According to Merriam-Webster, being proactive means ‘to act in anticipation of future problems, needs or changes’. They also define mitigate as follows, ‘make less severe or painful’. These two words work in sync to help reduce the amount of stress in our lives. When you’re proactive, you mitigate the stress of being unprepared.
Unfortunately, we can’t anticipate every problem, need or change that can happen in our lives. However, when a situation comes up that triggers thoughts that make you think that you can be better prepared next time, act on that thought.
The key to this line of thinking is to take an action. Gandhi said, “You may never know what results come of your actions, but if you do nothing, there will be no results.” If you take no action before a situation comes up, you will not be prepared to avoid the result of the stress that will consequently arise.
The list below shows some tips to be proactive. Take a look to see which of these applies to you. Think of others that may not be on this list. The more situations you can be proactive in, the less stress you will incur in your life.
- Put all birthdays, anniversaries or any other significant dates on a calendar, either paper or digital.
- Keep a supply of gifts on hand for those unexpected occasions that pop up.
- Keep a supply of greeting cards for those unexpected occasions that pop up.
- Use online bill pay for monthly payments.
- Schedule everything!
- Contribute to a health savings account (HSA) annually to pay for medical bills & prescriptions throughout the year.
- Determine what you’re going to wear the night before school or work.
- Pack lunches, backpacks & totes for school and work the night before.
- Make regular checkups with your healthcare professionals for all family members.
- Homeowners – perform regular maintenance tasks on all infrastructure components.
- Vehicle owners – perform regular maintenance tasks on all vehicles.
- Create a landing/launching pad near the door for all those items you need to leave the house.
- Determine coping mechanisms to deal with stress that arises in unexpected situations.
What other tips do you use to be proactive?