Most of us know that our best chance of achieving any goal is to plan for it. We need to have a clear SMART goal, (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time sensitive). We know to do this for our business or our team’s yearly goals. It is required. But how often do we approach our personal lives with the same strategic planning? Without being intentional about how we want to spend our days – and our lives – it is up to chance whether we become our best selves or not.
A Culture of Overload
Think about the past 24 hours. Where did your time go? How much time were you on social media, zoning out with television, or compulsively checking e -mail? In his book, Shine, Edward Hallowell, MD noted ADHD psychiatrist and author of the bestseller: Driven to Distraction, comments on the overloaded, busy, and overwhelmed brain of today’s workers. We are working harder and longer yet achieving less because we feel we can’t take time for rest, recreation, and personal relationships. So what can you do to plan your best life?
Taking Your Power Back
To achieve healthy, well rounded lives, I recommend this process. Set aside 60- 90 minutes when you won’t be disturbed. Breathe deeply for a few minutes. Then quietly reflect on this:
Consider your “Essential” or “Higher Self” in the middle of a circle with several spokes going out from the center. These represent areas of your life that affect you and contribute to wellbeing. (Adapted from “Wheel of Life,” Co-Active Coaching, 2011.) You might include family relationships, friends and social network, career, spiritual/personal growth, recreation, finances, health, fitness, and physical environment (home or office.) Consider how content you are in each area. Which might you like to improve? Where is your time going? Is it in balance and contributing to the Self you want to be? Then set specific, smart goals for balance in some of these areas. Identify one or two specific actions that will gradually bring these goals to fruition.
Making It Happen
Our goals for balanced, contented lives need active care and attention to make their way into your reality. Take some quiet planning time each day to intentionally build into your day those actions that are in alignment with your goals. Note: This might mean doing less!
Without this daily time of reflection and planning, it’s impossible to bring your daily actions in line with the life you want to live. Have compassion for yourself. Change often occurs with two steps forward and one step back. Mindfulness and daily reflection make all the difference in bridging the gap to plan your best life.
I specialize in coaching executives and professionals into achieving their goals with life balance. Contact me if you’d like to begin the conversation. Marjorie@ascendconsutling.net