The last three or four years of my life have brought about many changes. I blogged about change at the beginning of this year and I honestly think that change has been wonderful for me. But when I look into how much my life has changed, I can say that in those moments it has been a little scary. Getting married, creating a home with someone, having a baby.. these are all such huge life changes! So while all of these are wonderful things, the fear of the unknown can sometimes cause some anxiety. So, what do I do to ease my anxiety? I make a list! I make a plan! Just seeing a clear-cut plan drafted out in-front of me helps me to say "ok April, it's all under control." Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am a planner. It's a huge part of my personality and while it can get on the nerves of some ( I just say those are disorganized people LOL) it has helped me in so many areas of my life. I was always a good student in school and people tend to think that I am "really smart". It's funny because whenever we are going to play a game that involved puzzles or trivia, people will say something like "You have to be on my team" because they think I am this intelligent person. Not to say that I don't consider myself smart but I am no more intelligent than anyone else. I simply PLAN ahead and stay organized. When the professor is lecturing and other students are taking notes in their notebooks, I am writing down key points on index cards so that I can use them to study ahead of time. Why fill pages and pages of a notebook and make flash cards one week before the exam? I say, fill out those flash cards NOW and use them to refer to during the week before the next class. It isn't about how "smart" you are, it's about how organized you are. In college, I had a professor who knew I typed up outlines of each lecture and he would ask me if he could use them to prepare exams for the class!
I love this quote I read on goal setting blog -- "By failing to plan, you almost certainly fall into the trap of reacting to situations as they come along rather than dealing with priorities in a controlled, systematic manner"
This really summed it up for me because I am a very EMOTIONAL person. I would rather not react to situations as they come along because chances are that in the heat of the moment, I won't react the right way. Coming up with a plan ahead of time helps me to stay focused, consider all the options and even when things do not go according to my plan, I can always make adjustments while having the plan to refer back to.
So how do I come up with my plans? Well, I went to Business school so I tend to follow the SWOT analysis format. I look at the situation and analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This helps to maximize my opportunities by utilizing my strengths in a particular situation. I used this approach while planning my wedding, planning a move to a new place and even planning for the new baby to become a part of our lives. It isn't as intense planning in my personal life but I absolutely stick to it when planning in my career and education.
Okay, Okay so do I sound crazy enough for you? I love to make lists! And even more than that, I love to draw out word webs, charts, and control information in general. What can I say? I'm a planning Ninja!
This isn't to say that I am not capable of just kicking back and "going with the flow".... I love to do this while on vacation! LOL. I don't create itineraries or map out each and every activity we will do on vacation. Less is more actually... I like to relax pool side or order in room service. But in real life, I just need to have a plan!
Maybe I need to just go with the flow more... maybe one day I will... ha.. probably not =)