lack of Planning

I am sure we have all heard the statement ” your lack of planning doesn’t constitute and emergency on my part”. I know my kids have heard me say this a million times, and sometimes they listen and sometimes not. Now take this to the world outside the home and it’s amazing how many people need to hear this. It seems that the more we get into the instant gratification of 1 day shipping, or food delivery in 30 min or less lifestyle we forget that it’s not all about us. Example: toilet paper, I mean really did people not have toilet paper before March when the pandemic really started to get into full swing? I am a planner, I like to have things lined up and ready to go as far in advance as they can be. This is probably due to the job I have. As a vet tech you really never know if there is going to be an emergency that is walking through your doors so you have to have things ready. A clean table to put the animal on, blood machines that are working properly with blood work supplies in stock. A x-ray machine that is turned on and ready for use. Emergency supplies i.e medications, IV catheters, fluid bags and lines etc close at hand. This mentality has leaked into my personal life as well, which helps keep the stress level low, but with all this being said, it took me a long time to realize that planning really is a necessity and I am far from perfect when it comes to getting it right.

A few years back a friend of mine brought up menus. Sounds simple enough, you take a piece of paper, and you write out the dinner menu for the week. My friend was even nice enough to give me a cute menu board that I could hang on the wall. I fought tooth and nail to start doing this, I figured I didn’t have time, I thought oh man this is so stupid, wouldn’t it be easier to just get up each morning and just figure it out? I admit my logic really was not there, looking back I can see I must have been delirious or just plain stubborn. It meant changing the way I did things and I didn’t see my process needing to be changed. Then one Sunday probably after another week of “what are we having for dinner” frustrations I sat down and did a menu. Let me tell you this simple task changed my week. Each day I knew what to have out and when I got home from work I was able to just make dinner…..game changer. My lack of planning before made dinner time more stressful because let’s face it no one really wants to decide what to eat. By planning beforehand the stress of deciding daily was gone.

We have all met that person, heck I have been that person. The one that doesn’t see that the lack of planning on their part can cause stress levels to rise for the people they associate with. I have had clients who notice their pet has one more pill left of a medication that they just can’t be without, my kids whose shampoo literally just ran out right after the trip to the store was done, a project that just can’t be completed until a certain object is ordered and it’s due in a day. Can you already feel your stress level rising? So how do we fix the lack of planning that other’s have? To be honest, you can’t but you can control the way you react to their lack. Only you can control the way you let other’s affect your mood. The following are some questions you can ask yourself, be honest with your answers they may shed some light about the kind of person you are and how you deal with the stress that others can put on you.

  • Can you change the person?
  • Can you stop yourself from getting upset?
  • What are some ways that you can make sure that you plan ahead more so that you don’t cause stress to the people you associate with?
  • Are you able to tell somebody no, without feeling guilty about it?
  • Knowing that there will be times when you have to help someone who isn’t that great of a planner would you be able to do it without getting upset? Why? Why not?
  • Do you get easily affected by the people around you?
  • What are some ways you can keep from getting stressed out?

Some of these questions are hard to answer. I struggle with telling people no and then when I do I feel guilty. A mindset has to change, and by doing so the guilt that can come with saying no will start to dissipate. It’s a work in progress for sure, but the result may surprise you. My kids used to have this habit of waiting till the last minute to do almost anything including doing their chores. One Saturday we had a birthday party to go to, I had let the kids know that in order for us to go to the party their chores had to be done an hour before the party started. The party started at 1pm and by 11:30 they still hadn’t started the chores. I reminded them of the agreement to no avail. By the time 12pm came around they realized they hadn’t done what they were told to do. Que the begging. They pleaded and begged to still be able to go to the party and even promised to do their chores right after the party. The answer I gave them was a firm no. They had been given plenty of time to do the jobs and instead they did their own thing and missed the deadline. We didn’t go to the party that day. What changed after that though was this: they saw I meant business and when another deadline was given they made sure to meet it. Now if only we could do this with everyone. We can change ourselves though, we can work hard to not be “that person”, we can take responsibility for our actions, and attitude. We can see that planning can actually make it so our lives are a little less stressful, and that right there is a very good thing. Until next time remember:

Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part, be responsible for the way you plan the different aspects of your life.

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