We have all made things more difficult than they need to be, and most of these times are due to not putting enough thought into our actions. Sure, it is important to begin moving ahead, but what about knowing where we are going? I would say that anticipation is a much needed quality for all of us to possess. The key to foresight is knowing that it is much less about luck than what most would make it out to be. When we put thought into our lives each calculated response can make life easier. When we take correct action now, the future can become much more predictable.
Do you want to lead a remarkable life? Put thought into it. On the other hand, if you want to lead an unremarkable life, don’t think about what effects your actions will make. Most people think that life lived according to the latter principle is much easier, when it’s actually much more difficult to make wise decisions on the fly when we don’t have grounded beliefs. When we know beyond a shadow of a doubt what we were made to be and do, clarity comes. Sure surprises come, but many less of them are present when we choose to look ahead. The secret is to not only think about today, but to look at tomorrow, next week, next year, the next ten years, the next twenty-five, and so on. It requires a mental shift to see the importance in this, but your future deserves it.
Here are the seven ways I have found to make life easier in my own life each and every time before taking anything new on:
1. Ask yourself, “What do I stand for?”
I intentionally ask myself this question repeatedly, because if I don’t know this I waver. The same goes for you. Who are you and what do you believe? You should know this inside and out, because it changes how you view yourself and the world around you. What you believe will help you to know right decisions from wrong decisions. You make life easier when you honestly answer this question, because it keeps you on track and gives you answers to issues before you even have to address them. Clarity here is a necessary foundation for accomplishing more with your life and helps you make life easier because it helps you prioritize what is truly important and move forward.
2. Ask yourself, “What do I want to accomplish?”
In other words, what do you want the outcome to be from what you are doing with your life? When you get to the end of your lifetime, what will you want to be able to look back on and be grateful for? This question helps make life easier because it keeps you focused on the right things you have set out to do. Answering this question keeps you saying “yes” to the right opportunities and helps you say “no” to the things that aren’t the right fit for you. We have all said “yes” to things that keep us too busy to be able to focus on our full potential. When we are able to separate our strengths from our weaknesses and our essentials from our nonessentials, we can become much more focused on our life’s priorities and accomplish more.
3. What plan do you have in place to ensure that you get the results that you desire?
The previous two steps will help you before you get to this step of creating a detailed plan and putting it in place. If you don’t first know who you are and what you want to do, it will be impossible to put a plan into action. To accomplish more in your lifetime you need to make a perfect plan to pursue. I can help you form a specific individual life plan through my one-on-one life coaching program, or you can take the seven steps in this episode to help you craft your own. However you decide to go about it, a plan is necessary for you to reach your biggest dream. You don’t have to keep taking guesses at what you should do next with your life. The time is now to make a plan tailored for you individually, so you can make a unique impact on this world.
4. To be successful you need to focus on all areas of life, not just one.
Please note that for you to create the best plan possible, you will need to make specific goals in each area of life to build on top of each other. Most people don’t see how much one area can affect another and become frustrated with the fact that they can’t seem to finish what they started. The main reason this happens is that an unseen hinderance from another area of life is keeping people from accomplishing more. In order to remain focused and make life easier, the five areas you need to pay attention to are health, time, relationships, career, and finances.
Within health there is physical health, mental health, and spiritual health. I try to focus more on managing energy more than time, but that’s a different episode. It’s essential to pay attention to your energy levels in order to accomplish more in your day. Even though we go through busy seasons where we give more energy than in other seasons, it is important to be aware at all times how energy and the lack of it affects you. This begins with getting structured with the way you schedule your day so that you can fit in workouts, studying, and meditation.
There is also the focus of time. We have talked about this in previous episodes, because it is what everyone wants more of. The thing that people need to focus on is how they can use the time they already have in better ways rather than trying to find more time. We all only have 24 hours in a day, but it is what we are doing with those hours that will lead to us accomplishing more or wishing we would have somehow done more. If you focus on everything else, I promise that more time will appear in your day. Margin comes when you live a fruitful, productive life. Stop managing time and instead begin measuring energy.
Within relationships there is your marriage relationship or your relationship with your significant other. There is also the important relationships you have with your kids. Outside of this there are the relationships you have with people at your place of work, your friends, and the new relationships you are creating on a weekly basis. As you can see, a lot of life is about creating relationships and nurturing them.
Within your career it is about defining you role in your workplace, what you want to accomplish in your role, how you can expand your reach through your work, and what and how you can give back to your place of work. Whether you are self-employed or work for a company, there are always ways that you can expand your reach and give back.
Focusing on your finances is important because it dictates so much that each of us can do. Finances can help you take care of your family, help others, and sets you up for a better future. Even though I don’t talk much about this subject, it is an important subject to focus on. It is yet another tool that can help you expand your reach and help you take care of others.
This is just a quick glance at how we should all focus on health, time, relationships, career, and finances, but it is necessary if you want to make life easier.
5. What time frame do you need to complete your plan in?
We all need deadlines to make sure we will actually finish what we started. The aspect of time again becomes important because deadlines are a form of accountability. Even if you don’t think you necessarily need a timeline, when do you realistically want to complete your plan by? How long do you want to take writing that book of yours? How long do you want to take to start your new business? By when do you want to travel to the country you’ve always wanted to visit? Dreaming that turns into action not only includes what you want to do, but it also includes a realistic timeline. It is much easier to finish what you started when you have a timeline in place to guide you through the process. Completing what you begin is exciting, so make it fun! Once you have a deadline, it is important to then work backwards to give yourself the necessary daily, weekly, and monthly action steps needed to turn dreams into reality.
6. Who do you want to impact?
Who is it exactly that will ultimately benefit from your actions? For me, this is the question that makes my plan worthwhile. If what you are doing isn’t impacting people, then you aren’t challenging others and you aren’t growing others. Your life’s work needs people on the receiving end to make a lasting difference. Sure, there is part of the process where you are alone in the planning process, but in the process of making an impact, you need to be aware of not only what you are providing to help people, but who needs you. Knowing who your plan and work is for will help you know where to spend your time.
7. Who can you bring along side of you to help you carry your plan?
If you read my blog, you can tell that I believe in this principle. There’s no way that I could be an expert on every leadership topic out there, so I brought in a team of experts to share their knowledge with this audience on a daily basis. There’s no way that one person can know everything there is to know.
My experience tells me that you will need to look at the strengths of others in order to form a well-rounded team of some sorts to help you achieve your goals. Whether we are talking about mentors for your personal life, consultants for your business, or developing a team to work with on projects, it is important to notice what you need that you cannot do on your own.
Once you do this, don’t be afraid to ask for help from individuals who could make you better in these identified areas. Life is too short not to live it well and it is other people who will help get you there. When you bring others in who complement your strengths, you will go further than you’ve ever dreamed.