Planning a better future
Planning a better future

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Planning a better future

1 Making decisions

Obviously, you have to be realistic about what is possible, because life imposes restrictions on us all, but many people don’t achieve all that they’re capable of because they’re not clear about what they want to do and how to make decisions. It’s important to aim for what you want, while being aware of what’s actually achievable. One way to consider the range of options is to look at your goals alongside your personal restrictions and resources.

Managing your situation

Whenever you’re in a situation you’re not happy with, you have four basic options. It can be useful to think about the short, medium and long term when you consider them.

For example, you may be clear that you want to change jobs in the long term, but in the short term you might be able to ‘change yourself’ to make things easier, while embarking on some training that will provide you with a relevant qualification in the medium term.

  • Work for change: try to change the situation to make it closer to what you want it to be. If you’ve tried to do this and have been unsuccessful, you’re left with the other three options.
  • Change yourself: examine your own attitudes, behaviour, ambitions, skills, lifestyle and so on, and consider how your situation might improve if you changed any of those.
  • Live with it: this means much more than ‘putting up with it’. You need a strategy to minimise the aspects of the situation that you don’t like and maximise those you do. For example, you might put more energy into activities outside your job if you’re dissatisfied at work, change the way you work so that it reduces your contact with troublesome elements, or spend more time doing the things you enjoy and cutting down those you don’t.
  • Leave: find a constructive way to move on or out of the situation, job, relationship or problem.

Activity 2

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Consider the four options listed above. Note down how each of them may help you to move on from your current undesirable situation in the short, medium and long term.

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