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When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned – 3 Tips To Help You Deal With It.

When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned

3 Tips To Help You Deal With It.

My family and I like to fish.

More accurately, some of us LOVE to fish, a couple of family members may not care for it as much.

We are also a bit competitive. Just a tiny wee bit. Again some of us more than others.

We managed to get out for 3 weekends this summer to camp and fish. My husband, 2 youngest children, and myself. We just got home from our last trip a few hours ago.

So I am totally going to take this opportunity to brag that on all 3 trips I caught the first fish! HAHA take that suckers.

Plans Change

This final trip of the summer came at the end of a week that didn’t go as planned at all. You see, I had booked this week off back in February sometime. My day job (and myself) requires me to have my schedule planned well in advance. Once I have clients booked it is hard to move them. So when I booked the first week of September off back in February my kids were being homeschooled, I wasn’t blogging, my garden hadn’t been planted yet, and I was planning on spending the week camping, fishing, and working in my garden. Basically, I was planning on doing a whole lot of nothing. 

Fast forward 6 months, my kids are doing online synchronous learning, I am blogging, my garden is bursting at the seams, and the week I booked off probably should have been 2.

To start things off it rained, for 4 days, more rain than we have had the entire summer. Not great for getting things out of the garden.

Then, my kids had to start school in the middle of the week. My preferred camping time is in the middle of the week. Especially as homeschoolers because no one else is camping the first week of September, they are all going to school.

And then the blogging struggles, okay, this was more of a mindset issue, but regardless I did struggle. Hard.

I booked a week off so I didn’t have to work. Now I find myself with blog business stuff to get done. And absolutely no motivation to do it. UGH. Not good, this is not good, at all. 

So what is one to do when things are not going according to the plan?

Sunrise over Long Lake Alberta

#1 Relax

I use to be the type of person that would freak out when things didn’t go as planned. I mean sometimes I would really freak out.

Unexpected, last minute changes I found especially stressful.

Even little things that are not a big deal.

Driving to work, have a detour I didn’t know about beforehand, freak out.

Leaving the house on Saturday at 11 am and no one is ready to go, freak out.

Meeting Tuesday at 2 pm gets canceled last minute, freak out.

I was pretty high strung and liked things to go as planned. Why? Because I am comfortable with having a routine. Comfortable knowing what I need to do and when I need to do it. Having something unexpected happen instantly took me out of my comfort zone causing me to have a meltdown. 

Fortunately, over the years, and through having to deal with actual serious issues that have derailed more than just what I had planned for the afternoon, I have learned to deal unexpected changes and to relax.

Take some deep breaths, go for a walk, cozy down with a book for half an hour. Whatever it takes. Just relax.

As soon as you start to get stressed out your body kicks into that fight/flight/freeze sympathetic nervous system response making it damn near impossible to think like a rational human being.

When you relax it is much easier for you to look at the big picture and come up with an alternate plan.

New Boat Flag
New Flag

#2 Have a Contingency Plan

Now this one might be a bit more difficult. After all, we don’t always know what is going to happen. That being said there are things you can do to help you deal with certain situations.

When it comes to my blog for example:

  • I have a backup copy saved so if something goes missing one day I can quickly and easily recover it
  • I have pre-written articles that are pretty much ready to go if let’s say I get a stomach bug or food poisoning and don’t want to write

Having a plan in place and knowing what to do ahead of time for certain situations greatly reduces your stress. Now, this example is very basic. Right now it is just me and my laptop working away on my blog. As my business grows so will the plans I have in place to safeguard it.

Another example of a good contingency plan would be a disability or critical illness insurance policy (this link is only an example/for information, it is not an affiliate link) to cover loss of income if you get hurt or sick and are unable to work for some time. Or home insurance incase of a fire. The last thing you want to worry about in a situation like this is how you are going to pay your bills or where you will live.

If you haven’t made any contingency plans to safeguard you or your business, especially once it starts growing and making you some money you might want to talk to someone who can help you out with that. Don’t wait for something outside your control to happen before you put a plan in place. It doesn’t do you much good after the fact. 

As important as having plans in place to safeguard against possible major events you can’t plan for everything thing. Sometimes when dealing with the day-to-day stuff you just have to go with the flow.

#3 Be Flexible

How do you deal with the day-to-day stuff when it doesn’t go as planned?


This was something I had to work hard at. Sometimes I still have to work hard at it. I don’t think it comes easily for some people.

There are certainly some benefits to being flexible:

  • less stress
  • you become better at overcoming challenges
  • you get better at finding solutions faster
  • unexpected outcomes could be better than you originally thought

You might not have discovered that fabulous little coffee shop if it weren’t for the detour going to work.

The meeting was canceled, now you have time to finish that project.

