Aside from clear, measurable goals, how you move through life is important, I think. When thinking about what’s important for me, I go to the things below… I’d love to hear your thoughts about what’s important for you!
-be the change. a simple mantra, but a tremendously valuable truth. You’d like to make the world into a better place? Let ALL your actions be in line with that. No use to complain about what could be better. Do what you can to fix it. I also like to call this getting (or staying) in the drivers seat.
-be authentic: How can we ever talk the talk but not walk the walk? How empty is that? Ain’t nobody got time for that 🙂 Or as Hal Elrod puts it: Give up being perfect for being authentic. Life is so much easier if you don’t always have to shape yourself into some picture perfect person. We’re all gifted in our own ways and beautiful enough without “behavioural photo shopping”, thank you very much 🙂 So walk the walk: if you talk big, make your actions match your talk. Nothing wrong with that by the way. We’re all big dreamers here, go for that goal! But if you make mistakes? Admit it. If a goal is not reached, learn from it. Allow yourself a good laugh and march on!
-look for small potatoes: now this one is a real cosy one 🙂 When the old, pre-MM me was peeling potatoes, I took al the big ones first, so I was done quicker. So which ones were left for later? Small ones that would cost me more time. Usually you’d be left with all the small potatoes when you’re totally out of time and in a hurry. So for some time now I’ve turned it around and look for the small potatoes first. What can you do now that takes more work, but makes it easier for you later? It makes live sooo much easier in the long run. Okay, I could name this one “Strategic living” or something, but I like the sound of “Small Potatoes” better 😀
-up or down? Everything we do adds to our success, or subtracts from it. Period. Does that mean we can never rest, never do something that isn’t goal oriented? Of course not. We’re not robots. The realisation that everything we do has impact on our long term goals is a major one though. How we live our days is how we live our lives, right?
-aim for quality, not quantity. Your time is very, very valuable. It’s the only thing you can’t get more of in life. When you run out, there’s no resupply. So aim for quality. For me that translates into: bring down my number of push-ups a day from 100 to 60, but improve the technique to make them sooo much heavier and more efficient. But also: cut out more small talk from my life. Sure it’s nice sometimes, but a deep, meaningful conversation is sooo much more valuable. Another example: not checking my smart phone throughout the whole day, but logging on once a day on a moment I choose and actively check my messages and reach out to people that are important to me. Food wise this works also: better have a few great, healthy meals throughout the day than chew junk all day long. And for your mind too: why bother yourself by thinking about problems all day long, distracting you from what you should be doing? Park that stuff. Plan time for it. Daily if you like. Clean your workspace. Take that problem or thought. Work it, chew on it. Solve it.
-face life head on. whether you’re working on a problem or a challenge (I believe they both exist) it’s important to face them head on. Ignore your problems to make them grow, face them to make yourself grow. That goes for challenges too. Getting another job for example only gets harder when you play around with the thought. It’s actively working towards it that makes the challenge more doable. Secret: that’s not because the challenge (or problem) gets smaller, no way. It’s because you grow into a bigger person so the challenge seems smaller.
-play together, not alone: we’re all into this together. So reach out! This works out for the best on so many levels: connect with an accountability partner to reach goals together. Or share what you learned with others to help them. Or put in time to help someone. Not because it makes you a great loving kind of person (it does that, though:-) but because everybody needs and deserves a little help sometimes. Reach out, communicate, talk to strangers, give compliments, smile, wave to people. You can NOT go wrong with this, trust me!
-stay true to yourself at all times: It’s important to be authentic, sure. Making up stuff or embellishing it is not the way to grow. So commit to not doing that. Never brag to others about stuff you didn’t do or goals you know you’re not actively going to pursue.
But first and foremost: stay true to yourself. Take your diet for example. You can tell your friends, your spouse, your doctor that you’re doing great with healthy eating, while sneaking in a few candy bars a day and no one will be the wiser. But YOU will know. You can tell your friends you’re still doing the 7-minute workout twice daily, but YOU know it’s not true. You can tell your boss that the market is down and she may accept that’s why there’s so little new customers just fine. But YOU know you didn’t put in enough effort. When you’re fooling others, you are really, truly fooling yourself. Stop it. Now. Stop it, really!! These might be quite strong examples, but the bottom line is. while you can get away exaggerating stuff to others, you can’t fool yourself. And if you could, you’d be sabotaging your own life. Why would you want that, really?? 🙂 Take care of and be honest to yourself, you’re the most important person in your life!
-adopt a growth mindset: do new stuff and meet new people daily. Get out of your comfort zone. Get into the habit of trying out new things. It’s addictive and you’ll have so much fun trying out all that life has to offer.
-be able to laugh at yourself: you will fail sometimes. Or if you’re really good at life and achieving goals: you’re going to fail a lot. Get used to it. It’s part of the progress. A client of mine I respect greatly told me once about his principle of “failing radiantly”. His motto was: You will fail sometimes. And if you do, do it smiling. Be radiant. Go out with a bang and try again. Making it easier on yourself when you fail, makes it less painful. Making it less painful enables you to try more new stuff and hunt for higher goals. So what if you fail? The worst thing that can happen is that you learn something, smile about it and move on.
-do what you like and like what you do: Or as Hall puts it magnificently: Love the life you live while you create the life of your dreams. This goes in two directions, of course: determine what you want in life and go for it with zest, determination, enthusiasm and so on. But also, make sure you enjoy the ride. This thought became quite real to me while I was putting the kids to bed a while ago. I was in a hurry (I had to do some housework and work on a goal later on) so I was shooing on my daughter. After all it was a weeknight, nothing special and so it’s best to get into bed quickly, read a nice story, peck on the cheek and off to sleep. Sure, nothing obviously wrong with that rationale. But then I thought about two things. One: to enjoy this bed routine a lot more, would only take a few minutes extra and create a lot more rest and peace. A more mindful experience, if you will, for both me and my daughter. And two: If now, on a weeknight is not the time to enjoy bringing her to bed, then when is it? In the weekend? Saturday is also a busy day. Sunday morning is church, so the Sunday afternoon is left. Seven days a week and there’s room for quality time on Sunday afternoon? That sounds like a waste of a good life to me! So I turned it around. Sure, Sunday afternoon is still extra luxurious. But the simple things get more attention now, too. A few minutes extra will totally take the pressure off and make it a much more enjoyable ride 🙂
Sooooo, this is the stuff that pops into my head on this subject. Sure there’ll be more thoughts when I spent more time on it. What I’m curious about though: what are your goals and ideas for the future? I’d really love to know!
Have a great day!!
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