Comfort Zone Busters: Break Free From Your Schedule & Plan

break-free-from-planning

Stepping outside of your comfort zone is a huge growth opportunity. When I write about personal growth, getting uncomfortable is one of the main recommendations I will always have. We simply don’t grow when we are stuck in a bubble filled with comfort.

...you miss out on amazing things because they don't fit into your #schedule... Click To Tweet

That bubble can easily be your daily schedule. While we need daily routines and normalcy to fall back on when things get out of whack, breaking free from your schedule can also be a very positive thing. Sometimes, your schedule becomes so rigid, you miss out on amazing things because they don’t fit into your schedule.

In addition to your schedule, we humans love to plan and sometimes, we need to break free from our plan. We make plans for the future and get this idea of the perfect plan for our next month, year, five years or even ten years.

You may be setting goals, which is a good thing, but some of the goals you may have might be a bit out of your control. A few examples include:

  • I will be married by age 25
  • I will have a family by age 30
  • I will be financially stable by the end of the year
  • I will have a successful blog and quit my job by the end of the month

While you may really want to be married by age 25 and have a family by age 30, these are goals you simply cannot control. You don’t want to just marry someone because you want to cross a goal off your list and no matter how much we think we are in charge of having babies, we are not the ones in charge of the miracle of life.

You do have some control over the second two on your list, but it may not be truly possible for you to be financially stable by the end of just one year or have a blog making enough cash to quit your job in a month. These are great goals, but need to be adjusted when it comes to the time line.

Stretching ourselves with our #plans and #goals is a good thing... Click To Tweet

Stretching ourselves with our plans and goals is a good thing; in most cases. However, if we set goals and plans for the future we simply cannot achieve, we can also crush our self-confidence.

Breaking free from scheduling and planning may be the answer for those looking to step outside of their comfort zone. Sometimes, you just need to let what’s going to happen, happen and worry about controlling what you can control.

So many things are completely outside of our control. When we set up a daily schedule and we plan for the future, taking a step back and realizing, we can only control certain things may be the best way we can become uncomfortable.

For the Rigid Scheduler

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I love to think I fit into this category, but I don’t. If I planned every minute of my day, I’d be very miserable. However, some people swear by this and while it works for some, you still need some flexibility within your schedule.

Often, the #bestmoments in life are simply not scheduled... Click To Tweet

Often, the best moments in life are simply not scheduled. My wife and I received a huge dose of this as we first started to travel full time. We started in a Class A RV and had plans to travel up to Maine and back down to Florida. We never made it back down to Florida in the RV.

However, because our plans changed, we spent a few months living with family and grew closer to them. This opportunity was never on our radar and certainly not a part of our plans for the year.

It happened again with our Travel Trailer, which we planned to have for a few years before upgrading to a larger option. However, we sold it much sooner and now we are living in AirBnB rentals. Our plans didn’t involve going anywhere to the west of the Mississippi River, but here we are out west enjoying some incredible mountain views.

incredible-mountain-view

As travelers, we started out trying to use a rather rigid plan. We have a network of campgrounds we can stay in for 21 days at a time without paying a dime outside of our membership costs. This meant, we would plan most of our traveling around these campgrounds and, often, we needed to book things months in advance in order to make sure we got a spot.

...we had to be flexible as #travel is a fluid thing... Click To Tweet

We learned within the first few months that we had to be flexible as travel is a fluid thing. You can plan the next few years of your life, but you cannot predict the future. When you’re too rigid with your plans, or even your daily schedule, it may cost you amazing moments you could have never planned for.

If you love to stick to a strict schedule, it may be hard to create some flexibility within it. However, this is a great way to step outside of your comfort zone. When you do this, you’ll open yourself up to grow and you may just discover something amazing.

What if you came home from work and instead of getting into your normal routine, you spent time with your children or your spouse? What if the entire family went on a spontaneous adventure?

I can remember my dad waking me up super early before school one day and the next thing I know, we are going fishing instead of me going to school. This happened a few times when I was younger and those are some of my best memories.

Breaking free from your #schedule doesn't mean that the entire world will fall apart... Click To Tweet

Breaking free from your schedule doesn’t mean that the entire world will fall apart. Sometimes, things need to be shaken up a bit. Take a day and do something different. Have an adventure with your family. Do something you’ve always wanted to do, but your schedule has never allowed.

Treat Your Plan as a Template

Break Free From Planning

You’d never use a template for designing a website as the full design. While you could, this isn’t something many do because adding functionality through plugins is necessary. In addition, you also need to customize the colors, images and many other aspects. While the template is still a part of the design, it has been enhanced.

When you treat a plan as a template, you give yourself the #flexibility... Click To Tweet

When you treat a plan as a template, you give yourself the flexibility to adjust along the way. Our goals, our dreams and our plans need to be fluid, not static. When they become static, we are just crossing items off a to-do list.

