When things don’t go as planned, simply adjust the plan

Today, I found myself incredibly frustrated.

I was travelling and visiting friends for the past two days and knew I would not have time to write or post my blog posts as part of my 30 Day Writing Challenge. So, I did what most would do and planned ahead. I wrote the posts and scheduled them. Both Day 19 and 20 were set to go out at 5 pm on their respective days, had things gone to plan.

Yet, they didn’t. The scheduling software failed (or more likely I made a mistake when setting it up) and neither of the posts went live. So, for over 2 weeks I had successfully completed my challenge only to fail because of a technological mishap. I was quite upset about this, I don’t often stick to daily challenges and I felt really committed to this one. But I failed. Right?

We like to judge our actions based on certain plans we put in place. If things don’t go to this set plan, the whole thing is a failure. We stick to the plan rigidly and let it determine our next actions. If we fail, the plan is aborted. 

That was me this morning. My plan had failed. The challenge I set myself did not go to the plan in my head. I have not lived up to my expectations and I’ve let everyone down. Sounds overly dramatic? That’s because it is. But it was my first instinct to react like that. I failed the plan hence I am a failure.

A few hours later, after contemplating what to do (abandon the challenge, post everything today, …) , I decided it wasn’t me that failed but my plan therefore I must simply adjust the plan. Life isn’t rigid, unexpected things happen all the time and you can plan everything perfectly and still have nothing go to plan. So, this plan in our head is the thing that needs to be able to adapt. We need to be flexible enough to take the plan and take into account the new variables and set a new plan. It doesn’t have to be completely new, just an adaptation of what was already there. Because when life doesn’t go to plan, the only variable we certainly have control over is the plan.

So – welcome to Day 19 of my Writing Challenge. I hope you liked it! You will certainly see the 2 scheduled posts at a later stage but I have decided to continue as if nothing happened. That’s the new plan. Seems deceptively simple? Good. All the best things are.

What do you do when things don’t go as planned?

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