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Find Your Zen: Be Proactive, Not Reactive

When someone says something hurtful, we are quick to react. Our instincts take over. We let our emotions get the best of us. We don’t try to understand the other side. We often allow our hurt feelings to influence our actions.

However, they often guide us in the wrong direction. We become defensive. We are unable to understand how someone could say something so hurtful. We hold grudges.

It isn’t healthy.

While it’s great to live in the moment, it is also great to be proactive as opposed to reactive. Prepare for the future. Understand different points of view. Take back control of your life.

Being proactive gives you that control. It puts the steering wheel in your hands. And you better grab hold. Life is a wild ride.

It is about living mindfully. Be mindful in the now, but of the future as well. You are the captain of your ship. You are in full control. Things don’t just happen to you. You make things happen. That’s being proactive.

Reactivity is the way we respond to something after it’s happened. We may not be prepared. We aren’t sure what is going to happen. We react in the moment or after the fact.

For example, you might find your car is suddenly in need of a new transmission. You do not have an emergency fund or savings to pay for it. Having to take out a loan or borrow money from a friend or a family member is being reactive.

Being proactive is already having an emergency fund set aside to deal with the unexpected. Yes, it’s not ideal. But is life always ideal? No. Life throws challenges at us constantly. It’s how we deal with them that shows our true selves. People who are proactive focus on the bigger picture. They don’t sweat the small stuff, because they know the small things don’t matter in the long run.

Proactive individuals are on the receiving end of awesome benefits, including:

  • Saving time and money.
  • Solving problems before they happen.
  • Decreased stress.
  • Nuruting creativity.
  • Ability to quickly recognize when changes need to be made.
  • Improved self-awareness.
  • Optimism about the future.

So, dust that dirt off your shoulders. Get up, and get ready. Learn to be proactive starting right here, right now. Incorporate mindfulness living strategies into your life. Prepare, change, and find your happy.

How To Become Proactive

Step 1: Predict & Anticipate

You can’t predict everything. But you can anticipate and predict certain major things, like needing a new car part at some point. It doesn’t take a sixth sense to develop some foresight. Plan for every possible outcome. Think it through.

What if you became injured and couldn’t work for a period of time? Or the rest of your life? How would that play out?

It doesn’t necessarily have to have a negative association. For example, it could involve planning for that vacation. Do you have extra money put aside? If not, start now.

Try to imagine every scenario you can. Be realistic. Then, plan for it.

Step 2: Plan & Prevent

Make a plan. Put money aside. Think through any disagreements that could occur. Problem-solve. Find solutions before you need them.

Balance the future with the present moment. While mindfulness living is encouraged, look forward. Living in the present is wonderful, but plan for future you. The you of today is setting up life for the you of tomorrow. Be aware of this. Don’t let yourself down.

Then, actively set your plan in motion. You know where you want to be. So, what can you do right now to get there?

Take the initiative and take that jump. Influence your life and make things happen. You are not a victim, but a positive and powerful force with the ability to make your life whatever you want it to be. Start believing it, feeling it, then become it.

Be decisive. Decide and determine what you really want from life. How do you want to feel?

We want to feel happy and content. We want to be free of stress. We want to find our zen and our balance. Here’s a secret: It is absolutely possible.

Step 3: Stop Putting Things Off

While balance is important, procrastinating and putting off tasks until they become urgent only adds stress to your life. Get ahead on your day-to-day task list.

Check your car’s oil before it becomes an issue. Make regular check-ups with your doctor. Put aside a small amount of your paycheck every week for emergencies. Stock up on regular household items, such as toilet paper when it’s on sale as opposed to when you have none left.

Step 4: Build a Priority List

What is important in your life? What is important to deal with right now?

Accomplish one thing at a time. Then, work on getting ahead.

Step 5: Set SMART Goals

This goes hand in hand with deciding what is important in your life. What do you want to accomplish? Set goals. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-specific. Then, go after them!

Step 6: Be Accountable & Honest with Yourself

Hold yourself to these new rules. Take those steps. Revisit your goals at the times you set to see how far you have come.

Be honest about what doesn’t work for you and what does. Don’t make excuses. You are only fooling yourself and holding yourself back.


Change is scary. But you can do this. You’ll become more satisfied with your life and face less stressors being proactive as opposed to reactive.

Mindful living is wonderful, but take into account your future as well. You will be able to be more present knowing that the future is going to be okay.

Don’t let yourself down. Know you have already taken care of your own worries, and remember that no one else is going to.

You are in control of your life. Find your peace. Find your zen. Start being more proactive today.

Krista Bugden

Krista Bugden

"Believing in yourself is really half the battle," says Krista. Anything is possible and you really can achieve anything you set your mind to, is her motto. Physiotherapist, Piano player, skydiver, yogi, adventure traveler and energetic force of positivity, Krista is herself a (delightful) force to be reckoned with! As... Read More

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