If you’re like most people I meet you’re passionate about your career or mission AND you have a robust personal life (or your kids do), that keeps you struggling to fit in your priorities.
Perhaps you’ve had thoughts like these…
“I’m smart, highly functioning, and have achieved a decent level of success. Why can’t I follow through on what I say I want?”
“Why do I start off with so much enthusiasm, but then get easily distracted?”
“Why do I so rarely get to what’s most important during my day?”
In your weaker moments you might even hear a stray, “What’s wrong with me?”
The answer is there’s NOTHING wrong with you.
The reality is conflicting priorities evolve through the normal process of work and life.
How we stay focused and true to ourselves is the key to living the life and work we love. It’s the difference between Distracted Living and Fully Engaged Living. We’ve all experienced both.
Last week I wrote about creating your Life Vision to provide a framework for your Strategic Life Plan. If you missed it, you can get the five question framework for your Intentional and Strategic Life Plan here.
Once you have a clear vision it’s easier to make decisions on what to say “yes” and “no” to in order to stay focused and aligned.
So here’s the next step. It’s KEY but often undervalued:
Identify what needs to be EDITED, ELIMINATED, AND ADDED to create our optimal life vision.
The laws of physics tell us that two things cannot share the same space. In order to add something, we must be willing to let go of another.
Let’s do a life review…
1. Do my days hold up my life vision and plan?
Are your daily actions consistently supporting your optimal vision? For example, if you’re seeking to re-engage in your marriage or parenting, does your work (or the way you approach it) support your desired vision? If you’re creating a new product, writing a book or leading a capital campaign at work, does how you manage your time, energy and inbox support your desires?
2. Does my mindset hold up my life vision and plan?
In other words, do your thoughts, feelings and beliefs support what you want to be, do, or experience? If you’ve noticed a pattern of not completing what you start, what beliefs or thoughts are running against you?
For example, yesterday when I spoke to a widow with four children who’s beginning a new job, she said she wanted to show up to what she’s capable of both for herself and the mission of the organization. The pattern she’s noticed in the past is that she begins a job with immense enthusiasm but doesn’t perform with the same vigor once she’s there. Through a line of questioning, she recognized a faulty belief in her current mindset which would never allow her to fulfill her potential at work.
The next question that’s beckoned…
WHAT MUST CHANGE?
1. What must I EDIT to support my life vision and plan? Your answer, of course, depends on your personal vision. Some basic ideas include: get additional support with the house cleaning, block two hours every morning for your highest value work, use a service like Amazon Prime to deliver regular household items instead of last minute runs to the store, check emails at 2-3 pre-determined times daily, know your daily priorities for the following day and have your day’s schedule blocked before you go to bed the night before.
If it’s your mindset your’re editing like the woman above, it might be a perspective shift. For example, you may have previously led from “My responsibility is to take care of others’ happiness and progress first.” If your vision is to live your fullest version of you, you may choose to edit your belief to “When I take care of myself others thrive.”
2. What must I ELIMINATE to make room for what I want? What must I stop doing to create the time, energy and space to make my desires real? (Examples include, clear out existing clients, delegate open-ended projects, resign from local board, drop extra hours at work.)
Maybe it’s something bigger. Maybe you see that you need to give up the current business, particular product or even career you’ve worked on for years in order to make room for what you really want.
3. What must I ADD to support my vision and plan? Examples may include, hire a live-in nanny, hire out the yard work, hire a personal assistant, set up office in a spare bedroom, get a mentor, coach or personal trainer.
After you make as complete a list as you can imagine, go back and assign dates or timing by when you want to edit, eliminate, or add these things.
If you find yourself resistant and saying, “But Rita, I can’t edit, eliminate or afford to add anything,” ask another question. “If I knew that my life, how I love, and my contribution to the world would suffer because of my resistance to letting go of something, what would I change?” I learned long ago that it is our resourcefulness and not our resources that holds the greatest impact in re-directing our lives. You notice you have more resources around you when you are resourceful.
So act before you thing you’re ready.
Don’t make the mistake of staying confused, overwhelmed or over-extended any longer. Reduce and streamline.
Finally ask yourself, what is the one thing I could change TODAY that would bring me closer to my vision?
Each of us has a unique set of talents the world needs. Our responsibility is to create the conditions and mindset to share these gifts brightly!
Sparkle on, my friend! Sparkle on!