This is half of a two-part series with my friend Emily Beard from Joyfully Simple Living. In this post, Emily shares some practical advice on what to do when your plans go awry. When you finish reading, you can head over to Emily’s blog where I share some tips on changing your mindset when your plans don’t work out.
Doesn’t it just stink when you find yourself not reaching your goals? You made the plans and had the right mindset. What happened?
Maybe life got in the way and other things took priority. Maybe you felt overwhelmed and gave up.
What do you do when your plans don’t work out?
I want to share with you 3 things to do when you find yourself feeling discouraged about your plans or goals
Reevaluate Your Plans
Sometimes I find myself starting out too ambitious. I have big dreams and oftentimes that gets the best of me. There is such a thing as thinking too big. I often remind myself to take a step back and reevaluate my plans and look at where I may have missed something. Was my plan/goal realistic? Was it achievable? How long did I give myself to achieve this goal?
It is important to ask yourself these questions and have some accountability in your life – someone to help you keep your feet on the ground. Take a look at the goals you set for yourself and make some changes.
Identify Your Problem Areas
Do you find yourself getting distracted with other “fun” tasks right before you start working toward your goal? Do you often feel overwhelmed thinking about how difficult the task may be and just give up before you begin?
It is important to become aware of the things you do that make your dreams get a little further away than you wanted. Whether intentional or not, you can be engaging in activities that stunt your progress.
One thing that I like to do is to think of antecedent strategies to ensure the likelihood of my goals getting accomplished. An antecedent can be defined as any behavior or event that precedes another. When you’re talking about a goal of working out every day, changing into your workout clothes well before you plan to work out, say, that morning, is an antecedent strategy. Changing into work out clothes gets you one step closer to achieving the goal of working out that day.
Another antecedent strategy that comes to mind when I think about dieting or working out is to clean out the fridge of anything that could hinder progress.
Again, antecedent strategies are simply behaviors or events that occur before another to ensure that the following behavior will either occur or will not (working out or not eating junk food).
Start to think of some of your own antecedent strategies you can put into practice. And remember that it varies depending on the goal you have. You can be as simple or as creative as you want to be. Just make sure that it works for you!
Begin to Develop a Growth Mindset
The biggest thing to understand about when your plans don’t work out is that it is a part of life. Messing up, failing, that is OKAY! The important part is that you don’t give up. Keep going. I know it can be overwhelming and you can get discouraged. I get it.
It’s important to develop a different mindset in regards to plans – one that believes that every mistake and obstacle is meant to help you grow. Believe that every challenge is helping you become the best version of yourself. Begin to ask yourself, “What can I learn from this mistake?” or “What is this trying to teach me?” The more often you get into this mindset, the better you will be at accepting failure, adapting to changes, and accomplishing your goals.
Emily Beard is a recent graduate with a bachelor’s in psychology with experience working in the field of mental health. She blogs about topics such as self-esteem, relationships, mental health and confidence. Her blog was created to reach out to others and to inspire a life of simplicity, full of joy, love and freedom. When she is not working full time as a behavior therapist, she enjoys spending time with her family – her husband and her sweet dog, Mushu. She enjoys crafting, reading and listening to podcasts about a variety of topics including Christianity, family life, and minimalism.