• Sandy Reynolds

How planning can help people-pleasers

After I wrote my last blog post I realized that one of the benefits I receive from planning is it protects me when it comes to people-pleasing.


My default when it comes to opportunities is 'yes'. Do I want to go hiking tomorrow? YES! Do I want to jump on Zoom and catch up? YES! In fact, I always find that I have more people, places, activities, books and movies to fill my schedule than I have time. I feel #blessed. (Side note: I discovered this week that a group of unicorns is called a blessing. It sounds right to me. I would certainly feel blessed if I came across a group of unicorns.)


So when I sit down at the beginning of the year/quarter/month/week with my calendar and schedule my priorities I am protecting myself from saying YES! I can't say YES even if I really want to make someone happy. Even if I really don't want to let them down or disappoint them. I can't argue with my calendar.


For those of you who like to keep things open-ended and would feel too confined by this approach I suggest you try it. You can experiment with leaving a few places in the week wide open so that you have space for spontaneity. You can always move your commitments around to make space for a new shiny request.


But for those of you with lingering resentments around people taking up your time and never getting the things you want to do done, I think this approach will really help you. Open your calendar and block out the things you want to do in the next few weeks. When someone asks you to do something, you don't need to explain why you can't comply. All you need to say is, "I checked my calendar and I have something on that day." It will be the truth.


And for those of you who are like me and find it way easier to say yes than to say no. Checking your calendar gives you time to consider the request in light of your commitments and capacity.


You need to figure out what works for you when it comes to people-pleasing and having boundaries. You calendar is a good place to start.