Tag Archives: Hope

Principles of Purpose:  Plan Ahead

Tentatively titled Principles of Purpose: A Guide To Living Wisely, is an ongoing draft of a concept I might one day publish a book on. It’s essentially 30 Principles that I think are essential to living life wisely. Some are principles that I wished I had learned much earlier in life. Many are principles that I only learned in recovery in 2016-2017. Still other principles were ones I had applied off and on during my 56 years.

PrefaceIntroductionTrusting Your GutUse Good Judgement
ListenRegulate EmotionsSet BoundariesBe Mindful
Practice ModerationManage ExpectationsResolve ConflictPlan Ahead

“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

Yogi Berra
What Does It Mean To Plan Ahead?

According to Wikipedia, planning is “the process of thinking about the activities required to achieve a desired goal. It is the first and foremost activity to achieve desired results. It involves the creation and maintenance of a plan, such as psychological aspects that require conceptual skills.

I was never much for planning, except when I was forced to do it in the automotive business I worked in for nearly 25 years. And I was very successful in that business. When my alcoholism didn’t get in the way that is. There were many times in life when I failed on a personal level because of my lack of planning.

When I was a car salesman, at the beginning of each month we had to project how many sales we were going to do that month. And you better not overshoot the mark; the dealership was projecting their numbers based on what each salesperson stated their goal was.

I always projected based upon many factors: what month it was, what I had been trending up until now, the number of referrals I thought I could get, etc. At the beginning of each month many salespeople just meandered the dealership, waiting for an “up” (customer) to walk onto the lot. Not me. I spent the early days of each month planning on how I was going to get to my magic number.

To be successful I set goals for the number of customers I was going to call, asking for referrals. That included me planning on how many cold leads I was going to pursue from our computer lead generator. I planned my daily activities around the day to day “walk-ins” there might be on any given day. I then executed my plan and tried to stay true to it so I could avoid trying to catch up during the last week or so of any given month. That’s how I became successful at my work.

Planning Ahead In Life

Life really does require a lot of planning ahead in order to be successful. You’ve got to plan ahead in the morning so that you won’t be late for work. You have to plan ahead to make sure you pick up the kids from their activities on time. So much of our daily lives centers around planning.

doing things last minute

Doing things last minute is not the best approach to life. If you are always late to work or important functions, you probably won’t last long at your job. In college you’ve got to plan school work appropriately so that your grades don’t end up suffering.

Flying by the seat of your pants during a family vacation will probably make for a confusing time. Any time I am going to go visit someplace, or someone, I always map it out on google. That way, I know where I am going. But it also helps me to manage the timing of these visits.

Before my wife and I even stepped foot in France I had the entire trip planned out. here is a cool feature on Maps that allows you to plan and record your trip on the app. When we arrived in France, I simply went to the Maps app and started our trip. Everything went perfectly. We got to see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral all in one day! Planning ahead made our trip enjoyable because we weren’t flying by the seat of our pants. We made a plan. We executed that plan.

Not All Planning Requires Goals But All Goals Require Planning

Setting goals always requires planning. Afterall, setting a goal for yourself requires you to map out how you plan to achieve those goals. Planning to be on time for work doesn’t really require goal setting. I’m talking about life goals like saving a certain amount of money for a large expenditure. Setting a goal to get your Masters. Setting a fitness goal.

Smart Goal Setting

It’s one thing to say that you want to lose 25lbs before a special event. Setting the goal is merely the first step. How do you plan on achieving it? Planning to workout 3 times a week is a good start. Limiting the amount of processed food you eat is another good plan. Keeping a daily journal of your progress would be a good part of the plan.

Achieving goals requires an execution of a well thought out plan. Want to get ahead at work? That’s the goal. What’s your plan? Thinking about running the Boston Marathon next year? Better have a plan.

It’s super easy to set a goal: simply state what it is you want to or must achieve. Executing a plan is not the same. To plan ahead is to be creative and also to be realistic. Wanting to run the Boston Marathon next year is a great goal. Only running 2 days a week is not a good plan.

Smart Goal Setting
SpecificMeasurableAttainableRealisticTime-Bound
Be specificIs it measurable?Is it achievableAre you being realistic?Calculate the time required
Lose 25 lbs.YESYESYES3 Months

In the example above the goal is to lose 25 lbs. Is that measurable? Certainly is. Just get on the scale every few days. Is it attainable? It should be if the proper plan is executed. The goal is also realistic if enough time is given to achieve the goal. If you were to say you were going to lose 25 lbs in 30 days it would not be. However, if after researching safe weight loss goals, you determine you can lose 2 lbs per week–and you adjust your timeframe to 3 months–then the goal is realistic.

proper planning

But I digress. This is not a blog about setting goals. It’s about how you can plan ahead. Planning ahead can be as simple as getting up 15 minutes early to ensure you get to work on time. Or, it can be as complex as planning to run the Boston Marathon. Either way, don’t sabotage your efforts by being apathetic, lazy, short-sighted, or unrealistic.

