I feel there is a misconception about what we need in life. I recently heard Lou Holtz speak and one section of his speech stood out to me. He talked about everyone needing 4 Things in Life.
- Something To Do – something you are really passionate about.
- Someone To Love
- Something To Hope For
- Someone To Believe In
How about you, do you have all 4 in your life? I’ve read and heard about people that don’t have something to do that they are passionate about dying relatively quickly after they retire. I also have heard if you lose a spouse at an older age, and you don’t have something that drives you, you quickly join them. I actually experienced that with my grandparents. We are either growing or dying in life no matter what age you may be. There is no such thing as maintenance mode because in this mode there is nothing to strive for.
Your Life is and will be about CHOICES and DECISIONS. When you decide in advance, you own your life vs. it owning you. Living Right is a Choice. How are you doing on the below items:
- Doing the Right Thing
- Knowing your Priorities
- Living your actions according to your priorities
- Being Honest (the truth is easy, lying is hard)
- Not holding grudges or being bitter
Yesterday I taught a class for a group of executives based on the book Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith. Marshall is one of the leading executive coaches in the world and he has a few books out that are great if you want to improve yourself.
We started class with this quote:
“Fate is the hand of cards we’ve been dealt. Choice is how we play the hand”.
I know a few people dealing with the “cards” they were dealt not allowing them to move forward. Perfection often comes into play, because they weren’t trained effectively on how to deal with adversity. Depending on your personality type, striving for perfection can cripple you from making any progress because perfection is unrealistic.
“Perfection is the Enemy of Progress”
Striving for excellence is way different that perfection. With perfection, enough is never enough. Excellence is attainable and you can feel and appreciate that accomplishment. When my I work with team members or do life planning for individuals, we talk about things that can start their progress toward a goal, take small steps and a series of wins. I like having big goals, but like everyone, I must have realistic long term goals and be very clear on them. The path becomes clearer when the goal is clear, but the path is never a straight line. When perfectionism comes into play, you usually can’t see an absolute path to a goal and that stops progress dead in its tracks.
I wrote a blog last year called Your Morning Routine is Your Secret Weapon which I received a lot of positive feedback from. As a continuous improvement person, I am always looking for meaningful ways to improve processes that will help me achieve what I want in life.
You can read that blog and understand my AM routine which I think separate a lot of people. In fact, I am reading Tim Ferris’s book called Tools of the Titans which I highly recommend. He documented a lot of the successful people in the world routines, beliefs, quotes, and more. One thing all of them had in common was they had a morning mindfulness routine.
Why wouldn’t you own the beginning of your day to make a better you?
We are 3 weeks into the new year and most of us have set goals that we want to accomplish. The issue is never setting the goals, the issue is executing and staying consistent with your actions toward the goals. There are 3 things we can train in life:
- Your Craft
- Your Body
- Your Mind
Digest that for a moment…. When you set a goal which of the 3 are you working on? Do you have a goal for each of them? The most fulfilled people set goals for each of these and continue to work on all 3. If you are not growing in some way in one of these 3 you are usually going backwards and life if gaining momentum over you.
I have been catching up on some Tony Robbins podcasts and books which I have really enjoy. One thing he states over and over is “Success Without Fulfillment is the Ultimate Failure”. I help people with life plans and they usually want to do a life plan when they are not fulfilled. They can be extremely successful at work and other domains of their life, but usually one domain is off AND they are not fulfilled.
I feel a lot of people think they will be fulfilled when they reach a certain point in the vocation domain (aka job/career). I’ve heard it like:
- When I have $X in the bank
- When I get this promotion
- When I make $X in compensation
Fulfillment is About Gratitude, Celebration and Contribution. What I do know is fulfillment is not something in the future, or when you achieve a goal, it can start right now!!! Here is what I have learned HOW to begin the journey of being fulfilled every day:
1. Start each day with GRATITUDE. Starting and owning your morning routine is probably one of the best gifts you can give yourself besides the gift of self-awareness.
- Take 5 minutes and meditate on 3 things you are grateful for (people, events, goals, nature, your health, etc.)
The more grateful you are, the happier you become and the more fulfilled you will feel.
2. CELEBRATE your ACCOMPLISHEMENTS both current and future. Celebrate a milestone on something you are working toward.
It was a cool weekend this past weekend. On January 5, 2018 I was blessed with my first granddaughter – Harper Annalise. My family could be there and it really put a reality on how fast time keeps accelerating and how it is our most important asset and only non-renewable resource.
