Have you clocked the fact another year is almost over? What have you achieved? Frustrated because you don’t feel any closer to your goal?
Are you making excuses (again)? Not enough time, right? Or worried how you can afford those things you really want.
If you are waiting for January 1st to set your ‘new’ resolutions, stop! Why wait? You’re going to waste the rest of this year waiting? Really? Why?
Today could be your last. For some it will be. What if you were told you have just one month left to live your life.
What then? More excuses? I guess not! I reckon you would move hell on earth to do the things you REALLY want to do in life.
So look, here’s the thing. Time is the ONLY thing you have. Do not squander it.
Carpe Diem – or sieze the day – is one of my favourite sayings. It’s time to get up off your butt and take some action.
I’ve set out five steps below that just might help you sieze the day TODAY and get you started on your own little journey. Every journey starts with the first step… and then the next, and the next!
Step 1: set aside dedicated ‘me time’ and discover yourself
When do you do things for yourself? When in your day do you have a bit of ‘dead’ time that you could use to good effect? How do you soak up information? Is it by listening, or reading or watching?
Well, I like to watch stuff. I learn and absorb faster that way. Mind you, I also do OK at listening – so long as I can stay ‘in the moment’, and quieten my mind.
I try to use the time I’m sitting (or standing) on the train to listen to podcasts, read articles or watch a show on CatchUp.
During a typical commute to work just the other day, I completed Roger Hamilton’s Wealth Dynamics profile test and then listened to an episode of my favourite podcast, Entrepreneur on Fire.
Could you be listening to an audiobook on your way to work? Or a podcast? Could you be doing something other than reading fiction or depressing yourself with the news?
Save that stuff for the journey home. Remember, your energy levels and concentration powers are every bit as likely to be ‘fully charged’ first thing in the morning. Rather like your phone battery.
Step 2: set yourself achievable goals
If you don’t know where you want to get to, how will you know when you get there? How do you expect to ever feel a sense of achievement?
You do not need to sit down and write a new five-year masterplan. But it does help if you take the things that matter to you and chunk them up into a handful of topics and then set goals for each.
Right at the start of the year, someone on an interview I listened to recommended Brian P. Moran’s book, The 12-week Year.
During this past year, my Wife and I have had a pretty good goal-review routine going on. Every couple of weeks (or so), we sit down and check in on the 5 or 6 topics that matter to both of us.
The aim is to see how we are progressing towards the goals we have for the current 12-week period. It is far easier to look 12 weeks ahead than 12 months.
We have achieved tons this year. We sold a house and bought a home together. We changed our car. We had a couple of holidays. And we had time togther with those we love on a regular basis.
We are living proof that the 12-week approach works. If you want to know more, drop me an email to [email protected]
Step 3: figure out your why
Do you know what your ‘why’ is? What drives you? What fires you up? How do you know whether what you do each day really matters to you?
I hear so many entrepreneurs and business leaders telling their audience that you have to know your why.
So I set about determining what mine was a little while ago. I wouldn’t say it’s 100% nailed down yet but I’m damned close.
The thing is, if you know your ‘why’ then you commit to things in a very different way. You apply yourself because you care that much more.
It can make a huge difference.
Don’t believe me? Then take 3 mins out of your day and watch this fantastic clip. It powerfully shows the difference between your ‘what’ and ‘why’.
Go figure out your ‘why’ – it has the power to change your life.
Step 4: take care of yourself
This might sound obvious, but what you eat and how you exercise makes a massive difference to how you feel.
It affects your energy levels. It affects your concentration. It affects your sleep patterns and of course your medical bill.
Not to mention your attendance at work or your ability to work those extra hours on your pet project or hobby.
I have written before about how cutting down dramatically on sugar has affected me. Gone are the shakes I felt that caused me to reach for the biscuit tin or the snack bars.
Well, I do lapse from time to time. But you know what? I find it very easy to get back into the right habit. The key was the focussed 30-day period during which I was pretty much banned from consuming products with more than 5% sugars.
After that, any time I lapse, I get a terrible ‘low’ again when the sugar rush wears off. I hate that feeling. I also notice my weight fluctuates far less too.
OK, so my brush with kickboxing, (which I LOVED) has fallen by the wayside and I haven’t been out for a run in a couple of months. But I do still manage regular Pilates classes at my wife’s studio.
There is though regular walking between home and the train station and then between London Waterloo and our office.
If I’m working from home, I’ll often join Trish for one of her walks. She’s still managing to do her 10k steps per day that she started around 200 days ago!
Again you see… get into the habit. Be persistent. It then becomes second nature and much easier to do every day.
Step 5: you get back what you put out there
Perhaps the biggest personal lesson for me during 2015 came from the realisation that I get back what I put out.
What do I mean by that? Let me explain.
YOU choose whether to be happy or sad. YOU choose to be stressed or joyous. Not anyone else. Sure, others might affect your mood. And they do. Ultimately, it’s your decision. Period.
The way you feel is YOUR responsibility. YOU choose whether to be angry. YOU choose whether to forgive. You choose to be late or to be on time. YOU choose to criticise or to support.
You see, you have a lot of power. You have the power to affect yourself and those around you.
I am no angel! I struggle with this. I am too quick to jump to conclusions. There have been many times when I’ve entered the room and the mood has soured.
But I have come to realise it is MY responsibility to change that. And boy oh boy, what a difference.
If I believe something can be done, guess what? It happens. I believed I could buy a house. It happened. I have other beliefs that are very dear to me and all I can say is… watch this space!
So, can you smile more? Can you CHOOSE to be more upbeat? Stop frowning. Start smiling. Start believing. Get out there and DO IT.
It is YOUR time.