These are the exact words my husband told me. He said, “Babe, from now on you are not allowed to plan, and I wont take no for an answer. Stop planning.” Crazy right?! I had heard i before but I guess I either decided to prove him wrong or gave in; either way, this is one battle that I am so incredibly happy I lost. Planning not to plan has brought me more joy then planning out every second of every hour ever did.
I used to drive to work and pass time by decided what I would do and what order I would do things in after work. Before I even started the day I had my whole day full! No wonder I was feeling completely and totally worn out! If someone asked me if I had plans I would almost always think to myself; is that honestly a real question? Of course I have plans! Life cannot work if you do not have a plan! I would plan out my days where at first I had nothing planned because I couldn’t stand not having the day full. It only took one month of my husband working a late shift and not being home to stop my plans for me to completely and utterly drain myself. In that month, want to know how many times I binge watched Netflix, saw a friend, took time to journal, or blogg, or get this; did nothing? Not. Once. I never did because I never planned it in, and heaven forbid I went against my plans ( something that it still very hard for me). Want to know what I did the first week of not planning anything after work? I watched way to many episodes of Jane the Virgin (don’t judge people ) , saw friends, sat outside and journaled, and still had time to cook and eat dinner and relax. I had no idea how much I could do, how many more people I could serve, and how much happier I would be by simply not planning. I finally had time for myself as well as others. I had more meaningful conversations and more times to take on the blessings of each day. It is crazy how many more blessings you think of when you’re not constantly planning your next move.
So, lesson one: turns out that planning had become a horrible habit. I honestly thought that something crazy horrible would happen if I did not have a plan. When my husband told me that I was not allowed to plan out anything I had to ask him what I would even do when I got home? I couldn’t just not do anything are you nuts? You guys, I had to be told that it was totally fine to literally pace up and down the hallway if I felt like it to decide to do nothing and sit back on the couch. It was FINE. You know what is even crazier? I did just that and get this- everything was freaking fine. WHAT.
It took me a couple of weeks to really nail down not planning. I would still and sometimes still do plan my day out in the morning and have to consciously stop myself and think of something else. I found out that by not planning I got more done. I have to give myself some credit sometimes; because plan or no plan I am an do-er at heart. I will get things done that absolutely need to get done even if I didn’t plan it because that is how I am. Obviously there are things that must be planned. Vacations, meetings, appointments, but I challenge you to take everything else off. You may be surprised and how much time you actually do have, and how many things will still get done even if it’s not planned.
Lesson two: I learned that I can say no and that nothing bad actually happens if you change your plan. Things are still good to go people! Nothing has burned down, I did not forget to eat or pay bills or take out the dog. I worked out and studied. I actually saw friends more, and felt like I could help and serve others more because doing so did not need to fit into any sort of plan!
Ahh the freedom of not planning.
Try it. Give me your feedback. I am curious to see how others respond to the challenge of planning to not plan. You got this!
Written By: JoJo Ossmen