Planning makes days easier

Lighthouse column
By: Angela Ponivas Special to The News Messenger
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It’s a New Year, and when a new year begins, I feel renewed hope on the inside for what the year may hold. However, I also understand that I can make choices to help it be a better year than the one before. Recently, I read a book that provided a detailed description of “paradise” and I thought to myself, how could I create “paradise” in my life today? I made a list of items that I identify with “paradise” and the list included peace, calm, beauty, love, quality relationships and more. Then I tried to identify how I could create more peace and calm in my life and how I could bring more beauty and love and quality relationships into each and every day. To create more peace and calm, I decided that if I planned my time and my objectives better, I could reduce some of the anxiety I feel on the inside and create greater calm for myself. As I looked back at the last year, I realized that I was often racing from one activity to another during the day. I often didn’t take time for myself by not planning meals, exercise and social time. All my other objectives seemed to consume my being as they swirled around in my head, preventing me from truly being present and making me anxious on the inside because I feared I might “drop a ball.” Finally, I took note of the many times I had an assignment dropped on me last minute and how this increased my stress level. As my stress level increased, I dropped assignments on others and became impatient. Therefore, lack of planning has a ripple effect. Though I will never change others and I will always have to flow with last-minute changes, I do know that I can strive to be the difference and perhaps as I plan better, others around me will “catch the momentum” and begin to plan better for themselves. Change begins with me, and I also believe that as I change for the positive, there will be a ripple effect and others will become more accountable. As a friend of mine stated, “Your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency.” I love that as an accountability statement. If we all had this attitude, perhaps we would set better boundaries with those who do not plan well and perhaps we would strive to not create emergencies for others. Further, I’ve heard it said, “If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.” Projects are never done as well as they could be, if they are done in a hurry, so even our own successfulness depends on good planning. In a time when it feels like there is so much contention in the world, I believe it is the little matters, such as planning and organization, which can bring tremendous peace and calm within us and with each other. Angela Ponivas is the Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center’s executive director. Her phone is 645-3300  and Web site is