Some travelers I have read about will actually wake up their family in the middle of the night to take a picture with a state sign just because they are passing through. This is an example of a static plan. Maybe they have a goal of getting a picture with every state sign in the United States.

While that’s a fine goal, should it really count if you didn’t spend any time there? When we use that goal as a template, we can start to design around it and plan to actually spend time in the states we go to, which will make for better memories and those amazing moments we are all chasing.

When we set a goal or make a plan, we have to be prepared to adjust. Sometimes, you get to the airport and you find out your flight has been delayed. This doesn’t mean the world has fallen apart and you will never get to your destination, but it does mean you have to adjust.

Templates are flexible. They allow you to use your creativity and adjust around the original plan to make it new, when necessary.

When you make a plan that isn't flexible, you're setting yourself up for disappointment... Click To Tweet

When you make a plan that isn’t flexible, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Rarely does everything go according to plan. More commonly, things outside of your control cause you to adjust your plan.

Anybody that’s married and went through the process of planning a wedding should understand this. When my wife and I got married, so many things had to be adjusted, some at the very last minute. We spent so many hours planning only to realize plans have to be flexible or you won’t have the day you were hoping for.

Choose a Couple Drivers to Guide your Plans

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What good is a plan if there’s no good reason behind the plan? Is it really a good plan if you just want to do something for the sake of doing it?

It’s better to have a couple of drivers to guide your plans and help you create that template. This goes for your schedule, too.

When you have solid drivers in place, you have a reason bigger than the goal or the plan for doing what you have set out to do. These drivers can be many things, such as glorifying God, wanting to start a family, freedom, relationships, etc.

My wife and I realized this one recently and we had to step outside of our comfort zone and grow. We sold the travel trailer we were traveling in because we were not allowing the right things to drive our decisions to travel. I talk more about this in my post here, but I will give you the very short version.

Since day one, we’ve wanted to get married, start a family and get out of debt. We got married, which only strengthened our desire for the other two goals. However, we are also travelers at heart with an incredible curiosity to see the world.

We really have three goals; start a family, get out of debt and see the world. These three goals were not what were guiding our decision making, however. We chose to travel by RV because we wanted the freedom to go where we pleased. That was something we realized was easier said than done. The same went with the travel trailer.

Neither of these homes was truly set up to welcome a baby into the world, which should have been one of our drivers. While our budget went down to help us pay off some debt, at first, the lack of proper space to complete our regular work caused the productivity to go down.

We made the decision to adjust our travel template because we put the proper drivers back in place. Our major goals remain the same, but now they are guiding us instead of the next destination or the next upgrade guiding us.

This happens to many of us and it happens often. We can get so focused on the next thing we need and use statements, such as “If I could just get this one thing or just get to this place in my life, everything will be fine.”

We, as #Christians, add in the driver of #settinggoals that #glorifyGod... Click To Tweet

Instead of waiting until you get to a certain place (this was literal for us) or you get into a certain situation, let your major goals become your drivers. We, as Christians, add in the driver of setting goals that glorify God. Both starting a family and getting out of debt are glorifying to God and seeing His creation of the world is also rather glorifying to God.

When your template has solid drivers and you stick to those drivers, you will get to where you are trying to go, whether it all goes 100% according to plan (not likely) or not.

Become Uncomfortable by Breaking Free

breaking-free

Whether your daily schedule has become your comfort zone or your yearly plan has become your comfort zone, it’s time to break free. You need to get uncomfortable, even if you revert back to your schedule or plan after.

Choose a day you'd never choose, in the middle of the week and go do something #unexpected.... Click To Tweet

Choose a day you’d never choose, in the middle of the week and go do something unexpected. Heck, it could be a half day. If you keep a rigid schedule, those you work with will probably think you’ve gone crazy, which is perfect. When others think we’ve gone crazy, it usually means we are stepping outside our comfort zone.

If you struggle with a plan not going perfectly, start looking at your plans as template. Allow for flexibility and you might be surprised what you discover.

My wife and I would have never discovered so much beauty in Wisconsin this year had we stuck to our original plan made before we started to travel. We thought Wisconsin, Michigan and a few others states found close to our home state would be a bit boring for us, but they were more than a pleasant surprise.

Sometimes, those amazing moments we chase and those things that become vivid memories are just one step outside of the daily schedule or one step to the right of the plan we had in place.

Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable. Break free from your schedule and from your plan regularly. While the daily schedule gives you something comfortable to return to, it needs to be shaken up every now and again.

When you create a template for the next five years, broken down into one year and then into each month, you’re setting yourself up for success. The template allows for flexibility and you’ll get to dictate how it changes along the way. Of course, things outside of your control may have something to say, too.

Have you made a plan you had to adjust? Tell me about your experience in the comments section.

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