm and think
This becomes easier when you understand that you can’t control everything in life. The solution to not stressing yourself is to simply not stress yourself at all. Do whatever you need to calm yourself on a daily bases, to better handle complications in the future: regular sport, sex, eating well and slowly or even a transcendental mediation! Yes, yes, it’s for people like you.
Once you understand that your plans might not work out, you would develop an attitude whereby you always stay calm and think on how best to solve your problems. If you don’t think and come up with a solution, a problem starts to look bigger than it should and then worrying begins.
Once you are able to think and find a solution, you are able to stop worry from raising its head. Think of a solution immediately you see a problem so you don’t slip into the zone of confusion. People begin to get stressed and worried when they are confused than any other time.
Make lists and pinpoint the challenge
Sometimes you don’t even know where things went wrong. In this type of situation, you might need to make a list of the problems at hand so that you can trace the problems back to the root and pinpoint what the challenge is. Making lists helps you to know the real issue to be addressed and also to set your priorities right. With lists, you know what is urgent, important and what is not.
Make the right plans and make it the right way
The reason why we have our plans not going the way we planned is because we didn’t plan well to start with. Plans should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Sometimes we make plans that are not realistic and then we fret when they don’t happen.
Well, it wasn’t going to happen anyway. So, save yourself the stress and plan the right way. If you make your plans well, there won’t be much to stress yourself about. The way not to worry is to not create room for worry at all. Sometimes, you might need to consult people to help you with making your plans.
Have plans to manage your stress
You might not be able to completely escape from worry when your plans don’t work out but there are some things you can do to relief stress. Meditation, breathing exercises, laughter, time management, physical movements and good eating habits are some things that can help. These things are what you can engage yourself in when you sense that you are getting worked up.
Don’t wait for stress or worry to get the upper hand before you start acting. You can also talk to someone you trust about those plans. There is always someone who is ready to help.
What Do I Do About My Plans Not Going My Way?
You only live once, so enjoy this life you have. Always follow up and follow through with your plans. You can’t because of unforeseen circumstances decide not to make plans. Just as I mentioned earlier, it is very important to make plans and to set goals. Track your progress and follow up with every step you take towards achieving your plans or your goals.
When you follow up with your plans, you will know immediately when things go wrong and you can fix those problems before they become a nuisance. This is one of the best ways you can fix the problem of plans getting out of hands. Don’t be ready to give up but decide that you will follow through with your plans, come what may.
Stay focused and be ready to deal with any issue. Adapt to any situation you have to face but remember that the goal is that you fulfill your dreams.
Lastly, when you make plans, try to get people (the right people you can trust) to know about it and help you with it. Don’t always assume that you can do it alone. The likelihood of achieving your plans when you work with the right people is higher than when you try to do it alone.
A lot of things would happen, life would want to change your plans but you are the captain of your life and you determine what happens to a large extent. Be determined to always win and never give up. When circumstances affect your plans, always remember that it is not worth it to worry or fret or be disturbed. Be in charge, stay calm, think and solve your problems.