Every week I share a #MondayMotivation post on Instagram. The post usually reflects my mood & mindset, so some weeks the quote is centered on success or attitude, other weeks it’s more about travel and adventure, and sometimes it’s specifically geared towards a healthy lifestyle. Some weeks the quotes is 3 words long, other weeks it’s an entire paragraph that I read or heard that grabbed me and made me think.
What brought about this week’s post was me starting to iron out some details for a European vacation I have coming up in a few weeks. When it comes to travel, I love to do research beforehand and scope out things to do. But I also make sure to leave time open to just explore wherever I want and do whatever I’m in the mood for. Sometimes doing so is tough because I get super excited to see it all, but I’m a firm believer that a good balance of having it all figured out and leaving free time for open adventure is the best kind of travel mix.
And so my quote this week was about the idea of planning our lives. Some people overanalyze and overthink every aspect of their lives, and some people seem to always be unprepared and never plan for what’s next. So what’s the “right amount” of planning for optimal happiness and success?
Looking at it from a holistic health perspective, I believe that like most things, planning your life is all about balance.
Balance. That one word you hear all the time. Easy to say, difficult to put into practice. But balance really is the key to your life being lower on stress and higher on happiness.
There are many things we don’t have control over in life, but on the flip side, there are also many things that we have a lot of control over. I’m close with people who are constantly frazzled and late, and never think further than a few hours out. I’m also close with people who are neurotic about planning their lives out, and this type of person can be a nervous control freak.
While they’re on the opposite ends of the planning spectrum, the truth is, neither extreme is healthy. Neither extreme results in low stress and a joyful life. Why? Because both are lacking moderation.
If you over-plan everything you’ll be disappointed, because there ultimately will be wrenches in your master plan. Constantly over-planning also leaves little room for spontaneity. You get disconnected from how you’re feeling in the moment because you’re so worried about what’s next and if it’ll all go right. You cut yourself off from any possible magic – those moments where you’re overwhelmed with gratitude and joy at the life you’re living.
If you under-plan everything, you’re going to miss out on opportunities. You can’t focus enough to think long-term and dream up goals, and then work to fulfill them. A lot of the time with under-planners, they aren’t living up to their full potential and their lives aren’t stable – usually with everything from their bank accounts, to being able to execute the vision for what they want their lives to become.
So when it comes to planning our days, our weeks, our years, and ultimately our lives, there’s a middle ground to be lived. You can think big picture, but you’re also able to enjoy the moment and not constantly rush through life. You work hard on your goals, but you also leave room for spontaneous fun.
Here’s to a bit of planning, with a lot of magic sprinkled in.
Tell me… Do you tend to be more of an over-planner or an under-planner?
I like to plan things like trips and analyze important life situations, but I’m also pretty relaxed when it comes to having stringent life plans. Life can change so fast, so I like to go with the flow!
Fun fact: My husband & I bought our house after seeing it one time… definitely did not over-plan that one!
If you find yourself constantly stressed out by the extremes of under- or over-planning, there are many techniques that you can implement to develop a more balanced mindset – and ultimately a happier life. My health coaching program may be a good fit for you, so reach out for a free consultation if you’re interested in learning more!