Some of us spend more time planning our vacations than we do planning or thinking about our future. During Life Planning days, the attendees spend some of the day writing about their one, five, ten, and 20 year vision for their future in each of these key areas of their lives: health, spouse, children, family, career, hobbies, friends, etc.
They then create specific, measurable, attainable, reasonable action plans with time frames for each. In effect, they are mapping out their vision of what they want their lives to become and then creating “action plans” to get them from where they are now (in each area) to where they want to be. This process is a successful key in helping the people writing their Life Plan accomplish their goals in the upcoming year(s) and creating a future that is in line with their envisioned one while living an extraordinary life.
They are in essence creating “The Future of You.”
In prioritizing our lives, the health area can often be one into which we don’t invest enough time and effort. We are busy with work, our children, and all of the other time demands we are faced with in this busy life. Our good health is imperative if we are going to give of ourselves and be “of service” to others. If we are unhealthy, we cannot give 100% to the people we love and work with.
How is your fitness level? Your weight? Where are your blood pressure and cholesterol levels? When was your last full physical?
This is a very tough area for a lot of people. Approaching improvements to health should be done in very small increments. For example, is there a food that can be cut out of your daily diet to reduce your caloric intake? You might start an exercise routine with one short (20-30 minute) workout each week, then insert a new workout each week for five weeks. After five weeks, exercise will become a 5-day a week discipline. Then, if it is comfortable, the workout can be lengthened.
In regard to exercise, do what you enjoy. Some suggestions include walking, running, going to the gym, riding a bike, swimming, lifting weights, and/or playing a sport (tennis, basketball, softball, etc.). Anything to get the heart rate going for 20 minutes or longer
For those who aren’t feeling good physically, maybe due to an ailment or some pain that you have been ignoring, go for a checkup. Ignoring a problem usually doesn’t improve it (that goes for physical as well as emotional problems).
As part of creating the extraordinary life we all seek, starting with good health and maintaining it through the year and throughout our life is essential to serving ourselves and the people we care about.
Today is a new day, the beginning of a new year, and a new decade. Start slowly and increase the output slowly. We can all make better food choices and exercise more often. Our health is THE most important component to success in every other area of our life. Make the long lasting changes by beginning today.
“Ask yourself this key question: What do I do for myself? Write the answer(s) on a piece of paper and pin them to a place where you can reflect on them often.”
Your Time and Doing What you are Passionate About
Another area many of us are deficient in is taking enough time for ourselves. I refer to this as “you time.” In my talks, I discuss the need to take time for you every day, every week, every month, and every year.
In regard to daily time, it is at least 15 minutes or so each day that we spend doing something for ourselves (reading, working out, Facebooking, reflecting, writing, listening to music, etc.). Take time for yourself every day.
With respect to taking time for yourself each week and each month, this ties to a greater hobby/passion that requires more time and focus than 15 minutes each day will allow. If you have already identified this passion, you are ahead of the game. Ensure you take the time you need to be fulfilled in this area of your life.
If you have yet to identify your passion, open your periphery to new and exciting opportunities. Rent the movie “Yes Man” and get a sense as to what I am talking about. Say “YES” to every opportunity that comes your way and you will experience more and more; I believe your passion will find you.
Ask yourself this key question: What do I do for myself? Write the answer(s) on a piece of paper and pin them to a place where you can reflect on them often. Keep doing the things that bring happiness and joy to your life and find through opportunity those passions you have yet to find.
Ideally, we would marry our vocation with our passion and be able to earn a living doing what we love. For some of us, we are already doing that. For others, we continue to search for our passion.
The one area we want to avoid is watching our lives pass and missing out on the LIVING part of living our lives. This won’t be us if we open ourselves to possibilities and opportunities we may have said “no” to in the past or haven’t seen because our eyes were closed to saying “yes.”
In closing, the purpose of this article is to focus on “the future of you” and how you will take care of yourself so you can give your best to others. The key areas to examine as a new year and a new decade begin are your health, what you do with your time, and finding passion in your work and your non-work life.