I am someone who plans. I like to know what my social arrangements are for the next week or three. I like to book up to see plays at the theatre months in advance. I like to have lunch plans, brunch plans, going to see friends plans. I even like to plan when I am going to relax. I like to have a full diary.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with a new way of living – not planning. Not being proactive and waiting to see what comes up. Being able to fit things in at the last moment. I am writing this from my mother’s home, having decided midweek to travel the 200 odd miles to visit this weekend. Last weekend a friend and I were driving past an interesting looking pub and deciding to go in, rather than continue to the pub I knew I will like.
It’s been interesting. I have done a lot less socially – maybe my friends are used to me being the one who plans! My train ticket was more expensive because I did not book in advance. I have had more space and time to relax. I was able to say yes to some spontaneous invitations. And life has felt slightly less ‘hamster wheel’ – I had options to decide what to do at that moment.
So often we say “I’m not the sort of person who….” or “I prefer to…” and maybe sometimes we are wrong. Maybe we just haven’t given the opposite a try and we are limiting ourselves. I probably am a planner, but can now see the virtue in leaving space. Living life a new way can help to lift our brain out of the familiar ruts – and who knows what we might discover?
This weekend I bought a car after relying mainly on public transport for six years. I can justify this decision on ethical and environmental grounds but there were other more fearful reasons for not driving and owning a car. I am now a driver again – and I am curious about how my life will change as a result.
ACTION CHALLENGE: For this life coach exercise, think of the ways you could complete “I am not the sort of person who…” As many as you can, aim for 50.
For example, you might not be the sort of person who normally talks to people in the street, wears yellow, eats fish/spicy food/bland food/no meat for a week, goes to the cinema in the afternoon, flies to Paris for the weekend, challenges the boss, stays up all night, plans a big social event, spends a weekend alone, listens to classical music, switches off their mobile for the day, watches Big Brother, gets drunk, ride a motorbike, walks barefoot in the park…
And then choose some of those endings and try them! And let me know how you get on – contact me at My life coach practice.