You’re someone who likes to make plans. But you know (from personal experience) that life doesn’t always go as planned, especially not life as a military wife. So, you want to know how to be more flexible–with yourself, your schedule, the kids, the people around you, last-minute changes, differing personalities and opinions. Well, you’re in the right place. As a planner who has learned to be more flexible, I know what it takes to get better at coping with life changes and transitions. And *spoiler alert* it doesn’t mean you have to stop planning! So, let’s dive into how to be more flexible in life.
How Can You Be Flexible in Life When You’re a Planner?
Imagine you’re holding on to something really tightly–so much so that your knuckles are turning white. That’s you holding on to your plans. And learning how to be more flexible doesn’t mean letting go of that thing you’re holding onto so tightly. It simply means loosening your grip just enough that your plans can twist and adjust.
The first step in learning how to be more flexible is realizing that flexibility in life doesn’t mean letting go of your plans, ideas, or opinions completely. You don’t have to abandon your plans and try to become a ready-for-anything, spur-of-the-moment, spontaneous person. If you’re a planner, you’re a planner through and through. And learning how to be easy going is less about letting go of your grip and more about loosening up just a bit–just enough to where you’re able to adjust your plans and still enjoy your life.
3 Tips for Learning How to Be More Flexible in Life
Now you know that you don’t have to abandon your plans to become more flexible. But you also can’t have every aspect of your life rigidly planned and expect nothing to change. Life happens, and coping with life changes and transitions is essential. So, here are three tips to help you do that.
1. Adjust How You Think About Changed Plans
Have you ever felt like your plans were “thrown out the window?” Or that a change in plans caused your entire day to “be shot?” Has an unexpected adjustment in your plans ever “ruined everything?”
I know I’ve felt undone by a change of plans, especially as a military family. As you know, when our husbands are training or deployed, plans change quickly and a lot. Sometimes, it feels like you can’t or shouldn’t even try to make plans because the military will just “mess them up.”
So, at first, I thought the solution to being more easy going was to stop making plans. I tried to be someone who didn’t want or need a plan, and it felt terrible. It wasn’t the solution.
Finally, in my quest to learn how to be more flexible in life as a military wife, I discovered a single sentence that has helped me immensely: “I get to make plans, but I’m always ready to make new plans.”
You like plans, and that’s a great piece of you. But if you want to be more flexible, it’s time to adjust how you think about changed plans. Rather than letting them derail your entire day, consider them an opportunity to make a new plan (which you’re an expert at doing). You can always have a plan as long as you’re willing to adjust or make a new one if necessary.
2. Focus on the Plans that Didn’t Change
Learning how to be more flexible in life requires you to adjust your attitude and empower yourself to focus on what you can control. It’s so easy to focus on all the plans that didn’t pan out the way you wanted. But what about the plans that didn’t get changed? The ones that went off without a hitch?
Things look pretty grim when your filter is set only to focus on plans that had to be changed, dropped, or adjusted. If you choose to focus on the plans that worked great and things that are in your control, coping with life changes and transitions becomes much easier.
3. Be Careful Not to Feel Bad for Yourself
Sometimes when plans don’t go as planned, it feels like someone else “won” or “got their way.” But to become more flexible, it’s important not to view flexibility and plans as a win-lose, right-wrong situation. Flexibility is about empowering yourself to make plans, maintaining control over what you can, and choosing to adjust when needed. Not because someone or something is making you but because you’re becoming an expert at being flexible (just like you’re an expert planner).
Learn How to Be Easy Going When Life isn’t Going Easy
Life as a military wife is challenging. Some days, it feels like every single plan needs adjusting. However, as you begin to manage your mindset and empower yourself to take control of your thoughts, you’ll experience so much more peace and joy in the chaos.
As a resilience coach for military wives, my goal is to help you make life as a military wife more enjoyable. I help women navigate all aspects of military life, from how to feel less stressed to ways to feel more confident to how to prepare for deployment reintegration. If you want someone in your corner to help you learn to cope with life changes and transitions, let’s talk. Schedule a mini coaching session with me today!
Interested in diving into more content on this topic? Listen to Summer How-to Series: How to Be More Flexible.
SIMPLY RESILIENT NEWSLETTER
Want to receive my monthly mental health boost? Subscribe here to get my Simply Resilient newsletter full of helpful tips and inspiration, along with exclusive offers and tons of free content, all wrapped up and delivered monthly to your inbox