Proactive or Reactive? Attitude Impacts Your Life & Health

Picture1When you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? Are you stressed? Do you know you have a lot of fires to put out and aren’t sure where to begin? Do you spend your time reacting to situations that you encounter or can you peer far enough into the future to see a problem or situation arising and are then able to be proactive in formulating your response?

Did you know that when you constantly “react” to life, to situations, to crises, you and your body are operating in a high state of tension and stress and it drains your energy. Naturally you can’t anticipate every bump in the road or every monkey wrench thrown into your plans, becoming as proactive to those situations that you know are inevitable — a speech at a networking event, putting together a proposal for a new client, a family outing with the inlaws there are myriad situations in which being proactive is beneficial to all involved.

How can you anticipate and prepare for events? How can you maintain control of the outcomes or circumstances?  There are several measures you can take in both your life and in business that can help you amp up performance and productivity and help you better cope with curve balls that are thrown your way. Believe me, I know about curve balls.

Prior to April 9, 2012 I was merrily moving along in life and business, working far too many hours, setting my own schedule and thinking life was grand. On April 10 that all changed when I got a cancer diagnosis. What happened then made it hard for me to be proactive, I felt like I was constantly reacting to the demands of doctor’s visits and treatments placed on me. After a short time, the stress, in addition to knowing I had cancer, became too much. I sat down with my daily to-do list and whittled it down. I cut back on many of the non essential activities I’d been involved in and focused on those tasks essential to keeping my business viable and was then able to concentrate on life and my health. I accepted the fact that my diagnosis meant endless rounds of tests, doctors, surgeries, recoveries, etc. and knew that if I wanted to survive that I had to just let go, let the doctor’s do their work, let my body adapt and look ahead.

Here are some of the things I did to get myself through it all; maybe they’ll help you:

  1. You are responsible for what happens during your day. Turn off interruptions, divert distractions and eliminate tasks that drain your energy
  2. Be purposeful in your daily goals. Whatever you choose, whether it’s completing your to-do list or to volunteering for your favorite charity,  you have made a proactive choice for your day. Being purposeful in your actions will help you to achieve your objectives daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Never underestimate the power of eating that elephant one bite at a time.
  3. I can’t stress enough the importance of organization — from your desk top to your purse or briefcase to the way in which you approach work projects. Writing down action steps will keep you on track and help you be more organized and productive. Check in with yourself and your progress toward completion of goals and your overall organization.

Strive to be more proactive and ponder how it could have a positive impact on your dealings with others and with particular life situations. What can you do to be more proactive and more in charge?

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