How to stay on track when things don’t go to plan

Updated: Jan 21

This time a year ago, changed plans were a big trigger for me. I liked to know exactly who, what, when, where and how about everything, so that my anxiety couldn’t give me a reason to worry. I soon learned how unhealthy and unhelpful that coping mechanism was, especially in day-to-day life, so creating a plan of what to do when things didn’t go to plan was a must.


What I didn’t realise, until experiencing the year of 2020, is how important it was to have that for the real world. For when you oversleep your alarm, didn’t do something you wanted to get done, or when things just didn’t go to plan through no fault of your own. Having a thought process to rely on in order to move through the disappointment and get back on track is vital. So after a number of you requesting to find out more, here’s my four step process.


Feeling the feelings

The unexpected change when a plan doesn’t go as planned can understandably cause anxiety and stress.


It’s a normal human reaction.


You’re allowed to feel frustrated or annoyed or even disappointed (all valid feelings).


Rather than bottling it up (which helps absolutely no one – including yourself), feel the feelings. Write them down. Voice note them. Sing them. Scream them into a pillow. Put on some teenage heartbreak music and interpretively dance them. Whatever allows you and your body and mind to process them.


Step back

It’s moments like these that are so important to look after yourself. Run a bath and soak. Take some space and breathe. Meditate. Exercise. Do whatever it is you need to do in order to safely step back from the situation and give yourself some well earned space to practise self-care.


Ponder

The art of thinking about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion.


Is there anything you can do about the situation?


Is there a way to do what you wanted to do in a different way?


Can you, as Ross says...?


Take action

If you answered yes, make a plan straight away. Putting pen to paper, thumb to iPhone, or thought to movement will help you get out of that frustrated, annoyed, upset place and move into a place of action, drive and motivation. Put it in your calendar, write it on a post-it note, do whatever you need to do to make your plan happen. Take action, and you’re back on track.


If you said no, then repeat step one and two, and know it will be okay.

It might not be rocket science, but it’s helped me let go of what I can’t control, and know that I’ll be okay whatever comes my way to change my plans. I hope it helps and does the same for you x

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