How to Stay Present While Planning for Your Future

Last week, I put a question out on Instagram and asked for my audience to respond. The responses that I received really got my wheels turning. I knew the second the responses started coming in that I wanted to turn this into a blog post for all of you.

The question was: How do you find balance between staying present and letting life happen as it is meant to and planning and preparing for your future?

Before I share the answers I received, I want to give a little bit of background as to why this question has been on my mind lately.

I asked this question because as someone who has been a notoriously independent and driven person, I am learning how to rely on God and others more in my life. I am really good at planning, visioning and thinking about where I want to go. When I need to “sit still” and just be, I get all squirmy. But, when I think about the kind of life I want to lead, I don’t want to spend all of my time in the future. I want to be here, in my life, right now!

In spirit of learning to ask for help and rely on others, I turned to my Instagram friends and following. Here are their responses:

I love to dream big but I’m not an overly passionate planner. I may just let life happen to me a little TOO much! I operate well on loose plans with lots of room to course correct. - Sara of Sara Schultz Co

I LOVE both aspects. My favorite thing to do is to set goals for 7day, 7weeks, 7months and 7years. This allows me to plan and dream BIG but also gives me the flexibility when life happens or I want to change plans I can modify my short term goals. I also try to plan certain aspects of my life but also let other parts of my life be spontaneous like my day to day plans, my meals, my workouts, etc. - Kailey of From Fatso to Fitspo

Now, isn’t that the ever-evolving question! I feel like going back to my reason, my why, my deep motivation, allows me to balance the life experience/planning. When I feel rooted, I feel that choices get easier. Right now, I’m really into voice recordings as you might free-flow journal. Speaking vs. writing has been very powerful! - Alex of SuccessfWhole

Knowing your limits of what you can control for your future and what you cannot immediately control can help ground you back to the present. - Mariah of @Mariahlswan

I love to plan some parts of my life like it’s good to have a general outline and plan, but I think it’s important to be mindful where we are in life and accept it for what it is- I think we take too much time fighting where we are and being content in that. - Anne of Mindfulness in the Midwest

I don’t look at my work email on my phone and I just generally suck at my phone and am totally okay with that if it means that I’m focused on what I’m doing and who I’m with in the moment. - Jordan of @jdaniaxo

My gosh this is the ultimate question. I feel like every day is a different answer - sometimes it’s just getting by, sometimes it’s soaking in the present, and other days I realize “well jeez I need to get ahead on that!” And put a fire on the planning side of things. It's an ebb and flow for me based on my personal state and needs. - Carly of @carlylavigne

For me...I’d say setting realistic achievable goals for the future, and taking it day by day. WIth having your own business, people romanticize the daily grind. Yes grinding on your business is fulfilling...especially when you see growth...but you have to let yourself have fun on your journey! Spending time with family and friends is key to building a happy future! - Kelly of Peachyopie

I live each day fully by planning my days as best as I can being productive but always making time for my husband, family + friends. Sometimes my plans fall thru and I just go with it. For the future, my husband and I speak in broader terms like where we would like to vacation & financial goals it helps having a broad vision for the way future but not feeling overwhelmed by needing to figure that out “today”. Praying is the best tho. - Liliana of La La Chica

I have a pretty clear picture of how I want life & my career to look like in the future. However if I focus too much on it, I work myself into a tizzy by getting into sort of a negative, victim mindset. (bad for my mental health). These are things that are presently helping me be present while also keeping future plans close 1.) intentionally spending time in the Word to remind myself who God really is 2.) viewing present challenges as blessings/keeping a growth mindset 3.) planning FUN and connecting with people I genuinely like being with. - Bridget of @bsigette2

My puppies, husband and yoga keep me grounded / focused on the present. Husband is more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants kind of guy...and I’m a planner so marrying your opposite helps. When I’m home snuggling with my pups nothing else in life matters. They are a good anxiety-reliever and have helped to turn a type-A gal into more of a relaxed gal. Yoga is a passion that I’ve developed over the last couple of years and sets such a great mental foundation for being present. Planning has to happen when it comes to work, projects, travel, and budgets/money. I think the most important thing overall is to be mindful and aware of how you feel. Know that it’s OK and GOOD to say “no” sometimes. Take “me” time. And have regular check-ins with yourself. For me, yoga is a good mental check in. - Sara of @sassstrom

I find peace by trusting in fate and the timing of events while knowing I am an active participant in creating my future. When it feels overwhelming I am one to take deep, yoga breaths and ask myself “where have I been, where am I going?” - Beth of @bethdayeverrr

I’m a walking contradiction. I over plan the way things should be in my head and I’m a suffering perfectionist which becomes very painful for me. I also fly by the seat of my pants in many aspects of my life and business. It’s confusing. But I have found that I’ve robbed myself of happiness in so many areas by telling myself what should be happening. Sometimes things happen and it’s wonderful and sometimes they don’t. - Katie of queenikathleeni

Vision boards! I love to make a vision board so I can physically go through the process of “planning” my goals. Then, I try to focus on the day ahead of me knowing that by slowly working each day towards my goals I’ll eventually reach my visions on my board. - Molly of The Pretty Now

What about you? How do you find balance between staying present and letting life happen as it is meant to and planning and preparing for your future?