6 Questions to Help Anticipate Needs

At some point in life we’re all required to think ahead and imagine what the future will look like. Then after looking ahead we make plans based on what we see. Doing this well is key to being successful at home and in our jobs. Sometimes when I'm thinking ahead and planning for what to expect, I'm doing it 12 months out and sometimes I'm doing this in the moment and considering what's best to do next.

Anticipating needs is a term that gets thrown around a lot, however I've found that it often lacks actionable steps for putting it into practice. So, here are 6 questions we can ask to help better anticipate needs.

01. WHO AM I SERVING?

This is the most simple, yet foundational question to ask. Asking this question allows you to step back and consider the person you are serving. In some cases, you will be serving other people (i.e. spouse, child, coworker, client, etc.), in other cases you will be serving an idea, goal, or purpose. Asking this question helps you pinpoint the purpose of what you're trying do.

02. WHAT DO THEY NEED?

Sometimes we can answer this question on our own. Other times it requires brainstorming and coming up with questions to ask to know how to best serve. Anticipating needs doesn’t mean you magically know what someone else needs before they ask. Most of the time it’s knowing the right questions to ask and asking them at the right time.

03. WHERE ARE THERE ADDITIONAL NEEDS I'M MISSING?

It’s helpful to step back, look at everything, ask where the gaps are, and what additional needs are missing? Sometimes we can be so bogged down in the details that we can miss important details.

It can be helpful to bring someone else in help assess what you may be missing? It doesn’t make you anticipate needs any less if you ask for help. If anything, it will help further create a culture of asking questions and anticipating needs.

04.  WHEN DO I NEED TO START?

This question is vital so you can give yourself enough time to provide the need you're seeking to fulfill. This is a helpful question to ask, especially when you are trying to provide solutions in the moment. Someone may have a need, but the solution you are thinking of will require more time than you have. Asking this question honestly will also help keep you from procrastinating. 

05. WHY HAVE I DONE IT THIS WAY IN THE PAST?

We may have steps in place to accommodate and take care of the needs of those we are serving – but are these steps serving others in the best way? Consistently look for ways to improve the way you work and serve the needs of others.

06. HOW CAN I GO ABOVE AND BEYOND?

Ask yourself how you can go the extra mile to make sure the people you are serving are getting the extra bit of care they aren't expecting. 

Anticipating needs isn’t just a good way to be successful with your work, it’s a way you can show care and love for others by humbly serving their needs.

-CP

Life is a Constant Pivot: How to Reflect, Reassess, and Reroute

Life is a constant pivot. The truth is, the future is always unpredictable. We can't hang all our hope on how we intend to shape our future. But we also shouldn't stop trying to move forward and work hard towards our goals. We have to plan and be proactive stewards of our resources and time.

I desire to hold the tension of mapping a specific route to reach the desired destination while also being open to detours, reroutes, or the need to adjust plans completely. Because the most important thing at any given moment isn't about what goals we're pursuing, but how we're reacting and responding in the moment. It's how we're learning, growing, and being shaped along the way.

An example of this showing up in my own life are the days when my husband and I have a TouchDown scheduled. What’s a TouchDown? A TouchDown is a term we use for the days we set aside to talk about our goals, adjust the budget, or simply gauge how we’re doing. These days are almost always met with some range of a small hiccup to a complete catastrophe. A few examples of the hiccups and catastrophes included:

After all these attempts and failures, we finally had another chance for The Best TouchDown Ever. My husband and I had been planning to meet for months. We wanted to get on the same page with our budget and talk about our goals for the next year. We were so excited about the prospect of many upcoming projects, but we needed to meet to strategize and get on the same page. We arranged for childcare, we found a coffee shop, and did everything we could to make it fun. But as soon as we arrived at the coffee shop and had everything out on the table, I realized someone was hacking my social media accounts and website. While trying to get everything safe and locked down, we realized the external hard drive with all the previous budgets wasn’t powering up.

In that moment we had to reassess: what’s most important right now? Securing the accounts I had worked on for years from getting hacked? Finding out how to recover our budget information from the external hard drive? Using the precious time we had already set aside to pick a different date to meet and try the whole process again?

I mentioned that I try to hold the tension of mapping a specific route to reach the desired destination while also being open to detours, reroutes, or the need to adjust plans completely. In moments of chaos like this, when all my best-laid plans seem to be failing, one method I’ve found to be most helpful is to reflect, reassess, and reroute.

Reflecting - Taking the time to reflect on the things that have taken place over the year has proven really helpful. If there are important things you’ve missed out on, take the time to mourn missing out. But don’t let that be the end.

Reassessing - Reflecting is an excellent way for me to understand where I'm at right now. But Reassessing is taking that information and using it to determine what needs to happen next.

Rerouting - The final step is taking all of the information you've been processing and responding by mapping out an updated path for getting there.