Leaving the house late, this one still drives me nuts but is getting better now that kids are older and I have fewer of them at home.

At the end of the day, things still get done. Maybe not exactly how you had planned but they are done. That’s what matters.

Long Lake Alberta Canada
Long Lake, Alberta, Canada

Final Words

I am still learning to embrace the adventures, challenges, and learning opportunities that present themselves when life doesn’t go as planned. To find joy and growth in unplanned experiences that take me out of my comfort zone. 

My kids are enjoying their new learning adventure so far. It’s been 2 days, we still have 10 months to go so we will see what they have to say about it next June. My husband and I are loving the new learning adventure, less work, and less stress for us. Again it’s been 2 days.

I am about half finished processing my garden. Actually, maybe a quarter is done. Hopefully, the frost holds off for another couple of weeks.

We survived camping September long weekend. I am sure coming home Sunday instead of the holiday Monday went a long way in ensuring the success of this. Bottom line, middle of the week, weekend, it doesn’t matter. The weather was better on the weekend anyway, we caught fish, we spent time together, we had fun.

I did not get everything done on my blog that I wanted to but I got some done, and now we are at the beginning of another week. I am over that ‘vacation’ mindset and can get to work. No more procrastinating

My plan is not to have to book time off next year but if things don’t go quite according to my plans, I am without a doubt booking 2 weeks off!

Leave a Comment

picture of SharlaAnn MatyjankaHow do you handle situations that don’t go according to plans? Are you calm and collected, able to keep a level head or do you get stressed out easily?

What tips would you like to share on building a contingency plan for your business if something unexpected happens and you can’t work for a while?







14 thoughts on “When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned – 3 Tips To Help You Deal With It.”

  1. The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And if you’re like me, you’ve likely experienced this first-hand. While hoping for the best, life has a way of throwing us curveballs to knock us off track. Here are 3 tips to help you deal with life’s detours when they come your way.
    Nia Hayes – ShunCy recently posted…How to grow succulents from seedMy Profile

    1. Hello Nia,
      The best laid plans….. I haven’t heard that line in years. Yes I have had plenty of first-hand experience trying to catch curveballs. It would help to see them coming, but alas, that is not how life works.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment.
      SharlaAnn Matyjanka recently posted…5 Signs You Need A BreakMy Profile

  2. Hi SahrlaAnn,
    We live in an unpredictable world where we can expect things to go awry. And if that happens, you can change your perspective and work with a plan B. It doesn’t stop you from achieving your dreams, but it may delay. And as you stated, it’s the best time to relax and try to rethink your options. But it’s also important to stop looking back and instead keep looking forward to meeting your goal.

  3. Hi SharlaAnn, it really looks like you made the best of it! Life doesn’t go as planned and we always have to be flexible and now more than ever ready to pivot. Whether that be in our businesses, blogs or personal lives. Things change rapidly. We have to adapt. I think you did here!

  4. Hello there!
    Wonderful post and 3 GREAT tips! Sometimes the best plans that go wrong can be a surprise and new experiences come from it – a great, insightful blog post. When it comes to blogging and you’re pressed for time or not motivated, what I do is reuse a blog post already published and update it. I always save any draft posts, old posts, update one and post on my blog. It saves me time and decreases stress for me. And well I have to say I’m not a huge lover of fish – I don’t even eat fish, but I enjoy camping – I admire you!

    1. Hello Lesly,
      Thank you so much for the kind words. I think it may be awhile before I can start reusing old blog posts only because my blog isn’t that old yet, but I am looking forward to it. I can see how it can alleviate the stress. Our fishing regulations are pretty strict when it comes to what fish you can keep and I don’t like summer fish so we mainly catch and release. 😀
      Have a great week!
      SharlaAnn Matyjanka recently posted…How To Get Rich QuickMy Profile

  5. Hi SharlaAnn! I like relax and being flexible the best. Contingency plan… that’s a tough one. When I was an every day employee in leadership, I had lots of contingency plans because I was responsible for lots of people and the financial situation for the organization. Now that I’m self employed, my contingency plan when I’m home is to consider it a day off and do whatever I want to do… which is pretty much what I do every day anyway. lol

    By the way, you have one of those last names I love saying out loud… even if it’s possible I’m mispronouncing it.
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted…7 Blogging Beliefs You Interpreted WronglyMy Profile

    1. Hi Mitch, I’m going to rock “relax and being flexible” one day! Won’t say which day, but someday.

      Contingency plans are important to me, life experiences and all that. Also probably why I’m not rocking the “relax and being flexible”. LOL

      As for the last name, the j is silent. So it really should be Matyanka but that wouldn’t be as fun.
      Thanks for stopping by.

      SharlaAnn Matyjanka recently posted…1 Awesome Image Compression ToolMy Profile

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