Wellness — March 18, 2021 at 11:43 am

The Power of Prep

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Whether its gearing up for a New Year with resolutions, setting SMART business goals, practicing for a presentation, studying for a test, contingency planning, meal prep, or setting the coffee maker the night before, people everywhere understand there’s power in preparation.

For some it looks like a color-coded and labelled world of lists and organization that brings utter satisfaction and focus, for others it’s an uphill battle of tedium that seems to have no identifiable start, leaving them with their head in their hands silently asking, “Is there no end?”

The good news is that if you’re the latter (or fall somewhere in between) there are strategies you can learn, but like any skill, the end brain game is practice makes permanent. Yes, I said it, it’s time to practice your preparedness. But you don’t have to listen to me, Zig Ziglar said it best when he coined the phrase, “Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.”

Time is relative when it comes to preparedness, and time is also money as they say, but many still cling to this notion that they don’t have the time for planning. We all want to be successful at our endeavors, right? So, you MAKE the time, and give your practice the undivided attention that it deserves. Believe me, no one who saved themselves serious headaches and setbacks by being prepared ever said, “Wow, that planning ahead sure was a waste of time.”

So, it’s quite simple really, the more you practice preparing, the less you panic under pressure. This matters on a physiological level too, because it’s our body’s very chemical, and delayed stress response that inhibits our brain’s ability to actually retrieve information. Yes, by not planning you actually hinder your body.  

Start at square one and identify what you want to or are preparing for. Keep it simple as you’re learning and stick to one issue or goal you’re facing at a time, which will help curb overwhelm. Then it’s about taking a systemized approach and creating one of my personal favs…lists. Now there’s magic in lists, and that’s not just my lust for them talking. Studies show that putting pen to paper with a goal (even on the back of a used envelope) makes achieving it that much more likely, but lists are also a powerful way to set down some of that mental baggage we all carry in today’s frenzied world.

Don’t want to re-invent the wheel or don’t know where to start? You can find any number of planners through an online search but my favorite these days is the Legend Planner, made specifically to support goal setting and achievement in a handful of core areas in an individual’s life.

Oh, sorry is pen and paper too old-school for you? Then check your iPhone’s Notes app or download apps like Google Keep for your android device and pin a list directly to your home screen. Again, maybe you’re an organizational over-achiever, so take it up a technological notch with a productivity app.

Can we plan for everything? No, I’m pretty sure life shows us that on the daily, but there’s no good reason why we each can’t get a little piece of the success pie, you just need to prioritize time for planning and the results will speak for themselves.

By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer & Graphic Designer

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