Dec 20

Are you living the dream?

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Are you living the dream?

Christmas and annual holidays share one thing in common –
they are usually the only time that busy people get to slow down, take stock of
life and spend quality time with their families. Inevitably, many people reflect
upon life and decide that they aren’t quite living their dream life.

If this is you, here is something to think about when your
thoughts inevitably turn to this issue over the forthcoming holidays.

Take the test

Just look a the following questionnaire; it covers some of
the main challenges that people will decide they may have, whilst they are
reflecting on where they are headed in life:

For those of you who feel have life sorted, you probably
won’t tick any of the boxes. However I would suspect that quite a number of
these points will have resonated (like work/life balance or not living the life
I thought I would be).

If you think this is a little wide of the mark, think back
to some of the conversations you have with people after they have had a good
summer holiday, they say things like:

  • I got more perspective and feel that I need to
    spend more time pursuing things that are of more interest to me.
  • I realise life isn’t working and I need to make
    some changes.
  • It was so good to get away from work and just ‘chill

Given that a survey in the US at the end of 2017 found that 53
 of respondents said their resolution for 2018 is to save
money, while 45 percent would like to lose weight or get in
shape; it is reasonable to assume that a lot of people don’t feel their life is
on the right trajectory.

So what are you going to do about it?

Why not make a

Great idea – this is the time of year for it! What is unique
to Christmas time, is the great intentions we have to start the New Year by aspiring
to make positive changes to our lives.

However there are a couple of things to bear in mind.
Firstly, only 8% of resolutions are actually kept. Most resolutions will not
make it beyond the 12th January, which is more commonly known as
quitters day, as it is the day when most New Years resolutions are broken.

Why does this happen? Firstly we make resolutions at the
wrong time for the wrong reasons. Having realised that they might have an issue
in life, people go too far the other way and set unrealistic goals. For
example, they realise they need to do something about their personal fitness
and deem that they have to go to the gym five times a week.

Think about it. With their current priorities they can’t
find the time to go to the gym once, yet they determine that they can address
this with a huge step up in their personal exercise regime. If we reflect on
the statistics set out above, that 45 percent of respondents to the US survey
resolve to lose weight and get in shape, a 92% failure rate means that only
3.6% of respondents will actually achieve this goal. They will either be the
people who have a compelling goal for doing so, or the hyper-focused individuals
who will succeed at their goals no matter how unrealistic they might seem at he

So what CAN we do?

If you want a different life, there are a few things that
you can consider:

  • Get clear about your goals, what will give your
    life real meaning and get you leaping out of bed in the morning because you
    can’t wait to get into the day? Take time to get these right.
  • Only invest your discretionary time in those
    activities that help you make meaningful progress towards your goals. You’ll always
    have to deal with a lot of ‘stuff’ that is necessary (your boss is unlikely to
    let you do what you like), simply deal with it as quickly and efficiently as
    possible then get back to what you enjoy.
  • Make better choices (cut out the time wasting)
    and learn to say ‘No’ more. If you get lots of requests to do things for
    people, ask yourself, “What is my main focus right
    now?”—followed by, “Will saying ‘yes’ to this request help me to achieve that
    main objective, or will saying ‘yes’ make it harder?”

Above all be realistic.
Most people don’t have the capacity to deal with radical life changes unless
they are forced on them via unforeseen challenges or events. Take the gym
example – go once a week. The schedule impact is minimal, can easily be
accommodated and gets you into the routine. As you get more comfortable,
increase the visits. Refining your schedule over time to accommodate additional
gym visits is significantly easier than trying to immediately find large slabs
of time in an already busy weekly schedule. This will teach you the value of
focus and over time will create positive new habits… that will stick!

Alternatively, if you
were to mark yourself out of 10, how much do you love your life currently? If
it were say, 5/10, what would you need to do to make this a 6, then a 7 and so
on? I would suspect this is why the 8% who succeed at their resolutions do so –
focusing on a clear outcome and having a sensible plan to get them there.

If you aren’t prepared to spend time creating new (and better) habits, then why don’t you just accept the inevitable, that you’ll never really find living a life you don’t really want, that fulfilling. Avoids all the angst of creating resolutions that you know you won’t keep. At least you can enjoy the guilt free 5 minutes that this will give you – while it lasts! After all, you can look forward to the same-old, same-old conversation with yourself next Christmas, when you reflect on the same issues that you’ve always had and wonder about the life you could have, if only you could motivate yourself to do it. Here is a quote from Kevin Ng that I have referenced before – it is as prescient as ever. Remember:

“If you don’t make the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re eventually going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want”

If you need some help to create some meaningful goals for yourself, creating a sensible plan that will help you to succeed, or finding the motivation to change, why not get in touch with us? Positive change is not impossible and you have a choice – DO something, or accept a life you don’t want. The good news is it is never too late to start (meaningfully) working on the life that you do want. Simply decide where you want to go (set clear goals) and start from where you are.

Apologies for the format issues – new WordPress Editor (Guttenberg) so adjusting to the new way of blogging!

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