Adapting to change in life and business
5 ways to plan for life’s curveballs
Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.
I’ve always had a dream to run a marathon, but something has always come in the way.
In 2020, that thing was COVID-19, and it scuppered my plans for the Paris Marathon.
But I didn’t stop dreaming…
I made another exciting plan at the start of this year. I was thrilled to be running the London Marathon for Action for Children on 2nd October, 2022.
I spent hours… days… running The Ridgeway above our village training. Amending my gait, pushing for longer runs, faster times.
For one, running a marathon is a lifelong dream of mine. And secondly, probably more importantly, I believe that it’s a tragedy that there are thousands of children living in the UK in poverty, and with the current cost of living crisis that figure is set to rise.
And then, the worst happened…
A week to the event, and after a year of gruelling training, I injured myself.
I had to withdraw, I felt terrible.
It was REALLY hard watching the London marathon, I’m not going to lie, I shed a few tears.
But then 2 weeks ago on Sunday, I decided to give myself something new to aim for.
So I registered for the Oxford half marathon…And it was great!
What an event! The crowd was phenomenal, the runners were fab and spirits were high.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future” – John F Kennedy
You can plan for your future all you want, but things will not always go your way.
I am a big believer in planning. But recently, life has taught me to also become a believer in adapting to change.
Because when you get punched in the face, you probably won’t have any other choice but to adapt and move on.
And it’s the same in business. You can spend all the time you want planning for things, but you must also accept that things will certainly not always go your way.
I’m pleased to report that I have a place in London for 2023 for Action for Children. May my dreams finally come true!
In the meantime, here are 5 things to do to become more adaptable:
1. Where possible, prepare.
There are things that are completely out of your hands, and then there are those that you can foresee happening.
Whenever you can, make sure to set a plan for when things go south.
‘Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.’
That way, it’ll be much easier to adapt to changes, especially in your business.
2. Focus on what you can control
‘Bad things happen, right? But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it.” ~Timon, Lion King
If someone gave me a hint that I’d bust my arm up and it would affect the marathon, I would have done everything to make sure that it didn’t actually happen obviously. Maybe I’d have spent the day elsewhere or been more careful…
But that’s life. It’s unpredictable, and you just never know.
If you can’t control it, then it’s not worth that much attention. Redirect your energy towards the things you actually have control over.
3. Set new targets and goals
It sucks when you’ve really been looking forward to something, and then things don’t go your way.
But, it’s the reality…
What can you do when you get punched in the face? Set a new goal. More often than not, the opportunity will arise and you’ll have a chance to get back on track.
After accepting I wouldn’t be able to do the London marathon, I chose to run, and ENJOY the Oxford Half Marathon, which was absolutely PHENOMENAL. My new target is to run the London Marathon in 2023, and I couldn’t be more excited.
The lesson here?
Don’t focus too much on what could have happened differently, but instead on achieving those same goals in the future. That’s what adapting to change is all about.
4. Try to look at the positives
Life can hit you with great curveballs.
And sometimes, the best way to deal with a situation is to remain optimistic.
Almost always, there will be a way to find humour in the situation. And if not, there will be a break in the clouds.
For me, I still have a chance to participate in the marathon next year. Meaning more time to practise, and actually this way I have a better chance of getting a great time.
Adapting to change makes you realise that there’s almost always a silver lining, if you change the lens you’re looking through.
5. Practice mindfulness
People tend to be worried about the things that happened in the past or those that they foresee happening in the future.
This makes us lose out, BIG TIME!
Life is happening, right now. Not tomorrow, and not yesterday.
So what if things didn’t go your way? Maybe they will next time, or maybe not…But what matters is what’s happening now. That’s what you really have control over. Focus on it!
In summary, life gives us all lemons. Today, it’s me, tomorrow, it’s you.
It would be false to say that we can welcome the issues that come about with a smile. We can’t. Sometimes, things just suck!
The most we can do is accept what has happened, pick up the lesson from them, and move on. And that’s where adapting to change comes in…
The 5 ways to adapt to life’s curveballs are:
- Where possible, prepare
- Focus only on what you can control
- Set new targets and goals
- Try to look at the positives
- Practice mindfulness
If you would like help to adapt to some changes in your business, get in touch. Outside ideas are on a mission to help people and businesses grow. We have a range of support that can help you.