It’s no secret that this year has offered more simultaneous fluctuations than what many people have experienced in modern history. The work, home, and social elements of our lives shifted at once, as a collective.
Change is nothing new; it’s an integral component to the human experience. Yet sometimes the phenomenon of things not working out the way we planned, throws us for a loop. We may be able to accept, in theory, that things are constantly changing. However, this doesn’t always prepare us for the reality of the change itself.
So how can we approach change with more preparedness? The key might lie in your level of intentionality. To be intentional is to be an active participant in the outcome of an action. This is not to say that your participation will control the end result, but rather that it’s better to be proactive than reactive.
“Leave yourself room to be flexible where you need to.”
Doing this is real time is relatively simple. As you start your work day, kid’s study session, or conversation, be mindful of how you’re approaching the interaction. Try to free yourself from rigidity, and don’t tie yourself to one particular outcome. For example, if you plan to finish a road trip within a three hour timeframe, recognize at the start that you can’t control the possibility of traffic or unexpected construction work on the road. If you approach the trip with intentionality, you’re taking ownership of the way you will react to possible changes. If you acknowledge early that there are variables beyond your control, you’ll be more emotionally prepared for any potential changes.
This structure can apply to each aspect of your life, including goal setting. There’s an ideal balance in which you encourage yourself to stay consistent and to reach your goals 100% of the time, while also leaving room for the unpredictable nature of life. Leave yourself room to be flexible where you need to.
Though we can’t control change, or its frequency in our lives, we can lessen part of the emotional blow that comes from the shock of things not going according to plan. Leading with intentionality and proactiveness might be the key to feeling empowered throughout your day, regardless of the small changes you encounter.