One of my coaching clients asked me this week “how do I create enough time in my life so that I can work on my DREAM?” Most people would start to do the math…well there are 24 hours in a day, you work for 8 hours, you sleep for 7 hours…etc. But my theory is that it is NOT a TIME issue but a prioritizing issue.
This gal said “I have work that pays my bills and then I have my dream that I want to develop so that one day I don’t have to do my J-O-B to create an income. However I find at the end of the day (week, month, year) that I have not really gotten anywhere on my dream because I am constantly just trying to keep up with my job and life in general.” Can you relate?!
The author Steven Pressfield says “I am keenly aware of the principle of priority which states (a) that you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important and (b) you must do what’s important first.“
So many things that feel urgent demand to get done now. Things like emails, texts, social media, and yes, our J-O-B. These are things that are often thrown into our world by someone else. They are based on someone else’s goals and not our own. But here’s the important piece: Things that are URGENT will ALWAYS GET DONE because they have to! Tim Ferriss in the book “Four Hour Work Week” suggests that you only read and respond to emails once a day and that it will save you hours in a week doing this. Emails still get read, they still get handled, but it is done on your timing not the sender’s!
If you prioritize what is IMPORTANT first and get that accomplished BEFORE you do what’s urgent, everything will shift. Working out, writing a few pages on your novel, making appointments for your network marketing dream, handling these first and then doing the URGENT stuff will change your productivity.
Here’s how you do it: At the beginning of the day, make a list with everything that you need to get done, and by each item mark it with an “U” or an “I” for urgent and important. Now do the important things first. You may need to go to your job from 8-5 and then when you come home do your important things first. But make sure that before you get swept into doing the laundry, the homework, the cleaning, that you have spent time on your IMPORTANT list.
That’s my tip for prioritizing your IMPORTANT list over your URGENT list. Cheers!!
Around the New Year I really started to consider deeply the topic of “women who inspire me.” This was an inquiry that occurred after meeting an influential woman in New York City who by most accounts would have moved and inspired a lot of people. Except that that didn’t happen for me. I was a bit mortified by her “self promotion” and theatrical postings on social media and her great stories…about herself. Now granted she IS a huge philanthropist who contributes considerably to her community, and that is something that I truly appreciate. She was a motivated entrepreneur from an early age and as a woman had to break through that inevitable glass ceiling. But I was still not smitten. And I began to wonder “WHY??” What was it that was off-putting to me? And I started to consider “who are the women that I admire and hold as role models to ME?”
So on the topic of off-putting let’s look at the top two:
1)Shameless Self Promotion
This in itself is a quality that is a double edged sword. I actually admire the fact that a WOMAN has this quality. It is a personality trait that I don’t possess and I would like to…to a certain extent. Being able to “toot one’s own horn” is something that we are told early on, isn’t lady like. “Don’t make a scene,” “it’s not nice to brag,” “don’t boast about your achievements.” All of these ring true to me because this is what I was told throughout my life by parents, teachers, books, and media. And if you take into account the fact that I am an introvert, then…shameless self promotion just isn’t in my vocabulary! BUT WHOA NELLY! The problem with NOT tooting your own horn is that you can’t complain when there’s NO MUSIC!
So in the end, the “shameless self promotion” was NOT what was off-putting to me. What was really at the root was the next issue…
2) Over Zealous Cosmetic Procedures/Outrageous Social Media Montages
This was the deal killer for me. I am NOT against a woman choosing to have cosmetic surgery, on any level whether it is botox here and filler there or a breast enlargement or even a complete face lift. It is YOUR CHOICE. The question I have is this…what is the root issue of wanting to get the procedure done? That’s it. It is sad for me to think about all the young women who have gotten their breasts enlarged simply because that is the image that they think attracts men. Makes me mad. The term ANTI-AGING makes me mad. Cameron Diaz once said that “aging is a privilege that not everyone gets to do it.” SO true. There’s no such thing as anti-aging, mother nature rule #2 or 3! But our society puts youth up on a pillar like getting old and showing it is a general disappointment, a let down to a standard that is as false as Milli Vanilli.
So as a role model to my beautiful daughter, Courtney, I want to just age gracefully. Yes I have to put on glasses now to read a menu (come on people…can we just turn up the lights a smidge in the bistro please??!!), yes my knees ache a little more after a run than they used to, yes I have more wrinkles in places that used to be plump, and yes, I undoubtably have a few grey hairs although highlights help disguise this, even to me. I have tried hundreds of face creams, serums, masks, lifting concoctions for this and that.
But the deal killer was this…this lovely lady had altered her looks so considerably that it made me sad. Because the facade of her was not NEARLY AS LOVELY after all this work, as her heart. SHE HAD A HUGE AND BEAUTIFUL HEART.
So here is my conclusion. I decided to fall in love with her heart. Because ME judging her about her looks and her choices was just as shallow as my belief as to why she did it in the first place. I have no idea about WHO SHE REALLY IS. I just judged her by an hour meeting and her Facebook page. How shallow and sad is that??!! I decided to offer her some unspoken grace and woman to woman sisterhood. Because that’s really what I want to stand for, compassion and acceptance.
This whole experience gave me a wonderful idea to start a new blog segment entitled “Brazen Broads.” I will share with you the women who I admire, some you may know and hopefully some you may not. I am SO pumped and inspired by these chicks…just wait, you’re gonna love it!
New Year's Resolutions bum me out. Here's what seems to happen to me. I make a resolution and I don't get anywhere close to achieving it and I feel like a failure. Or as I buzz along with my resolution and I end up tweaking it midstream, I still feel like a failure because it wasn't the original goal. Or I set a resolution, I achieve the goal, and I feel like a failure because I then believe that I didn't set the bar high enough! Ugh!!
So instead I wanted to create a way to set my dreams and goals in motion at the beginning of the year in a fun and inspiring way instead of a whip and chains sort of way! Here's what I do. I write a letter to myself on January 1st and I detail everything that I have experienced and accomplished over the last twelve months. Except that it is January 1st, 2016 not 2015. That is right, it is a recap of the year to come. SO FUN!!
The idea is to dream past what feels realistic, make it bold and wild! See it, feel it, smell it, all of it! The more detailed, the better. Focus on four areas: livelihood, relationships, how you are taking care of yourself (body, mind and spirit) and a bonus area (whatever makes your heart sing like travel, art, philanthropy, etc.)
It is an incredibly freeing exercise that allows you to open up to your dreams in ways that don't feel like a test, but instead inspire. And what I really want you to focus on is the FEELING that you get from those possibilities. For example: "I purchased my first dream car this year, it is a white BMW X5 with tan interior, I love driving it because I feel safe and sexy at the same time and it allows me the freedom to put my bike on the back so that I can go mountain biking whenever I want." Awesome, huh?!
So curl up with your favorite tea or a glass of wine this weekend and spend a quiet and reflective hour and let your pen fly. Make it YOUR time. Here's a starter for you...
"OMG...what an incredible year I have had, let me tell you what has happened..."
Cheers! Happy New Year!
let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. -Rumi
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