Some plans do go astray. But it shouldn’t be because you failed to execute them properly. External forces can derail your plans. Just don’t let YOU be the reason why your plans fail. Don’t plan to fail ahead.

Recovery Talk: Young In Recovery

Recovery Talk is a feature where I bring to you the latest and greatest podcasts about recovery, wellness, spirituality, mental health, addiction, and living wisely.

Ashley is a young woman who has found sobriety. 19 minutes.

Recovery Today: Issue #13

Recovery Today Magazine is all about recovery and hope. It is a most enjoyable read. Chock full of hope. 6 years of issues will be brought online, using the cool new flip-book program. It reads just like a recovery magazine should read. Jump on in.

The flip-book does not work in mobile view! Visit here to enjoy all the issues online.

Please wait while flipbook is loading. For more related info, FAQs and issues please refer to DearFlip WordPress Flipbook Plugin Help documentation.

Recovery Talk: Youth And Recovery

Recovery Talk is a feature where I bring to you the latest and greatest podcasts about recovery, wellness, spirituality, mental health, addiction, and living wisely.

Scott discusses his recovery. Lots of talk about 12-step programs and what works and what doesn’t. This podcast is 48 minutes long, so maybe you want to play it in the background as you work on your computer.

Principles of Purpose:  Resolve Conflict

Tentatively titled Principles of Purpose: A Guide To Living Wisely, is an ongoing draft of a concept I might one day publish a book on. It’s essentially 30 Principles that I think are essential to living life wisely. Some are principles that I wished I had learned much earlier in life. Many are principles that I only learned in recovery in 2016-2017. Still other principles were ones I had applied off and on during my 56 years.

PrefaceIntroductionTrusting Your GutUse Good Judgement
ListenRegulate EmotionsSet BoundariesBe Mindful
Practice ModerationManage ExpectationsResolve Conflict

“Instead of suppressing conflicts, specific channels could be created to make this conflict explicit, and specific methos could be set up by which the conflict is resolved.”

Albert Low
Conflict Is Inevitable
Resolve Conflict.  By Robert Levasseur

Conflict in life is inevitable. Struggles with co-workers. Strife in a relationship. Bickering amongst siblings and other family members. Unresolved conflict can lead to a myriad of life issues: alcohol/substance abuse, physical conditions, and mental health problems as well.

Conflict can be anything from a simple disagreement or misunderstanding. Or, conflict can result in a major argument on an important subject such as finances. Whatever the conflict, leaving it unresolved can open the doorway to harboring negative feelings, resentments, escalating discord, etc.

Types and Causes of Conflict

In literature-as in life-there are 4 major conflicts:

Man vs. NatureMan vs. ManMan vs. SelfMan vs. Society
facing a conflict with external forces beyond your controlfacing a conflict between another human beingfacing a conflict within yourselffacing a conflict with the norms of society

Although these are postulated in literature, they are true in actual life as well. Working through conflict is a common theme in all great works of literature and, unless properly resolved, the conflict causes great harm to the main character(s) experiencing the conflict.

There are also 5 major areas of conflict we can experience at one time or another:

Relationship ConflictData ConflictInterest ConflictStructural ConflictValue Conflict
+miscommunication
+strong emotions
+stereotyping
+repetitive negative behavior
+lack of information
+misinformation
+differing views on data relevance
+differing interpretations
+perceived or actual conflict over interest
+procedural interests
+psychological interests
+unequal authority
+unequal control of resources
+time constraints
+different ways of life, ideology, world view, etc.
+different criteria for evaluating ideas
(Adapted from Christopher Moore, The Mediation Process, Third Ed. San Francisco (Jossey-Bass,2003)
Resolving Conflict
Click to Enlarge

There are a few steps we can take in order to resolve a conflict. Resolving conflict requires skills such as problem solving, being honest, speaking the truth, listening, forgiveness, understanding, and empathy to name a few.

  • Identify the problem
  • Identify feelings associated with conflict
  • Identify the impact of the problem
  • Decide whether to resolve conflict
  • Work for resolution of conflict

There is also a cool acronym for conflict resolution called R.E.S.O.L.V.E.

R-Reach Out–Come together with the person you are having a conflict with.
E-Engage In Conversation–Remain calm and remember to talk one at a time.
S-Seek to Solve the Problem–Agree to come up with sensible solutions you both can accept.
O-Open Up–Calmly communicate your side of the story to explain how you feel.
L-Listen Intently–listen to the other person so that you understand their point of view.
V-Voice Solutions–Brainstorm solutions to resolve your conflict together.
E-End on a Good Note–Agree to the solutions; give a compliment and shake hands.

Free Conflict Resolution Guide!
Click To Download
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