“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions"
There is global agreement that our world, businesses, organizations, and our overall lives were turned upside down in 2020. Too many people from all walks of life and locations said they could not wait to get back to their normal. I ask, “Were you satisfied with your life prior to health, economic, and political crisis? Are you satisfied with your life today? Most say no! The pain of life can hit you from all fronts: work stagnation, personal health (physical, emotional, and mental), your sense of belonging and acceptance from love relationships with partners, family, and friends. Rather than go back or stay in normalcy, complacency, or your comfort zone, get clear and take action to move in the right direction to have an overall better life. You work hard to achieve your goals all while being unfulfilled and not fulfilling your potential. Again, not just about work but in all areas of your life.
Know that 1) you are not alone, 2) this does not have to be your life, 3) you can change it, and 4) it takes work, courage, and commitment.
The number one key to an overall better life is understanding where you are today, where you want to be, and closing the gap. It is a critical step in getting the clarity needed to effectively build the confidence required to move toward transformation. Focus, reflection, and action on the seven key life areas will help you to understand what you have been paying attention to and in what areas you need to shift your attention to have a well-balanced better life. Remember that whatever is your FOCUS+ the MEANING you give it = your RESULTS. Those seven key life areas are Health, Family and Friends, Love, Purpose, Finances, Passions, and Spirituality. With this reflection, you must be specific, honest, and aspirational as you assess and understand your goals in these areas. The intention is not for you to stress about this but to be honest and consider this a journey of understanding and transformation.
Set aside some private time for reflection. Bring a journal to write your thoughts. This journey in getting to know you is only about you and where you stand and what you want. For each of the seven life areas, I want you to do three things. 1) Reflect on where you have been, are and want to go; 2) Rank where you are currently from 1-5 with one being the lowest and five the highest; and 3) set three goals or habits that would improve the each. This is your foundation for growth for the remainder of 2021. Check this periodically to determine your progress.
Health: Are you optimizing your physical and emotional health and well-being? Are you energetic, motivated with a strong mental and physical stamina?
Family and Friends: Are you authentic in your relationships with family and friends? Are you surrounded by positive people? Are you very connected, present, and bring positive energy into their lives?
Love: Do you feel compassion and love for all people and those you interact with? Can you say, with my significant other, my connection is deep, trusting, loving, appreciative, and spirit filled? I love my partner and demonstrate patience, respect, and attention? If you do not have a significant other, do you live your life in an open, loving, and connected way? Are you patient and peace filled with positive expectation for this partnership?
Purpose: Do you have clarity about your purpose in life? Are you energized and fulfilled by the work you do and your contribution to humanity which adds “real” value to the world? It is a true reflection of the best you which helps you to enjoy and experience the lifestyle you want?
Finances: You are in a good and comfortable place with your finances. You are living the lifestyle you want today and the future. You can be supportive of those requiring your financial support.
Passions: You take the time to enjoy those things that you are passionate about beyond work and career.
Spirituality: You are connected to a source higher than yourself, living in the present moment. Your actions are aligned and guided by your beliefs, faith, and values which are at the forefront of all your decisions and day to day actions.
It is critical on your journey to a better life to:
• Stop sacrificing your possibility for significant happiness that will bring you consistent joy. Do not accept unhappiness over uncertainty. Choose to be happy now! You do not have to wait.
• Take the time to understand and do something about your distractions. Are you bored, overwhelmed, doing what does not matter, or have a fear of failure?
• Be clear about your mindset of limitation that can keep you from your goals and aspirations. You must a) give it your attention and focus, b) stay committed and connected, c) put the right routines and habits in place, c) decide you are not a victim, and d) have the continual desire to improve.
• Stop making excuses. Take ownership of and lead your life. It is your life. Act like it. Are you enabling your bad decisions or taking responsibility for your actions? Are you making the changes within yourself or blaming others?
• Act! You cannot just watch your plan come together. It takes work. Do the work needed. When you are reflecting and acting on all discussed in this article, notice how you feel (free, loved, accepted, appreciated, fulfilled, happy, more confident, accomplished). Include it in your journaling. It is so important. Being, living, and feeling “it” is the goal of having a better life. Otherwise, you will not notice your life is better!
“Happiness is not a goal. It is a by-product of a life well lived.” Eleanor Roosevelt
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