Key Point: You can make 2015 a great and even better year if you turn wishful thinking into mindful action. Most of us recognize that forward movement and personal growth evolves from self-awareness, learning, and intentionally taking action to improve our way of feeling and being. The mindful action that becomes more routine and habitual is the tricky part for most of us. Scott Eblin, the author of Overworked and Overwhelmed has helped thousands of clients with a planning tool he calls Life GPS. You may want to use the entire planning tool. At minimum, Eblin challenges us with three BIG questions noted below. You may recall from my last blog that there was preliminary work that Eblin suggested we do to better answer the following:(You can download an editable Life GPS® worksheet here).
1.0 How Are You When You’re at Your Best?
“This first big question is all about recognizing the characteristics and behaviors that reflect how you are when you’re showing up as the best version of your self. Your answers to that question should be based on the self-knowledge that comes through a bit of quiet reflection on the times in your life when you’ve felt most comfortable and productive. What you’re looking for is the non-sports equivalent of what athletes call being “in the zone.”
Eblin believes, as we get increasingly clear about when we’re at our best, we’ll begin to see where the leverage is in showing up that way on an integrated basis in all aspects of life.
2.0 What Are the Routines Will Help You Show Up at Your Best?
“If you want to be a certain way (excellent for example), you have to do things that reinforce that state. It’s one of those ideas that is so simple it’s brilliant. That’s why it’s so important to identify and implement “easy to do, likely to make a difference” routines that help you to show up at your best more consistently and more often. The routines that will become part of your Life GPS® fall into four domains:
Physical: Your physical health – energy, strength, flexibility, balance and stamina – is the foundation for everything you do.
Mental: Your mental acuity and capacity to make mindful choices about your life and work can be enhanced by routines that keep your brain healthy and your neural networks strong.
Relational: The important relationships in your life – with family, friends, co-workers and loved ones – can be enhanced through mindful routines that keep them vibrant and resilient.
Spiritual: Regular routines can help keep you connected with your answers to the biggest picture question of all – ‘What am I here on earth to really do?’”
Eblin notes that effective routines often have a ripple effect that enable us to show up at our best more often by cutting across one or more of these four domains. We don’t need to overload ourselves with a bunch of new routines that just add more things “to do.” Rather, the more mindful approach is to do a few that are relatively easy for us, and likely to make a difference in our lives.
3.0 What Outcomes Do You Expect to See in the Big Arenas of Life?
“The last of the three big Life GPS® questions encourages you to consider the outcomes you would expect to see from showing up at your best in the three big arenas of life:
- Your life at home,
- Your life at work and
- Your life in your broader community.
Before 2015 moves into overdrive, take a little bit of time to get clear about your expected or hoped for outcomes. You won’t be looking for answers that need to last you for the rest of your life. Rather, you just want to get clear on the outcomes you’re hoping for in each of these arenas as of now.”
Eblin wisely emphasizes that we don’t need to solve for 100 percent: “There are so many variables at play in life that none of us control that spending a lot of time trying to solve for 100 percent just doesn’t make a lot of sense for most endeavors. Life is just not that linear. By the time you have enough information to solve for 100 percent, the variables will have changed anyway. You don’t want to get attached to specific outcomes that are not within your span of control, but it’s good to have an idea of the quality and nature of the outcomes you want. It’s the classic example of the idea that the quality of the journey is as important as the destination.”
- Take 30 minutes or so to reflect upon and answer Eblin’s BIG THREE. If you’re more ambitious, do the GPS worksheet noted above. Hopefully you would have invested time already reflecting on 2014, (see the 2014 reflection blog). If you don’t mindfully plan and act, are you just reacting to daily events? Are you continuing to do the same things and hoping that somehow things will get better? You and I are capable of being more tough minded!
- Don’t expect perfection, fall into quick self-disappointment and just quit. As an example, most of us know how well intended people are on Jan. 1 about getting in better physical shape, then “quit” that gym membership by Feb. 1. So let’s not allow you or I to be that person. Let’s focus on a few routines where we can be at our best and build positive habitual momentum.
A great 2015 in The Triangle,
P.S. Garrett and I would like to wish readers a very Happy New Year!
One Millennial View: This reminds me of a simple concept I recently heard discussed: Think about the last time you were truly in a bad mood. You know, just one of those “rut” days. Chances are, you didn’t do much that day. Unless it was something truly significant, that day’s mood was likely because you didn’t make any positive plans, spice up or change your route, you didn’t achieve something (or put the effort in to do so), and basically you stood still and didn’t take even the simplest step forward. Fine, some days are like that! But we all know that life is better when we’re planning, progressing, with something exciting on the horizon. Sure, those rut days are going to happen… But isn’t it scary how some people can have YEARS with that feeling? Here’s to a great 2015 where we’re not falling into that trap.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis