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Are you a proactive or reactive person?

Personally, I’ve always been a more reactive person and as the first step to being more proactive I’m taking ownership of that. I know that I’m not organized and my brain works in weird ways that have me jumping all over the place – not an excuse, just an observation at this point – but I’ve decided that for the coming year I’m going to be much more proactive, think more like a CEO and make things happen for me.

Proactive people strive to be organized as much as possible and always take accountability and ownership. They always see failure as an opportunity to learn and do better. Their behaviors and actions are a conscious choice as a direct result of their values or morals.

Proactive people also use other people as inspiration but compare it to their values before they react and hardly feel dependent on others. They are confident and believe they have what it takes to get the job done, and they never wait for success to come; they make it come to them. They act and never avoid it or make excuses. With these attributes, it’s obvious to see why being more proactive leads to more success.

Reactive people, on the other hand, tend to go about life unprepared and unplanned. They wait around until things happen and then decide to do something or not. They are unclear on their goals and intentions and often use their feelings and conditions as excuses to not get work done and are often driven by their feelings and emotions.

For example, they commonly use excuses like “I can’t run today because it’s raining” or “I can’t do this thing until this happens.” They are more likely to blame others and hardly take full accountability for their actions or lack of effort. They also tend to build their lives around other people’s emotions, making them feel more dependent and reliant on others.

Here are 3 tips for being more proactive in your planning:

Tip #1 – Actively search out ways to improve

Research shows that people who look for things to do rather than wait to be told are more likely to see success. As a creative soulpreneur, you don’t have the luxury of someone else telling you what needs to be done, and so being more proactive for yourself is a necessity.  

You need to understand that it is your responsibility and only yours to take action both in the setting of your goals and the achieving of them. Find more ways to educate yourself and don’t skip opportunities that allow you to improve or invest in training. Don’t wait around for change to happen or for the stars to align perfectly before you start taking steps to achieve your goals!

Tip #2 – Understand Your Core Values and Be Clear On Your Goals

Instead of writing your goals out and then never looking at them again, set up weekly self-evaluations and highlight what you believe in and hope to strive for.  When you’re planning out your year make sure you take time to assess every action against your values and your goals so that you always stay on track. I like to use digital notebooks* for this because I can pop them into my iPad and have everything handy in one spot

It’s so easy to get lost reacting to all the new things that show up in our world – every day there are always new offers being put in front of you – that sometimes we forget about being more proactive and doing the things we know we need to be doing to move forward.

Tip #3 – Be Open to Change

I’m not very good at dealing with change, but we all know it’s a fact of life. Learning to anticipate problems and being proactive around change will help you to plan better and be able to react to change in a more positive way.

Change and stepping out of your comfort zones are crucial to personal and professional growth. Long-term success relies on your ability to adapt and change as needed, and this also needs to be built into your planning.

Being more proactive is all about finding what you need to do to get the things you want done and taking the necessary actions. Make sure any planning you do is focused on what you need to achieve your goals, instead of reacting to outside influences. You are the one in charge of your life and the more proactive you can be with both the planning and the doing, the more chance you will have of achieving your goals.

*Note: This post includes affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission should you make a purchase.

About the Author

Ruth is self-styled creative soulpreneur who loves that she gets to play with words and pictures for a living. She started her first email newsletter in 1997 and has never looked back. Between creating printables and courses, she publishes a daily newsletter, loves to golf and walk on the beach and is teaching herself how to do hand-lettering and doodle art.

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