Is there a discrepancy between the life you live now and the life you dream of? Are you constantly frustrated by the way you have crafted your life?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the above, my question to you is what are you willing to do about it? Many of us crave change but do little or nothing to make the change a reality. Now let me put things into context here. Change does not have to be some huge life-changing activity (although it can include such goals). Nor does it have to take a great deal of effort to bring about the change. I often find that it is the little changes I make in my life that adds the most value.
For instance, I took a break from work to reinvigorate myself and refocus. During this time, I realised that I was not satisfied with certain areas of my life, especially around my work/life balance. And as a result, some of my values and passions took a back seat. Therefore, during my time out, I created some new rules to make the best of the rest of my life. These include:
1. Learning how to swim. This has been a desire for at least a decade, but I have always been too busy to take lessons. Meanwhile, when I go on beach vacations, I get frustrated that I can’t do all the water sports. So now, I have carved out time for this and I am now progressing to intermediate level (hurray!). Olympics 2012 watch out!
2. Abolishing working on weekends! My routine for close to a decade is to work 6.5 days a week. And yet I wondered why I was tired, stressed out – amongst others. So now, Saturdays are for me to do whatever I like. And, if I have to work on a Saturday (e.g. speak at an event), it automatically means I have the next Monday off to catch up with myself. As for Sundays, after church, I come home and do absolutely nothing! What bliss!
3. Investing more time to write. This is my number one passion and with at least ten books half completed, I will prioritise and dedicate more time to this, daily! No excuses!
4. Going to bed earlier. Sleeping late is a bad habit I formed over the years. And so, my new rule is to stop any form of ‘night work’ e.g. sitting in front of the TV with my laptop or staying late in my office. Instead, I retire to bed early where I read a book for a while, listen to music, reflect, or pray for a bit and then fall asleep. I now get between 6-8 hrs a night as opposed to 3-4hrs. What a difference it makes.
5. Eating better. I actually thought I was doing this until I questioned whether my eating habits were actually nourishing my body. Hence, I decided to include thoughtful planning as opposed to a slap-dash approach to just filling my stomach with anything lurking about. Plus I made a few new rules such as trying new foods, not eating the same thing twice in a row, cook/bake/grill/steam versus microwave – all in the aid of nourishing my body.
My rules give you a flavour of simple changes you can make. Now please bear in mind that Rome was not built in a day. It has cost me time and patience plus a willingness to change. Moreover, I got support by informing those around me of my changes.
“But why did I bother?” You may ask. You see, I finally got the fact that this is it! By this, I mean this is my life. I won’t get a second chance to live it again. So I have to take charge and change the rules (both personal and professional), so I can live the rich, abundant and fulfilled like I know I can have.
So are you willing to change the rules? If this is your desire but you already have 101 reasons why you cannot make the change, Coach Gladys has some tips to help you along:
– Aim to make small but significant changes. Then build on this as you progress.
– Don’t be afraid to change what is not working for you. Remember, this is your life we are talking about. It is not a rehearsal!
– Avoid things out of your control. You can’t control the weather, financial climate, nor can you change people. However, you can manage your life better around your circumstances.
– Rather than thinking, “I can’t”, come up with creative ways as to how you can. Talk it through with someone. Two heads are better than one.
– Let go of what you think you want and focus on what you really need. Think in terms of what your life needs right now, that if continually absent, would have a negative impact on your life. For me, I realised I needed to slow down, rest and have more fun (amongst others). In doing so, I can be more productive in the hours I dedicate to work. So what do you really need?
– Get support from others. Tell them about the changes you intend to make and ask them to check up on you every so often. It really does help