Here’s a Top Ten List with a twist. How to recognize everyday actions that are wasting your time or serving against your hopes of achieving your goals.
#1 – Keeping a little too ‘busy’. Have you noticed that when you ask how people are these days, more often than not you will hear ‘Busy’. I too, am guilty of this one. This is really not an acceptable answer. If someone asks how you are and you deflect by telling them the state of your current social and professional calenders, we have a problem. Try looking them in the eyes and giving an honest answer for a change. Try telling them the truth. Maybe you will create a real human connection for a change. Running around town with a crazy schedule,booking your children in class after class teaches your little ones nothing about life except how fast Mom can drive and what words are acceptable curse words. Slow down. Have a picnic. Talk to your children. Play with them and model true engagement and socialization.
#2 – Over-organizing. Put the double-sided tape away Martha. Back away from the laminator. Have you ever explored exactly why you need to perfect things like you do? What awful things will happen if you don’t align those pamphlets…again. I too love every thing in its’ place, but sort it out and get on with it!
#3 – The rules of zero engagement. Are you guilty of general busyness without any attempts to create connections in the form of meeting new people? How many times have you had your children in classes and by the end of 6 or 8 weeks you still have not even spoken to any of the other parents? Same goes for adult classes. Example: that yoga class where everyone sits in their own little zen bubble and pretends that they are oblivious to each other. Not to harp on Yoga classes, but Namaste means ‘Salutations to you.’ or “Not for me…but for thee.” as a statement of service to others. Get connected. Engage. Start by using a casual statement about the class, weather, class size, whatever! Just put down your cell phone and drop your barriers.
#4 – Keep doing what your doing, even though you hate it. There is a great quote by Albert Einstein that states “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” If you don’t like where you are, who you are or what you are currently doing daily, change it. Change your direction right now. Make the choice and follow through.
#5 – Never write down your goals. Do you even know what you want? Have you established where you want to be in 3 – 5 years? If you do not have a clear intention, it is no wonder you feel lost. Nothing like trying to win a race that has no finish line! Make your short term (daily, weekly, monthly) goals and set your intention and vision for your future. Write down what you will achieve. Make yourself a vision board and clearly display what is important to you. Family. Time. Security. Debt repayment. Travel. This is as individual as you are. Make it yours.
#6 – No vision, big problem. If you do not bother to set a clear vision for what you want or where you want to be in a few years, you cannot begin to reveal the path to get you there. Example: I was struggling with my career choices the other night when my husband reminded me of the creative process. What do I want to create? Where am I now? What steps do I need to take in order to get ‘there’. Big decisions become easier when you set your vision.
#7 – Go it alone. By not engaging the power of two or even many, you are making the journey harder. Use your spouse, best friend, mother, whomever you connect to the best. I have been sharing exciting things that I have learned in success coaching and using the creative process with my husband lately. It is really helpful for me when he recognizes opportunities to use what I’ve learned when I cannot. We are learning about change, both personal and professional, together and by doing so, are reinforcing new behaviours and habits as we go.
#8 – Keep your old habits. If you have made great effort to learn, grow, understand and change but then do not practise what you have learned, you are wasting your time. New habits need to be created and that takes a change in practice. Daily practice. To begin a new, creative, positive behaviour, you must cease other established behaviours. This takes focus and continued effort.
#9 – Consort with people that do not share your values. You read every night and have no idea what PVR stands for. Your friends recount episodes of the Bachelorette like their lives will be altered if their favorite guy is chosen. Maybe you get along famously despite this? However, some people may not want to watch you grow and become who you really are. They may feel threatened by your goals since your current life is no longer ‘good enough’ meaning that what they are doing is not good enough either. You have a couple of options here. You can either explain what you are trying to achieve and hope they don’t look at you like you grew a third eye or you can change your network of friends. Follow your instincts.
#10 – Fly ‘by the seat of your pants’. If you need to get something done, set aside the time. In writing. Do not assume that you will sneak your work into the day somewhere. If you need to read, set aside time in the morning before everyone else is up. Schedule it in, set your intentions and create the time.
So, if you like where you are (on the couch, being a victim with nothing positive to say about your life), then by all means, keep doing these ten things. If you are ready to achieve your full potential, make the choice and never look back!