As I held my grandbaby, it reminded me of a recent video I watched from Tony Robbins about Death and it being your counselor and guide. I know it is a little weird to think about death when I was holding Harper but an event like this should make us all take note and analyze what we are doing and what kind of life we want to live.
I talk to as many people as I can about being intentional about their life and living the life they were meant to live. It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. I reviewed the notes from Tony’s video that made me evaluate where I am in life, what I want to accomplish, and what
I just finished my 2018 goal planning that includes quarterly goals which I’m pretty excited about. As I was preparing for my “goal planning” I listened to a podcast by Gary Vaynerchuk. He had some good nuggets to keep in mind while setting your 2018 goals. Here are some of mine and his nuggets to keep in mind while you layout your plan to execute.
- Stop Complaining
- Figure Out Who You Are
- Double Down on What Your Good At (Your Strengths)
- Figure Out What Fires You Up (Your Passions)
- Get Tunnel Vision and Focus on Only a Few Things This Year
- Attack or Address Who is Holding You Back
- Attack What is Holding You Back
- Adjust Your Mindset to No Excuses This Year
I thought these were good reminders to run through mentally while planning 2018 and beyond. One thing to consider when you are doing your 2018 goals, is to think beyond 1 year. Think also about who you want to be and what you want to accomplish in:
- 3 – 5 Years
- 10 Years
- 25 Years
I was talking with a friend about their 2018 goals and there were some big missing components revolving around themselves. We can all set goals for 2018, but do you have YOU at the center of your goals? I asked for clarification on some of the goals but it was clear they were missing goals specifically for them. I suggested using the acronym “PIES” to help guide them to ensure they keep a solid self so they can accomplish their 2018 goals. The acronym “PIES” stands for:
P – Physical (Health)
I – Intellectual (Mental Health)
E – Emotional (Expand and Cultivate Healthy Emotional Awareness and Engagement)
S – Spiritual (Faith or Belief Structure)
To accomplish our goals, we have to perform activities that cultivate health and replenish our energy. If you optimize activities that replenish yourself, you can have more energy to be fully engaged, be present, be productive and creative in all domains of your life.
Time is limited and valuable. Time is our only non-renewable resource we have as an individual so protecting it should be very important to us. I have been talking and mentoring others about protecting our time on important activities over the urgent for a long time. This may be a hard concept to think about but time isn’t going to stop and now is the time to plan the 2018 important items you want to accomplish.
Do you have a system for prioritizing the right activities? I use the decision-making matrix as often as I can and need to make it a habit. I’m fairly confident this started with Dwight D. Eisenhower then brought to the masses with Stephen Covey in his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Above is the matrix and below is how it can be used to make sure you are prioritizing the important stuff in your life.
“If you do IMPORTANT things, you will meet IMPORTANT people doing IMPORTANT things”
The Difference Between Urgent and Important
Urgent means the task requires immediate attention. These are the to-do’s that shout out loud – NOW! Urgent tasks put us in a reactive mode which usually is a defensive, hurried, negative and narrow-focused mindset.
Important means tasks that contribute to our long-term mission, values, and goals. Sometimes important tasks are also urgent, but typically they are not. When we focus on important activities we operate in a responsive mode, which helps us stay rational, calm, and open to new opportunities.
Starting a new year is always a big event for me. I like to plan, document, dream, digest and discuss my thoughts for the new year. This process helps me make sure my goals make sense, my blind spots are covered and I am working toward my life plan. I feel alignment of priorities as well as working on the important goals is probably the best gift you can give yourself at the beginning of the year. When you define your import goals, remember this.
“If you do important things, you will meet import people doing important things”
Deep and True!!! You obviously want to set goals for yourself, but keep your legacy in mind which is the long-term thinking. I tried a newer tool this year that I have used in business for many years. It is called the One Page Strategy Plan which was created by the Gazelles company. I am still using my other tools to process, digest and firm up my goals for the year as well as assess how in balance I am across my life domains. I usually start this process in December and work like crazy to have it done by January 1st.
If you haven’t created your goals, or a life plan for the year. Here are some questions you might consider to get your brain in gear.
- How balanced am I across my life domains?
- What is your biggest time waster and what are you going to do about it this year?
- What are you doing this year that will matter in 10 years, in 50 years?
- What bad habit will you stop?
- What good habit are you going to begin – by when?
- In what life domain do you need to grow this year?