Question of the week: How are you spending your time?
It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. We all have the same amount of time in a day, yet we spend it so differently.
Some of us go after our goals with everything we have but don’t stop to enjoy it, some of us dream bigger than our imagination but hardly put anything into action, and some of us go along with the path set out for us even if it’s not what we want. And there’s every other combination in between.
We all have less and less time as we get older. Are you wasting it? We need to be more conscious of the excuses we’re using and be more honest about what is holding us back. Only then can we move onto what makes us happier and keeps us fulfilled. We might not spend every day to its highest potential, but we can always do better, before it runs out.
We’re all on a journey. Sometimes we map it out on paper, but we cannot always follow it on the road. A fallen tree. A fork in the road. A dead end. A mountain to climb. A dark night. There are twists and turns that drive us off course. And that’s ok. We cannot control everything around us.
But what about the times when the only thing in our way is ourselves? It happens to me all the time, even if I talk myself into thinking it’s not. The self-doubt. The procrastination. The high expectations. These can be crippling to the pursuit of my passions and goals. Maybe yours too.
I know I can do better. And that’s what I am going to commit to doing. These pages are my way of sharing my story, the mistakes and the pitfalls, the lessons and the successes. For me and for you.
Focus on fewer goals – we often make the mistake that we want to change everything at once. And whilst there might be lots of things we want to achieve and change, we cannot do everything overnight. Pick a couple to really give your all to each month or each quarter. Once they’re engrained in your life, you can look at picking up more.
Break down bigger goals into smaller ones – our passion for our new year or life goals can slowly morph into overwhelm when we realise how long the road ahead is. That’s why we should set short rest stops along the way. Set weekly, monthly, quarterly milestones to give your journey more direction and make it more enjoyable.
Find your why – goals are nothing without the drive behind them. Make sure you’re setting goals that actually mean something to you and that you’re setting them for the right reasons. Create a vision board, even digitally on Pinterest, to remind yourself of your intentions and to push you when you need it.
Keep track of your progress – motivate yourself by tracking your habits and progress across the month. I like to note down what I’ve achieved and what habits I’ve stuck to everyday in a journal.
Improve your accountability – tell a friend about your goals to help you stay accountable and get support when you need it. Plan out when you’re going to commit time to achieving your goals each week. Be realistic, but you have to make the time and stick to your schedule.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re doing the best you can. It’s easy to hold onto our mistakes. But that’s the past. Learn to let go and move forward. Learn to look ahead. Learn to forgive yourself. None of us need to be superhuman to have a super life.
(Image: The Red Fairy Project)
Don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out. Life rarely follows the plans we make anyway. So instead, find greatness in the unexpected, find beauty in the journey, and find strength in the challenges. Live in the moment and live for the moment. The trek up the mountainside only brightens the view at the top of the mountain.
Do not worry about what might be. Don’t worry about things that haven’t happened yet. There’s no way for us to see what our future will look like. It will have ups and downs, but it will be ok in the end. Worry about what might be will only darken what is right in front of you. Especially because it might not even happen. You can battle your problems when they come. Enjoy the time you have now.
We punish ourselves for the past. We punish ourselves for things outside our control. We punish ourselves for not fitting the perfect mould. Why do we torture ourselves? We need to stop dwelling on what we cannot change and shouldn’t need to change. We need to start embracing where we’ve been and where we’re going. We need to love who we are and work towards who we want to be. Because it’s going to be pretty awesome. Let’s not dull the sparkle.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in problems, in heartache, and in hardship. But they don’t need to define our life, even if they are a daily burden. Dreams and hopes coupled with perseverance are where the future lies, and happiness too. Let those guide you, revive you and empower you, especially in the tougher times. Don’t let the tough times get the best of you.
Tell me, what do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? – Mary Oliver
Stop beating yourself up about things that have been and gone. We all make mistakes. The past is dead, so why do we keep bringing it back to life in the present? Why do we keep carrying it on our backs, only to suffer under the weight? We cannot change anything. Nor should we regret anything. Everything is a learning curve; even steps backwards are actually steps forward. Stop living in the past and work on being a better you in the moment you’ve got.