In that moment at the coffee shop, with my dreams of The Best TouchDown Ever crashing around my ears, I had a strong impulse to immediately jump into fixing the hard drive. After all, I had been compiling a bunch of information for our budget conversation on that drive. It was the culmination of months of work. Instead of following my impulse, I stopped to reflect on the motivation for why we were wanting to meet in the first place, reassess what is best to focus on at that moment, and rerouted our plans based on what we thought was most wise.

We ended up deciding to make sure our accounts were safe and secure. This was a long process. And this meant that once again our budget and planning conversations were put on the backburner. But because we took the time to get a clear picture of our options, we knew we had made the best choice. Not to mention, with a situation like hacking where time is important, we were thankful we were able to fix everything without any interruptions.

The list of TouchDown catastrophes and chaotic days goes on and on. Life for us, especially on the days we’re planning to be productive, is one big pivot. That’s why making every moment count is so important to me. It’s about knowing what the ultimate aim is and moving towards it. This means, in our home, people will always come first. So if someone is sick, we stop and care for the people who are hurting. We keep rescheduling. We get up and keep trying again.

When my husband and I are working we try to always be available to listen to our children. Obviously there are times when we have to wait (a meeting, working on a tight deadline, etc.) but ultimately, if they want to show us something, we’ll take the time to go look. The result is that there’s a closer bond.

After doing this hundreds of times over and over, it’s easy to become weary. I know what it looks like to give up. I’ve seen numerous examples of people like that in my life. People who gave up on me and people who have given up on what’s ultimately important because it got too hard. And, in the end, their life is left with a big void.

The most important thing at any given moment isn't about what goals we're pursuing, but how we're reacting and responding in the moment. It's how we're learning, growing, and being shaped along the way.

Hope is not controlling the future; it's casting aside the fear of the future. We do this by embracing things outside of our control while being faithful with the things we've been entrusted with. All the while, knowing that whatever comes our way shapes us for our good and the benefit of others.

-JP

How We Got Started

We've been posting things at JacinthaPayne.com for over seven years now. The original idea for this blog was to create a place for me to share thoughts, create resources, and keep a log of the things we're doing as a family. It started as a blog that was "A Little Bit of Everything."

In 2017 I wrote one particular blog post about taking photos and why it's important to me. For me, taking photos has become a way that helps me recenter and remember the importance of each moment.

After that blog post was published, it started a new conversation about the purpose of my blog. "A Little Bit of Everything" was too vague and didn't really communicate what I was trying to do. Instead, we transitioned to the tagline "Capturing the Moment and Making It Count." Because there's beauty and significance in every moment, I wanted to write and create resources that supported this idea.

It was around this same time that I started writing down a statement that became part of our family motto: "Do the right things at the right time with joy." This statement continued to develop this idea of capturing the little moments of life, making good decisions, and having a joyful attitude.

Then 2020 arrived. Little did we know how much we needed this perspective and attitude of focusing on the small moments and fighting for joy. Calvin was laid off from his full-time job in April and we were in a situation where we had to decide the right thing to do next: look for a job or start a business. We started Marketeering.

So many smaller brands and startups wear multiple hats. They have to focus on things that take them away from what's most important—growing a brand and making money. We created a marketing and design firm to help brands get the creative support they need to grow and thrive, and create space for owners to focus on the right things at the right time.

As our other platforms have grown and developed their own identities, they’ve remained connected through a shared mindset and mission. JacinthaPayne reaches a particular demographic, and Marketeering has its own purpose and audience. We want the ideas of capturing each moment, making moments count, and doing the right thing at the right time to reach a wider audience beyond these two distinct platforms. Which is why we’ve started Make Every Moment Count.

The things we do in life shape who we are and how we interact with the world around us. Our daily decisions and actions create the stories of our lives, and our experiences influence and guide us. Every action we take, every decision we make, and every experience we have can have a lasting impact on our lives. But we often do things without taking the time to reflect on what we do and why it matters.
Make Every Moment Count exists to help people cultivate a habit of intentional living where we're mindfully taking action on the right things at the right time with joy. Our first resource as we launch Make Every Moment Count is the Accomplishment Journal.

We know how most days the time between breakfast and dinner can disappear right before our eyes. Before we know it, days can start blending together and the day-to-day starts feeling mundane and monotonous. Our days begin with a long list of things that need to get done in order to feel like we've been productive. But before we know it, someone's sick, pipes start leaking, and deadlines get moved up. We reach the end of our day feeling like we didn't accomplish what's most important. After a while, it seems like nothing is ever going to change and that we're going to live in this mundane cycle forever.
Our free Accomplishment Journal will help you keep a record of your daily actions and connect them to the ways those actions shape who we are becoming. As you begin connecting your actions to the reasons they do count, you'll understand how they shape who you are becoming and ground you in the decisions you make day-to-day.

We invite you to download the Accomplishment Journal and join us on the journey of making every moment count.

– JP