How many times have you had a bad day and felt embarrassed because you reacted poorly?
I have many times.
Bad days often can’t be avoided; but it’s important to be able to recognise the bad days when they arise and know how to conduct yourself.
Not to make them worse than they are.
To help you, I’m going to give you 13 questions to answer to help formulate your own Bad Day Action Plan.
My Bad Day Plan of Action
When I sat down and analysed my bad days, I was surprised by the easy things I could do to make my reactions better.
I will give you two (of many) examples:
- Waking Up Feeling Blah – when I used to wake up feeling bad, I would pull the duvet over my head and sleep more. This always always always caused a knock-on effect of further bad events for the rest of my day: missing out on exercise, bad breakfast choice, being late for work etc.
The Simple Solution?
I realised that regardless of how I feel when I wake up, it’s imperative I get up and start my day.
After putting this simple solution into practise, I can honestly say that every time, I’ve woken up feeling BLAH I make myself get up and do what needs to be done.
Consequently, I feel so much better.
- Receiving a bad e-mail – We all have them. But two stark realities came to light when I analysed my reactions: I reacted too quickly and I always over reacted. I’m still embarrassed thinking back to a few examples even as I type this years later!
It’s super easy.
Firstly, I stay calm and don’t tell every person I come into contact with about the e-mail.
Secondly, I close the e-mail (I used to have a habit of opening bad emails to re-read) and I don’t respond until at least 24 hours later. If it’s an urgent e-mail, I give myself some space from the e-mail (go for a brisk walk around the block) and then respond.
It’s so simple and it works.
That’s the beauty of this exercise, it’s super easy to do, but it’s big time effective.
It’s all about awareness and knowing yourself.
That’s 90% of the battle.
Once you’re aware of how you tend to react, you can manage yourself.
To help you come up with your own Bad Day Plan of Action, you need to answer the questions below.
Write out the answers somewhere you can refer back to:
- Think back to as many bad days as you can where you reacted poorly.
- What happened and how did you react?
- Why did you react that way particularly?
- What were you trying to achieve?
- How do you think your reaction affected the people surrounding you?
- How do you think your behaviour reflected on you?
- How did your reaction make you feel?
- What do you wish you had done differently?
- Now, think back to the times when you were having a bad day, but were pleased with your reactions.
- How did you manage yourself?
- How did you feel afterwards?
- How did other people perceive you do you think?
Now to create your Bad Day Plan of Action.
Comments for Creating a Bad Day Plan of Action
Comments before you begin:
- Firstly, if you know the triggers for a bad day, if you can, avoid them. Obvious, but needs to be said.
- Carry out the Bad Day Plan of Action exercise when you are a good place mentally. This way, you can be sure that you are devising a strategy that is based on logic not emotion.
- Ask people you trust for their feedback when doing it.
- Appreciate that for the Bad Day Plan of Action to work, it will require discipline and action when the time comes. When a bad day happens, you need to flick into auto pilot and fall back on the strategy you’ve devised and action it. Don’t second guess it, trust yourself and what you devised.
- Know that practise makes perfect.
- The Bad Day Plan of Action is not a magical fix to take away the bad day. It won’t fix the problem, but it will ensure your behaviour is the best is can be.
Your Bad Day Plan of Action
With all the above in mind, do the following:
- List your normal bad day scenarios (refer back to the 13 questions).
- For every bad day scenario, how do you need to react going forward for each? Notice I say need. This isn’t a case of how you want to react, this is a case of how you have to react going forward.
- Write a letter to yourself about how you must react and the reasons why. Be as detailed as you need. Word it to motivate you when the bad day occurs.
- The next time a bad day happens, grab your Bad Day Plan of Action and read the appropriate letter to yourself and act accordingly.
- Be strict with yourself and act how you’ve outlined in the letter to yourself.
As I said above, this is not a magical fix, but I promise it goes a long way to making you act better when that inevitable bad day happens.
We’ve all had bad days where our reaction has made matters far worse.
This Bad Day Plan of Action may sound simplistic but it really works.
The key is to be mentally strong and to navigate your way around a default setting which for most people when having a bad day is to react negatively.
The good news is, once you’ve practised the Bad Day Plan of Action a few times and reaped the benefits, it will become easier and easier to do.
I hope this helped you.