It is so easy to waste time. Now that I have more time than ever before, I am keenly aware of how quickly it passes and how little I can get done in a day if I am not careful.
Take this morning. It’s raining. My grey tank in the RV is mostly full so in order to take a shower I need to either drive the RV over to the dump station or go to the bath house and shower. Neither of these sound great so I stay snug as a bug in bed for another hour or two or three… I don’t “have” to get up. In fact there is nothing I “have” to do today. Yet there are bigger life things I want, and those things start with what I do today.
Knowing what you want and getting yourself on track isn’t that hard really – yet we like to make it hard. We like to resist doing the right thing for a little longer because that’s just the procrastination habit we’ve developed. I’m speaking about me here but I’m guessing I’m not alone. The “I’ll get to it tomorrow… thinking.”
If you’re in this resistance mode, or in the “I’m too busy to take the time to figure it out” mode, then I would argue there is an element of self-deception going on there. As in – you are lying to yourself.
Let me ask you, who’s life is your life anyway? Who makes the decisions for you? Only you do, of course. So no excuses. Your excuses are you giving yourself permission to not go after something better. It is you rationalizing why you should accept something less than what you want to yourself. And the rationalizations can be pretty darn good. But you don’t have to listen…
So how do you skip the pity party, fight the loser self-talk and make better habits to get a grip over your time and your life? By just one thing. You get clear.
Clarity is everything. Get clear on what is important to you. Get clear on what you want to be, do and have. Get clear on what excites you. Get clear on your unique gifts you have to offer the world. And how do you get clear? There are a billion ways but after reading way too much on the subject, this is what works for me.
The first step is defining your life areas and prioritizing them. Here are mine.
- Personal Development
- Relationships with Loved Ones
- Passion Projects / Making a Difference
- Health / Fitness
- Finances /Money
- Spiritual Development
Goals This Year
For each life area, what is the single most important thing you want to accomplish. Just one thing (I kinda break this rule). And that one thing needs to be specific so that someone else can confirm whether or not you’ve achieved it.
1. Personal Development:
Define what it takes to be world class at teaching outdoor and empowerment skills to girls and go do that.
- WFR certified
- Read and implement AEE certification requirements
- Learn about leading experiential education techniques
- Learn about Risk Management practices in the field and create an implementation plan
2. Relationships with Loved Ones:
- Kids: Plan and execute a summer trip to explore national parks in the RV
- Friends/Family: Call/visit weekly and create an interesting experience once a month. Dinner out, camping trip, hike, run, kayaking, RV trip, etc.
3. Passion Project:
Successfully Launch Girls Unbored. Complete the pilot program and complete the second round of the program with an additional school. Create a plan to scale the program in 2018.
4. Health / Fitness:
Rebuild my body strength. Lift weights twice a week. Run once a week. Create a habit to carry around a water bottle with me at all times.
5. Finances / Money:
Pay off all debt and have a sizable savings account (I have an amount that I am choosing not to share)
6. Spiritual Development:
Make a daily meditation routine. Read one book on Ayurveda
Learn about overlanding and building an overland vehicle. Be able to tell a friend what my dream overland vehicle would entail. Take a 4×4 course. Learn how to do a handstand.
Then each and every week, you review your goals and decide what you are going to do to move a baby step forward in those areas. That way, when it’s rainy and you are snug as a bug in your bed and you don’t want to get up, you have a plan for the day and a reason to get up…
Finding Your Why
There is more to it than that, I will admit. It’s easy to get excited about your goals and then give up on them – hence the New Year’s resolution syndrome. To be successful, you have to understand what motivates you – your reason or “why” on those things. Why bother? Why is it important to you?
For that, you need to put on your long term imagination hat. What do you want your life to look like in another 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc? What is the legacy you are leaving to your family and the world? How would you feel if your life looked like you dreamed it? How would you feel if nothing changed and it just stayed the same? What do you have to gain and what do you have to lose? What do you rob the world of if you don’t live out your dreams?
Investing In YOU
At the end of the day it is up to you to invest in you. That is what this is all about. Making tiny deposits into the bank account of YOU.
You have to invest in the life you want to create by doing the mundane things today that will take you to where you want to be tomorrow. It’s not always easy or particularly glamorous or exciting, but if you tell yourself you choose to get out of bed because you are investing in you, you believe in you and you are building that future you desire, then it is easier. Find your why and hold on to it every day.
And if you say to yourself, I don’t believe in me. I don’t think I can have an interesting or grand future, nothing sounds appealing to me – then come see me because that is complete crap. Every person has something that lights up their soul. For some reason you don’t want to let yourself see it. Ask yourself what you are hiding from?
For me, I want to feel loved and important, and I want those around me to feel loved and important – without question. I want to be an explorer lead by my curiosity, seeing parts of the world that most people don’t get to see. I want to know myself inside and out – at my best and at my worst – and embrace all of me as I continuously grow and push my capabilities and boundaries. And I want to teach young girls what I wish I heard growing up: that they are more capable and powerful than they can imagine. To be empowered it starts with knowing yourself, embracing all of yourself, defining your own rules, and becoming an expert at handling yourself in uncertainty and adversity as you go after your big bold dreams. Self mastery baby. This is what it looks like, now go claim it for yourself and do amazing things.
It’s cold and rainy today. It is a day to get a jump on the new year and remind myself about my priorities, decide what is worth working on today and next year, and how I want to invest in me for the next 12 months…